Living ‘Me to We’
It’s not yet 6am as I join the mob of neon-clad, self-proclaimed “Shameless Idealists” gathering at the Air Canada Centre for this year’s ‘We Day’ event. It’s a moving scene as teens from across the country reunite in warm embrace, reminiscing about Me to We trips and We Day’s of the past.
The group quiets for the kick-off pep talk from Marc & Craig Kielburger, founders of the innovative social enterprise, Me to We. “As Crowd Pumpers, you are the face of We Day,” they tell us. “You are the role models who will help set the tone and good vibes for an unforgettable We Day!”
It was both exhilarating and fascinating to be there “pumping up” such an energetic, brightly dressed group, all for the sake of a great cause. I paused for a moment during the event to take it all in, contemplating the stadium’s 18,000 young spectators screaming for social change, watching Nelly Furtado and her Maasai Kenyan friend Susan be reunited, laughing and learning to love with Jane Goodall, or standing in solidarity with former child-soldier Michel Chikwanine.
And in doing so, I began to really grasp what we were told earlier that day. What “pumping up the crowd” really meant was inspiring the already energized group by representing an aspired identity for its members. We were what MacPhie calls ‘brand evangelists’ – in this case, individuals who exemplify what living ‘Me to We’ really looks like.
You see, this crowd was a tribe that already had its priorities straight. And that’s because you can’t buy a ticket to We Day. You earn it, through service.
Me to We measures its bottom line not by dollars earned, but by number of lives changed and positive social and environmental impacts made. And every student and educator in that stadium was already a contributor to that bottom line, there to celebrate the group’s collective accomplishments.
This is the genius of We Day: it takes a group that already shares a sense of identity and purpose and unites them in celebration and learning, kicking off another year of action.
We Crowd Pumpers simply helped give these contributors something further to aspire to – to propel them forward for another year of service.
We Day leverages the adrenaline rush of shared passion, loud music from great artists like Jennifer Hudson, Jason Mraz & the Barenaked Ladies, and charismatic leadership from the likes of Kofi Annan, Malala Yousafzai, and Romeo Dallaire to galvanize youth to work even harder as agents of change for important causes.
And the impact is incredible. It’s not unusual to hear a 10-year-old leave We Day, or any Me to We trip, workshop, or event for that matter, and say “This changed my life. I’m going to change the world.”
In our digital age, We Day demonstrates the power of in-person engagement in building brand evangelists. Me to We has identified its tribe members’ fundamental unifying value – changing the world – and not only offered them products with that purpose, but also a flagship event at which and a community with whom to celebrate it. And in doing so, establishes itself as the centre of a collective movement, and a lifestyle.
The long and the short of it is this: Me to We helps Shameless Idealists achieve communion as a tribe vis-à-vis We Day and other in-person engagement, making the Me to We brand integral to their sense of identity and purpose, and, as a result, exponentially increasing its Magnetism.
From holding events and retreats to hiring street-teams, we encourage your organization to find creative ways to bring real human contact into your marketing efforts. If done right, it will feed your tribe, and in turn, make your organization more magnetic.
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