Five Key Takeaways From The Launch “Gateway To The Future” Summit posted 11/14/16

By Steve Bauer
Board Member

More than 100 young professionals from the St. Louis area gathered at T-REX in downtown to connect with one another and learn from some of the area’s top nonprofit leaders at the 4th annual Launch “Gateway to the Future” Summit.

The event featured a number of inspiring leaders in the St. Louis community – including Orvin Kimbrough (United Way of Greater St. Louis), Wes Hoffmann (Treehouse St. Louis), Robin Rosenberger (Tiny Superheroes), Ryan McClure (CityArchRiver), and many more – who engaged the crowd and addressed key topics impacting St. Louis and young people today.

At the end of the summit, I spoke with a lot of people who told me they felt motivated and empowered to make a difference in the community in which they live, work and play. That enthusiasm was shared online as well, as attendees posted inspiring quotes and words of wisdom from the speakers on social media all morning. The #LaunchSTL was used more the 530 times and reached nearly 725,000 people.

As I reflect back on the conversations I had and the connections I made with great St. Louis leaders, I took away these five main lessons:

  1. Pursue your passion. Nearly four out of five people volunteer because they have a personal and meaningful connection to the cause. Find what moves you and look for ways to get involved.
  2. Volunteering can help your career. I’m not just talking about rounding out your resume. By their nature, nonprofits operate with very limited staff and resources. Learning how to set goals, manage budgets, organize meetings and events, and work in teams offers valuable lessons for other professional environments.
  3. St. Louis needs the next generation of leaders. Orvin Kimbrough spoke about how nonprofits are evolving as a result of technology. We have so many bright, tech-savvy young professionals in our community, and their skills are desperately needed by organizations looking to adapt to today’s digital world.
  4. It takes a village. More specifically, it takes a community to get things done. Operating in silos isn’t as effective as collaborating with others. We need to work together in order to make a meaningful difference in St. Louis. Events like the Launch Summit help bring us all together to unite for the common good.
  5. “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great.” This quote from Keisha Mabry really struck a chord with me — and everyone in the room. Sometimes taking that first step is the hardest part of the journey, but it can take you places you never imagined.

The Gateway To The Future Summit helps to further Launch St. Louis’ mission of igniting young leaders for a stronger charitable community. To learn more about how you can get involved and give back to the community, check out our new interactive tool, LaunchMe, which helps connect young professionals with area nonprofits.

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