Gen Why Media

Gen Why Media

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Last Update: May 30, 2012

The Gen Why Media is a social enterprise that uses public art, participatory media, events and intergenerational dialogues to engage generation Y in new forms of civic participation. We believe localizing culture through creative engagement can generate a willingness to collectively shape our city, province, country and planet.

We specializes in dynamic engagement strategies for non-profit organizations, governments and progressive companies looking to inspire generation Y towards focused engagement. We have developed a process that gives voice to an alternative vision through a custom mix of engaging videos, inspiring events and effective social media promotion.

Type: hybrid

The Problem

Members of Generation Y — those born roughly between 1977 to 2001 — will number 9.2 million in Canada by 2011. According to Elections Canada, “political disengagement appears less a conscious decision to turn away from politics than a failure to see the importance of political participation, combined with a belief that traditional politics may not be providing effective mechanisms for translating desire into action." Generation Y has grown up with the media continuously warning us of the looming catastrophes facing humanity. Yet, up until now, messaging targeted at Gen Y has lacked an authentic and holistic quality around how the generation can engage in society in meaningful, creative and effective ways.

The Solution

Our solution is to engage our generation where they are - at the crossroads of the values revolution and the digital revolution. Headquartered in Vancouver, Gen Why Media is a collaborative production group specializing in media, events, workshops, public art and intergenerational dialogues that engage young people in new forms of public participation. Through a network of collaborative relationships, we work with independent creatives, community organizations, youth-driven collectives, advocacy groups and educational institutions to offer a diverse and appealing approach to civic issues. We have been told that our inspiring events and compelling media have sparked meaningful public dialogues that young people can relate to and believe in.


Gen Why Media is a community-based social enterprise focused on innovating approaches to civic engagement, targeted at Generation Y (people born roughly between 1977 and 1999). With a stylish approach and strategic demographic insights, we offer a unique combination of engagement strategy consultation, events and video production for organizations looking to engage a youth demographic. Driven by the mandate of civic engagement, our for-hire services directly support our community initiatives by providing a sustainable revenue stream. Our small-business-meets-non-profit model allows us to produce media and events which generate revenue but also partner with non-profit organizations in order to access grants for projects related to campaigns or social issues. Within this framework, our primary activities include: 1) Events: We showcase music, film, visual art, theatre, dance and dialogue to produce fun, lively, compelling events around social issues. 2) Intergenerational Dialogue: We bring generations together in a celebratory atmosphere to talk about social transformation and knowledge transfer. 3) Media production and communication: We create web videos and social media strategy for non-profit organizations looking to reach Generation Y. 4) Public art: We facilitate large-scale, text-based public art projects made from recycled and re-used materials as a positive and thought-provoking commentary on social phenomena.

Budget: $10,000 - $50,000


Presently there are several organizations in Vancouver working towards social change with a focus on young people. Some of our peer organizations include Open Media, Truthfool Productions, Lead Now, Check Your Head, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Purple Thistle, Environmental Youth Alliance and Kids for Climate Action. We don't see these organizations as competitors. Because we are all operating in close proximity, with limited resources and working toward the same goal of civic engagement and youth empowerment, it is in our interest to see these organizations as collaborators, not competitors. As such, our challenge is to find innovative, efficient and effective ways of working with our peers in order to maximize the benefit for everyone involved.

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We are looking for seed money in order to broaden our exposure and expand our operational capacity.

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Growth Tracker

Stage: Milestone 1 of 3
Generating a sustainable and ongoing revenue stream
Date of Completion 12/28/12
In Progress
Offer consulting services to organizations looking to engage a youth demographic
Have Gen Why Media’s brand be nationally recognized
Date of Completion 03/22/13
Enhance operation efficiency by collaborating widely across disciplines to build alliances across Canada
Increase operational capacity by 50% (two more employees)
Date of Completion 05/31/13
In Progress
Set up non-profit arm of Gen Why Media
Milestone 1
Generating a sustainable and ongoing revenue stream
Our Impact Reports:
Tara Mahoney hasn't posted any impact reports yet.

Comments & Activity

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Comments & Activity


Sarah Mintz profile img
Tue, 07/24/2012 - 16:04

Hi Gen Why, your events look awesome and I love your designs. Do you have any upcoming convening events? Thanks!