#BeTheChange: Make it a Habit

The 3rd annual Emerge Summit has come and gone, but not without demonstrating yet another impactful message -- Sacramento’s changemakers have put our city on the map. Those who have chosen to #BeTheChange are not afraid to lead, invest, create, innovate, collaborate, donate, and participate. As a result, more eyes than ever are on the Capital Region, looking at Sacramento as the new best place to live, work and play.

The Emerge Summit, spearheaded by Metro EDGE with the support of the Sacramento Metro Chamber, began in 2014 as the state’s first summit for young professionals put on by young professionals. Since its inaugural year, every March we have watched 500+ YPs gather in the heart of downtown for a day of professional development, networking, and getting inspired personally, professionally and about our city.

This year was no exception.

On Friday, March 18, 600 young professionals gathered at Memorial Auditorium from all over the region and even beyond -- Pleasanton/Livermore, San Jose, Brisbane, three attendees from Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals, and eight attendees from Reno-Tahoe’s Young Professional Network.

Attracting people from across Northern California and Nevada in its third year is extremely impactful in its own right, but what I was most impressed with were the employers that allowed their staff to take the day to attend this event. Major kudos to the companies that paid for their staff to be there! In my opinion, these are the businesses and organizations that are leading by example and making an investment to continue to attract and retain young talent in our region.

This year, you didn’t just allow your employees a professional development opportunity, you gave them the chance to meet and engage with like-minded and career-driven peers, as well as 11 regional young professional groups. You offered them the opportunity to experience and learn about local artists and our robust and ever-growing arts scene. Many attendees connected with one or a few of the nine regional nonprofits about ways to give back and get involved. They were inspired by Sacramento and our region through the personal stories of speakers Jay Sales and Greta Gerwig and the innovative ideas from the "Pitch for Change" finalists. During the Changemakers Space and a few of the breakouts, attendees had the opportunity to share what is important to them as the development of our downtown core and the resurgence of Sacramento continues.

Personally, I have been to the Emerge Summit every year and this year was my favorite. I loved how the arts was incorporated from the local artists being featured in the Changemakers Space, to the performance by the Sacramento Ballet at the start of the program, to Greta Gerwig – actress, writer, producer, director, Golden Globe nominee, and Sacramento-grown – as the keynote speaker.

I have a great appreciation for the arts, but more importantly, I recognize the critical role that the arts play in stimulating creativity, innovation, economic growth, and developing vital communities. Tre Borden said it perfectly while on stage with Greta, "Arts should be an integral part of the city, not just the glitter sprinkled on top that makes it pretty."

The highlight for me that day was when they opened the floor to questions for Greta, and a girl at the table next to me asked, "How do we support the arts?"

Greta’s response: "Buy art, visit galleries, see events and bring your friends. Make it a habit!"

To Greta's point, I say, make it a habit to #bethechange -- to support the arts and nonprofits, give back, volunteer your time, create, innovate, participate, and collaborate.

Cheers to another hugely successful Emerge Summit! I can’t wait to see what is in store for next year.

By: Karlee Cemo – Content & Marketing Manager, Sacramento365