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breathing life into columbus through the ideas of young people

March 1, 2020

Columbus, Ohio

tHE APPLICATION FOR THE 2020 cONFERENCE IS NOW OPEN!

tickets are available for purchase!

Hosted and funded by UALC at their Mill Run campus - 3500 Mill Run Dr. in Hilliard

Contact O2 - info@o2conference.org or 614-451-3736.

The 2019 O₂ Conference launched 5 inspiring ideas pairing 6-12th graders with incredible mentors and $11,000! 
For the latest news, please subscribe to the O₂ mailing list.

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What is O2?

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  • A pairing of students with mentors to get organized around the organic and together launch ideas that can meet the real needs of our community.

  • It’s an inspirational Sunday evening event where middle and high school students present ideas that meet the needs of the Columbus community. People of all ages buy tickets to attend the event, hear from the presenters, and enjoy dinner together.

  • It’s an opportunity to hear from local, top-notch speakers and community leaders. It’s a way to receive feedback, mentoring and even funding for moving ideas into action. $10,000 will be awarded to the presenters in just a few short hours!

  • If Kickstarter, Ted Talks, and Shark Tank had a baby that grew up in Columbus it would look like this event.

The 2020 Theme:
A Thriving Environment

“Environment” can be as broad as our world or as narrow as your own home. Global or local – is the environment around you healthy? Maybe your gut says, “No!” What is it that drives that response? There is a need there that must be addressed by someone so that your environment can thrive. Perhaps that someone is you. Maybe your response wasn’t quite so strong because your environment has some healthy stuff going on. But as you ponder a bit more, you see something is not quite right, and it bugs you. Something that keeps others from thriving. What idea do you have to help that environment thrive? We’re looking for ideas that make life better now and more sustainable for generations to come. There’s space in this conference for addressing a wide range of issues like school and community safety, energy use, disconnected/forgotten peers, housing needs, global warming, mental health, building bridges across cultures, opportunities and threats with technology use, healthy living, or other local needs that could add up to something bigger. This theme grounds our focus but you can apply with any idea that meets a need. O2 has been helping people like you bring their ideas to life. Together we can see Columbus THRIVE.

 
 

 

2020 Mentors & speakers

 
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Keynote speaker

 
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Mentor/Panelist

Jennifer Duffy

Media Producer
WBNS-10TV KidsNews Network

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Mentor/Panelist

Coming Soon

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Mentor/Panelist

Coming Soon

Job Title
Company Name

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Mentor/Panelist

Coming Soon

Job Title
Company Name

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Mentor/Panelist

Coming Soon

Job Title
Coming Name

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O₂ Conference Director

David A. White IV
Pastor, Families, Youth & Children
Upper Arlington Lutheran Church

 
 
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How It Works

 
 
 
 
 

Applicants

STEP 1 - APPLICATION

The 2019 conference was awesome! Here's the process for applying to the 2020 conference. By Jan. 15, 2020 young people in grades 6-12 develop an idea and submit their application. Teams typically fall into these two age groups but any combination of grades is welcome.

  • Middle School (6-8th Grade)
  • High School (9-12th Grade)

Individuals or teams can begin the online application starting on Sept. 1, 2019. For more details on the commitment and expectations, download the information packet.

Applications must be submitted before Jan. 16, 2020. If you began an application but missed the deadline please contact the O2 Team at info@o2conference.org.

STEP 2 - O2 CONFERENCE

Friends and community members take their seats on Sunday, 3/1 and countdown to the inspiring O2 Conference which begins at 5:02 pm. The presenters share their ideas. The excitement builds as each group interacts with our tremendous O2 Panel of Mentors in front of hundreds of engaged listeners.

When dinner and the presentations are complete, the Panel will take time to deliberate. Each of the panelists will give their input on how to allocate the $10,000 to the presenters. Finally, the panelists will choose one of the groups to serve as a mentor to their winning idea. The exciting conclusion to the evening includes an Audience Award alongside the mentoring and financial awards. The hope is that everyone in attendance walks away feeling like they’ve experienced a breath of fresh air. There are a limited number of tickets for this event and it is expected to sell out.

