frank2016: Remembering the Moments

frank2016 was about the moments.

Whether it was hearing from one of our great speakers, meeting someone with similar passions or having great conversation, this year we wanted to create moments of inspiration, clarity and purpose.

Once again, we transformed Gainesville, Florida, into the destination for people of purpose – a place where movement builders from all over the world met to hear from changemakers on the front lines of change and a place to build lasting connections.

This year we heard from people like Steve Pargett, the director of communications and culture for the Dream Defenders, who works tirelessly to amplify the voices of people of color; Brian Sheehan, the co-director of the Yes Equality campaign for the marriage referendum in Ireland; Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president at the CVS Health Foundation, who worked with the company to end the sale of cigarettes and Curt Guyette, a reporter at Michigan ACLU, who shared the moving story of how he broke the Flint water disaster.

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To kick off our new podcast, 7 Minutes in Heaven with a Scientist: Because Everyone is a Little Bit Curious – where we interview our academic crushes – we sat down with three leading scholars. These researchers competed for the frank2016 $10,000 Prize for Research in Public Interest Communications, and after the frank audience voted, Dr. Troy Campbell walked away as our winner. 


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From poets, to artists, to leading scholars, to coders, to storytelling gurus, we heard from people who have dedicated their lives to using their craft to drive change.

While frank is about learning from leading minds in public interest communications, it is also about creating a community of people who speak for the greater good. To do so, we designed moments for connection.

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We had successful scrums, small curated discussions around important issues, and we had a progressive dinner, where franksters were able to meet each other for drinks, dinner and great conversation. We also took frank to the streets with our Gainesville Community Street Fair. We invited the local community to a free concert featuring Gainesville native Charles Bradley. We danced, we talked and we grooved to the music of the “Screaming Eagle of Soul.”


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This year, we also introduced frank (scholar, 2016) and Changeville.

At frank (scholar, 2016), 30 leading minds from a range of academic disciplines spent the day together talking about the role of research in driving change. We designed frank (scholar, 2016) to be an incubator for good ideas. During this meeting, scholars were encouraged to brainstorm projects they wish existed – projects that could drive change.

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During this meeting, we launched the first frank (scholar,2016)  project with Dr. Natalie Tindall, an assistant professor at Georgia State University. She said many public relations companies do not hire people of color because they say they have a hard time finding applicants. However, Dr. Tindall said she knows that there is a large pool of talented people of color in P.R., so, she decided to create an open list of qualified students and professionals of color. (To join this list, please fill out this form. For more information, contact Dr. Tindall at 

At Changeville, a music, film and art festival, we featured the work of artists driving change through their work. The lineup included music from Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Mountain Goats, Wax Wings, Il Gato and more. Changeville was also home to one of the first virtual reality film festivals that included work from RYOT and Empathetic Media.

frank2016 was a magical week. There were so many incredible moments, it is hard to pinpoint just a few.

We can’t wait to start planning for next year, and, more importantly, we can’t wait to see you there.

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See the best frank moments.

See what happened at frank2016 

Watch this year’s frank talks.


Posted: March 1, 2016
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