In less than a month a unique and diverse group of youth and professionals who work with youth will converge on Stanford Court Hotel in San Francisco for what has become my favorite conference of the year. Formerly known as Sex::Tech, now YTH Live, the conference brings together people from private and public health organizations and departments, the technology sector, and a mix of academics, activists, epidemiologists, and unaffiliated thoughtful types to share their work and consider the current state of sexual and reproductive health and justice through the lens of technology.
It's the sixth year they have held the conference and sadly for me the first year I'll be missing it. Masochist that I am (intellectually speaking) I thought I'd take a look through the 2013 program to see what I'm missing and pass the word along in case you can make your way to San Francisco April 7 - 9th (full disclosure: I'm a former board member of ISIS, the organization that runs the conference and I was a proud volunteer on the programming committee).
The opening plenary on youth and transmedia is a good example of what makes this conference so exciting. What happens when you put two YA novelists, a TV producer, the creator of Lizzie McGuire together with a panel of youth to talk about narrative, media storytelling, and the real lives of teenagers? You'll find out on day one. On day two, a plenary on dealing with big data, and on day three a performance of Secrets.
The three days are also packed with concurrent sessions covering the theory and practice of sexual health science and service provision. ISIS works hard to bring diverse communities together and focus not only on the youth most visible and readily available for services, but youth who remain marginalized by race, class, orientation, and identity, but whose lives and presence in digital and virtual spaces are far from invisible. Sessions on the actual utility of Facebook and apps in research and service provision run side by side with information on the newest efforts in sexual violence prevention, reproductive rights activism, and sex positive sexual health promotion.
One of the best parts of the conference is, of course, the time between sessions, where the opportunity to meet colleagues new and old from around the world in person is so wonderful.
There are still spots left for the conference, if you're a student it only costs $50, and if you're an adult attending with a student your regular registration fee is reduced. Find out more about YTH Live.
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