Blackbaud, the world’s cloud software company powering social good, concluded its 21st annual tech conference for a better world, which took place October 6-8, as a free, virtual event. This year, the event welcomed over 38,000 registrants from over 70 countries, far and away a record for the conference, which was previously held in-person. This year’s bbcon addressed the challenges and opportunities social good organizations face in a rapidly changing world with inspiration from an energizing lineup of speakers and performers. Blackbaud also spotlighted new product and innovation updates that organizations can continue to learn more about through product update briefings later this month.
Attendees heard from a number of prominent figures dedicated to activism and philanthropy. The first day of bbcon included conversations with special guests actress Amy Poehler and Olympian Dara Torres. Amy Poehler entertained the audience with a wide-ranging discussion that spanned from experience and passion from starring in strong female roles to her commitment to empowering young girls and boys to pursue STEM careers to the types of film roles she would be most excited to play. Olympic record-holder Dara Torres discussed how to overcome adversity and doubt to achieve your goals. On the second day of the event, Dr. Cornel West appeared on the bbcon mainstage to discuss resilience, coalition building and racial justice. And closing out bbcon was host, author and activist Padma Lakshmi, who shared about the personal experiences that led her to cofound the Endometriosis Foundation, the role food plays in culture, and advice for the social good community as it overcomes challenges.
Attendees also heard from other featured speakers: Justin Dillon, award-winning entrepreneur, author and founder/CEO of FRDM; Marc Brackett, Ph.D., leading emotional intelligence expert and author of the book “Permission to Feel”; Meico Marquette Whitlock, digital wellness and leadership coach and founder and CEO of The Mindful Techie; Alice L. Ferris, founder of Goalbusters; and productivity expert Kishshana Palmer. Special musical guests Natasha Bedingfield and JOHNNYSWIM shared music with the bbcon audience. Many Blackbaud executives took to the virtual mainstage including Mike Gianoni, president and CEO; Catherine LaCour, chief marketing officer; Kevin McDearis, executive vice president and chief products officer; and David Benjamin, executive vice president and president of International Markets Group. Additionally, bbcon hosted more than 100 expert-led sessions geared toward the global audience.