STEP 3 - MENTORSHIP AND PROJECT LAUNCH

After the conference, the groups and their mentors will work together for a minimum of six months developing their idea. This is one of the exciting elements that sets this event apart.

Audience

Attend

The O2 Conference is an event where the audience participates! Come listen to ideas, support young people, and vote for the ideas you want to see launched. Be inspired by how much middle and high school students care about their city. Share your thoughts on what you believe are the needs of our community.

The hope is that everyone in attendance walks away feeling like they’ve experienced a breath of fresh air. There are a limited number of tickets for this event and it is expected to sell out. Your ticket purchase covers your admission and a delicious box dinner but also also let's you play a part in advancing these ideas. Adult tickets are $15 and students 18 and under pay just $7. Five dollars of every adult ticket goes to these inspirational ideas so, bring a friend!

Donate

Financial support is always welcome. Together we can turn incredible ideas into reality across our city! If you're interested in donating to the O2 Conference, you can give by using the form below.

 
 

 
 

Application

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Middle School Application
(6th - 8th grade)

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High School Application
(9th - 12th grade)

 

Stories

Take Off went from the drawing board to real life between May and December of 2018!

Take Off went from the drawing board to real life between May and December of 2018!

The first ever group of O2 participants and mentors completed their six months of working together in 2018. The students gained valuable lessons and skills from the journey of moving an idea off the drawing board and into real life. Five of the eight ideas actually happened and part of the journey for others was learning that their solution needed more development. The team working on the Fitness Group for Women Immigrants secured a location and held their first swimming classes. Similarly, the team planning the Senior Prom networked a number of nursing homes together so they could collectively attend the event. A beautiful dinner and full evening of activities was held in Hilliard. The Take Off event went middle school viral and they had over 100 girls registered within 48 hours. Their evening with speaker Katie Smith (OSU basketball star) gave young people confidence to be themselves and take off the pressures of middle school. We’re excited about how these efforts are meeting real needs in Columbus!

The one thing I consistently hear from the students is that their mentor has made all the difference in developing their idea and their own skills. The funding doesn’t hurt either.
— David A. White IV

The second group of O2 ideas wrapped up their mentoring in August 2019. It has been an exciting six months! For example, plans are unfolding for a Crescendo Project concert in the near future. The CBUS app has broadened its leadership team and is being considered for use by local agencies. A test run may be coming soon. The Hilliard School Food Pantries idea was quick to progress and launched a second pantry before last school year even ended. This year they hope to continue their vision of meeting the needs of their peers in each middle and high school.

Great student and community teamwork led to this second food pantry being launched at Hilliard Davidson.

Great student and community teamwork led to this second food pantry being launched at Hilliard Davidson.


 
 

CONTACT US

Use the form below to contact us with any thoughts or questions you may have.
You can also email us directly at info@o2conference.org.

 
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Hosted by:

Upper Arlington Lutheran Church
Mill Run Campus
3500 Mill Run Drive
Columbus, OH, 43026

 

Host

 
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Why does ualc host the O₂ conference?

The thousands of people who make up Upper Arlington Lutheran Church are passionate about being followers of Jesus Christ and helping others to do the same. Living out our faith goes hand in hand with serving others in the name of Jesus. At the end of the day, we take his message seriously. So, the O₂ Conference is an authentic expression of our faith where we listen and then respond to the needs of our community.

Investing in young people and their families is also a significant part of our history. No matter their age, we see them as capable difference-makers. We warmly welcome people from all backgrounds and walks of life to engage in this effort to love our city. We won't ask you to be someone you're not. We are inspired by God's great love for people and this world so we won't be shy about caring for you.

The O₂ Conference is held at UALC’s Mill Run Campus at 3500 Mill Run Drive in Hilliard. The funding for the event and the financial awards are provided by UALC.

 
A giant thank you to the caring and hard-working O2 Conference Team which includes Heather Peebles Buffer, Star Bradley, Howard Greene, Tim Krock, Elizabeth Weller, Jessica Porterfield, and David White IV.

A giant thank you to the caring and hard-working O2 Conference Team which includes Heather Peebles Buffer, Star Bradley, Howard Greene, Tim Krock, Elizabeth Weller, Jessica Porterfield, and David White IV.