A conference bringing web & UX professionals from higher ed & startups together to talk tactics.
September 29-30, 2014 | Downtown Marriott Louisville, KY
Higher education web developers, designers, marketing leaders & digital directors are facing unique problems in a world with innovation and technology evolving all around us. Entrepreneurs, independent interactive professionals & creative strategists are tackling these issues every single day. Conferences with like-minded people from our own industry and fields are great, but without game-changing tactics to bring home and implement, there is limited value.
The Aggregate Conference, or #GGRGT, is designed to help keep your organization relevant, competitive, and resilient in the digital realm. By providing tactics and thought leadership on digital strategy, as well as encouraging networking with others tackling similar challenges, #GGRGT aims to be a hub of education and collaboration for individuals working with digital.
#GGRGT will feature 15+ sessions encompassing the latest advances in digital strategy, social media, user experience, web development, front-end design, SEO/SEM, and more.
Held in downtown Louisville on September 29-30, 2014, attendees will be equipped with the knowledge to develop a digital strategy that aligns with their specific goals. Register now to gain relevant, functional information that can be applied to your organization, be it private industry, higher education, non-profit, or your own personal brand.
280 W. Jefferson St.
Louisville, KY 40202
We’ve negotiated a room rate of $119 per night which includes Sunday the 28th of September through the end of the conference. For those who want to check out on October 1st, the conference rate has been extended.
Reservations must be made by August 31st to guarantee the room rate.
There’s also a special parking rate for those who are driving in ($8 per night) and complimentary wireless for all attendee hotel rooms.Book Your Room
Ann Friedman is a columnist for New York magazine’s website and for the Columbia Journalism Review. She also makes pie charts for The Hairpin and Los Angeles magazine. She was the executive editor of GOOD magazine until 2012, when she and her colleagues were fired en masse. Shortly thereafter, they produced a crowd-funded magazine called Tomorrow that was nominated for an Utne Independent Media Award. Her work has appeared in ELLE, Esquire, Newsweek, The Observer, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and many other outlets. She lives in Los Angeles, where she is a writer, editor, and speaker for hire.
Manager of Social Strategy and Projects, Oberlin College
Ma’ayan Plaut is the Manager of Social Strategy and Projects at her alma mater, Oberlin College, where she manages Oberlin’s social spaces and projects. She serves as a cheerleader, consultant, and strategist for anyone interested in exploring social media on campus.
Ma’ayan has presented at HighEdWeb, the Web Conference at Penn State, the CASE Social Media and Community conference, Confab Higher Ed, Academic Impressions, and is a frequent guest on the Higher Ed Live network.
In her free time, Ma’ayan writes a lot, tweets a lot, and thinks about food a lot.
Executive Director, Marketing & Communications, Missouri S&T University
Andrew Careaga is executive director of marketing and communications at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, Missouri. He writes, blogs and presents frequently on branding, public relations, social media marketing, crisis communications, change management and related subjects. Careaga also wrote about social media’s role in crisis communication for the book Social Works, published in February 2013 by EDUniverse Media.
#GGRGT Founder & Director
Ron Bronson is the founder & director of #GGRGT. By day, he serves as Director of Web Strategy for the Kentucky community college system. Ron previously served as Policy Director & Co-Founder of Future Wyoming, an advocacy & tech education think tank.
He also launched three startups including Synonym, a boutique strategy firm & Omnivore, an athletic brand. Ron has been building successful online communities for over close to 20 years. He’s also logged over a decade of experience in IT & web roles at diverse institutions around the country. Ron is known as a fierce advocate of user experience, web governance expert & energetic speaker at conferences nationally & globally.
A native of New Jersey, he earned the Air Force Achievement Medal in 2000 for service in the Middle East.
Mara Zepeda is the co-founder and CEO of Switchboard, an online community building platform often described as a non-creepy Craigslist. It has become the go-to solution for young alumni engagement in higher education. Switchboard’s customers include Reed College, Oberlin College, Williams College and Portland State University.
Mara has spent her entire life working in organizations and higher education at places like Harvard University, and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia; as a reporter with National Public Radio; and as a board member of arts organizations, neighborhood associations, and her alma mater, Reed.
