Mark Leadership Conference

A unique and immersive conference experience that inspires and empowers its attendees to leave their own "mark" on this world.

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Date You Started Your Project Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

In a world full of 7 billion people, it can sadly feel as if one's actions and ideas are futile or easily ignored. The Mark Leadership Conference, however, is here to spread knowledge, inspire action, and encourage students to think critically about the impact they can leave on the world around them. Regardless of one's background or walk of life, anyone and everyone can help change the world for the better.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

The Mark Leadership Conference works to bring 20+ diverse and inspirational speakers to this unique and regional, TED—styled event. By showcasing an amazing line-up of speakers (i.e. Laurie Hernandez, Laverne Cox, Toshia Shaw) who rose to the occasion and made their distinctive marks on society, conference attendees will be empowered to think of themselves as agents of change on campus and beyond. Other than main stage speakers, the conference also has university students share unique storytelling presentations of their personal journey through hardship, strength, and transformation. Furthermore, the conference has breakout sessions where speakers and conference attendees are provided an opportunity to discuss, reflect, and learn in a more intimate or specialized setting. Lastly, animated, lively, and interactive activities are placed throughout the conference to stimulate the mind’s of attendees.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

Sharing personal stories to a friend can be difficult enough, imagine sharing it to hundreds of people. The Mark Conference wanted to create a platform and safe space that would enable every single person to feel more vulnerable, supported, challenged, and more powerful than they have ever felt. Similarly, through this process, they felt a community and family of leaders was essential to remind people to never give up regardless of how impossible the task may seem, and most important of all, engage in selfless service.

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

In order to make the conference a success, we need a group of dedicated and passionate individuals to make up the Mark Conference SWAT Team. This team is the backbone of the Mark Conference and are vital parts of its planning and execution. SWAT members are placed on a committee headed by one captain to help plan a part of the conference and run the conference the day of. By joining SWAT, members not only help bring the conference to life through marketing, logistics, fundraising and more, but they inculcate valuable skills like communication, collaboration, organization, adaptability, public speaking and more.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Everything we do is hands-on, thought-provoking and offers opportunities for individuals at any level to develop leadership skills, discover purpose, and challenge the status quo.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Since 2013, the Mark Conference has had 3500 attendees, 60 different energizers, 125 incredible speakers, and 72 student speakers.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

In this upcoming year, we want to focus more on talking about issues directly facing our world today like climate change, immigration and more. We want to partner up with new companies or sponsors to revamp the Mark Conference and bring it to the next level, in order to provide top-notch speakers, energizers, and the ability to completely transform our spaces.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Brand Development

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Ashoka page or contact


Join the conversation:

Photo of Carmen Lopez Villamil

This is a great idea!! It seems like the empowering summit of my dreams!

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