The 'Goodfronts' attempt an upfront for progressive causes

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Worldz Goodfronts
Worldz Goodfronts Credit: Worldz

TV networks pitch shows at the upfronts. Media companies promote digital content at the NewFronts. And now social-good organizations will vie for potential supporters at the Goodfronts.

The Worldz Goodfronts will debut Oct. 18 as part of Worldz Summit: Chapter 3, Chasing True North, a conference in Long Beach, California, that will explore culture, technology, leadership and social impact.

Ross Martin
Ross Martin Credit: Worldz

Goodfronts co-founder Ross Martin describes the Goodfronts as "a competitive marketplace for social good."

The idea is to connect important causes with the resources they need to achieve their mission.

Four causes—Love Has No Labels, Gun Safety Alliance, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the World Food Programme—will make presentations to a conference audience representing a diverse group of industries, marketers and brands.

"You will see on Oct. 18th a crowd of business leaders of today and tomorrow standing up for the issues they care about and making bold commitments to impact the organizations that need their support," Martin says.

Commitments from the audience could come in varying forms, including money, media, talent and technology.

"This is a group of people who realize there is no neutral," Martin says. "There's no more room or time to stand on the sidelines. … Suddenly, they have a much more accessible way to convey their interest in these issues into meaningful action."

Roman Tsunder
Roman Tsunder Credit: Worldz

The Goodfronts was created by Martin, CEO of Blackbird, a brand strategy business innovation firm, and Roman Tsunder, CEO of both Worldz and PTTOW!, an invitation-only member community for CEOs, CMOs and cultural figures.

The Goodfronts, Martin says, will give the audience an immediate and clear way to get involved and having meaningful impact.

Tsunder says the Goodfronts fits into the mandate among a growing number of marketers and brands to ramp up social impact marketing.

"Companies and brands have more influence than most countries," Tsunder says. "Companies now have a greater responsibility for social impact."

Heidi Arthur, chief campaign development officer at the Ad Council, hopes to harness the passion, energy and creativity at the Goodfronts to build more support for campaigns.

The Ad Council created Love Has No Labels, a campaign that celebrates diversity and inclusion, and is also behind the End Family Fire campaign in partnership with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which is supported by the Gun Safety Alliance.

"There will be multiple ways for partners to get involved," Arthur says, noting that new ideas could emerge from the room. "We're always all ears" for new ways for partners to participate in Ad Council campaigns, she says.

"It's the multiplier effect," Arthur says. "The more attention, the more innovation and the more awareness" there is, the more partners will come together for important causes.

Rich Goodstone, co-founder of Superfly, a marketing and events company, says he will be attending the Goodfronts to see good work, get inspiration from others in the room and keep an open mind on how he can help.

"You put a lot of Type A and influential people in one room around an issue that people care about," Goodstone says, "and significant impact is created."

Worldz's Tsunder sees opportunities to take the Goodfronts far beyond next week's inaugural event. "We would love to take this platform anywhere in the world," Tsunder says, "where it could inspire leaders to have immediate impact on the causes they care about."

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