Community Manager, HUGE
Rob Engelsman is a community manager at Huge in Brooklyn, NY, where he works on social strategy and execution. Previously he ran social media and other multimedia projects for his alma mater Ithaca College, where he received a degree in journalism with minors in politics and religious studies. An over-eager journalism student once described Rob as a “renaissance man of modern media” in a profile that was never published. The student was most likely bribed.
Sam Kapila is a designer and web design educator living in Austin, Texas, focusing on Responsive Web Design and Typography. She is also a co-host of the ATX Web Show & Non-Breaking Space podcasts.
Principal, Bravery Media
Joel G Goodman is a jack-of-all-trades marketer, designer, and front-end developer, and the principal and owner of Bravery Media. He spent six years working in higher education web marketing at two institutions driving web marketing, branding and strategy aimed at increasing both student enrollment and alumni engagement.
Lexington Code For America Fellow
Lyzi Diamond is a spatial analyst, front-end developer, and educator based in Oakland, CA. She is working this year as a 2014 Code for America Fellow with Lexington, KY. She also helps to organize and run Maptime organizations, which are hands-on, beginner-focused meetup groups intended to build learning communities around web mapping and geospatial programming.
Lexington Code for America Fellow
Livien Yin is a visual designer and illustrator based in San Francisco. This year, she is working with the City of Lexington as a 2014 Code for America Fellow. She is passionate about projects that engage public space and make it easy for community members to collaboratively shape the future of their cities.
Business Development Consultant
Patrick Doyle is a consultant in strategic planning, communications, and business development based in Binghamton, New York. Over the past decade he has helped facilitate more than $60 million in economic development investment in Upstate New York. Patrick also manages national brands for the Pleasant Valley Wine Company, a family-owned business established in 1860 in Hammondsport, New York.
Director of Social Media, University of Michigan
Nicole Sunstrum has over four years experience coordinating statewide public sector social media initiatives. Prior to assuming her current role, she was responsible for coordinating a unified presence and strategy for government entities. Her role included policy creation; consultation and training aimed at ensuring all accounts provided additional value to Michigan citizens.
Nicole is now focused on applying that same approach in order to innovate the way in which one of the world’s top universities strategically advances interactive communications.
Vice President, Songbird International & Founder of Lakework Spaces
Daniel Dudley is a designer & marketing strategist based in Cleveland. An advocate for the tech scene in Northeast Ohio, he’s also runs a screenprinting company and puts on a quarterly tech conference of his own.
Web Producer, Boston University
Jenny Mackintosh is a Web Producer for Boston University’s Interactive Design team, supporting the designers and developers who build BU’s websites. Before joining them in December 2013, she was BU’s Social Media & Community Outreach Coordinator, learning & telling Terriers’ stories through social networks. Her particular areas of interest include community management, storytelling and analytics.
Lexington Code For America Fellow
Erik Schwartz is a 2014 Code for America Fellow working with the city of Lexington, KY just down the road from Louisville. Before that, he’d been traveling the world with only a suitcase and a laptop as a developer and partner at the Chicago-based tech shop, Table XI. His goal as a developer is to be a skilled inventor and thoughtful teammate in the pursuit of socially-meaningful projects.
Education Liaison, Github
John Britton is a developer and community builder, active in both open source and open education. As Education Liaison at GitHub he’s working to improve computer science education by bringing the principles of open source into the classroom.
Web Content Strategist, University of Michigan-Flint
Alaina Wiens is the Web Content Strategist at the University of Michigan-Flint, where she works to ensure the university’s story is told effectively through the web and social channels. She helps departments across campus think strategically about their online communication, and is project manager for large-scale web projects within University Relations. Alaina is also the “driver” of #strategycar, a weekly Twitter chat designed to encourage strategic discussion and brainstorming for higher education professionals.
Director of Web Communications, Vanderbilt University
As Director of University Web Communications at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, Lacy’s office is responsible for the development of vanderbilt.edu, providing web and application development services, consulting on web strategy, and managing Vanderbilt’s social media presences. Thankfully she still gets to code quite a bit… she loves building tools and expanding functionality to help others do their jobs more efficiently. Lacy is married to Justin, a software engineer also at Vandy, and is a new mom to Hayden, born Feb 21 (he’s destined to be a geek!) More at lacypaschal.com.
Program Director, #GGRGT Australia
Emily Alexandra is leading the charge for #GGRGT Melbourne, Australia in 2015. She has over seven years experience coordinating digital and print communications in higher education. For the last five years, her team’s focus has been to develop the international communications for her alma mater, Deakin University using best practice operations that incorporate creativity, sustainability, community and best use of technology. Fittingly, Emily is also a co-disruptor of the Disruptive Business Network – a platform to inspire, debate and educate.
We’ve never had a greater need for digital experts, whether in higher ed or other industries. How do we meld this need for innovative voices & give them the space to thrive in institutions that might not be built for the future? In this talk, Nikki Sunstrum will discuss her own experience as the Director of social media at the University of Michigan and how she has been empowered to lead the university forward.
New change to a social platform? That’s no time to rethink your social media strategy; stick to your content strategy and all will be fine. Recenter yourself with the mantra “Make content more social”—an attempt to proactively create, host, and share more social stories. Moving horizontally rather than vertically through our social spaces allows for more seamless and integrated social experience, with an emphasis on telling our best story, aided by the tools we have at our disposal.
Making decisions in design can be subjective and arbitrary. How can designers, developers, and clients make objective decisions that are backed by valid reasons? In this talk, we’ll cover aspects of design research, integrating accessibility, usability, device technology, branding strategy and other factors in design decision-making that are right for the project’s user experience and interface.
Eric Schwartz, Livien Yin, Lyzi Diamond
While many civic technology advocates focus on access to government data, another common challenge is creating impactful products once you get it. This talk will focus on making data meaningful and accessible in order to support cohesive communities and enable the creation of projects with community-level impact.
Social media has reached critical mass, and being heard is one of the greatest challenge facing brands today. In this session, we’ll discuss how to think differently about the capabilities and limitations of popular social platforms, as well as view examples from innovative people and brands that have found success on social by going against the grain.
Two practices cripple higher education: the multi-year decision making process and unnatural silos for students, alumni, faculty, parents, and staff. How can we learn from startup culture to move fast(er), break things, and give our communities they tools they need to solve the problems they face today?
In the era of instant online feedback, we all have to deal with people who don’t like our work. Should we listen to our critics or ignore them? Who’s a hater, who’s got a fair point, and how do we tell the difference? And what’s the best way to forge ahead and keep creating awesome stuff without getting bogged down in negative feedback? Ann has some tips and tricks and lessons from her own career as a digital journalist with lots of opinions.
Exhibitors, startups & others gather to share and provide young people with a glimpse into the world of tech.
A website is only as good as the content it supports, and content contributors help make any web project successful (or not). This session will outline necessary shifts in mindset about web, web work, and content as a whole that contribute to the effective implementation of a web content strategy.
Change management is a given in the world of digital. Whether you’re involved in a major website redesign or managing the daily challenges of extending your organization’s brand online, this session will help you better understand, manage and become an agent of change – within your organization and outside of it.
There is much attention on how the web is shaping our national politics. Less understood and still evolving is the role of the internet on public life at the local level. This session will explore new strategies for harnessing opportunities for civic engagement and economic development in our communities.
The world of open source is growing, would benefit greatly from your contributions, and offers a great place to practice and refine your programming skills. The majority of the worlds’ open source software is hosted on GitHub, and this workshop will get you started with the skills you need to navigate and participate this version control tool and collaboration platform.
Joel will bring his insight into ways we all can cultivate healthy and excellent working lives by curating a daily routine, giving time to our non-work interests & projects, looking for inspiration beyond our spheres & staying connected to supportive communities.
This presentation will address the important role SEO can play in an organization’s digital strategy, give an explanation of how search engine optimization has changed in recent years and discuss the direction in which organic search and how we find content online is moving. You’ll leave this talk with an understanding of why SEO is important and how it can fit within the organization’s overall marketing strategy.
Lacy Paschal, Jenny Mackintosh & Joel Goodman
Several of our speakers will participate in this panel discussing content management systems, the benefits & their future.
Every day, open source communities around the world fix bugs, produce new features, and deliver their products to the masses. We have a lot to learn from the ways they work together.