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Founded 2002 [1]
Founder David Smith [2]
Type Non-profit organization
(IRS exemption status): 501(c)(3)
Focus Millennials
Area served
United States
Key people
David Smith, founder [2]
Maya Enista-Smith, CEO
Justin Rockefeller, former board member
7 [3]
Slogan Improving the way democracy works by investing in Millennial-driven solutions [4]
Formerly called
Mobilizing America's Youth
(2002–2007) is an all-partisan[5] American non-profit organization that works with and for members of the Millennial Generation.[6] The mission of is to empower and invest in Millennials to create and implement solutions to social problems.[7]

History[edit] was founded in 2002 on the campus of University of California, Berkeley by David Smith,[2] who as a Berkeley senior, started the school year like many students do – working two jobs and living 45 minutes away from campus because affordable on-campus housing was hard to find. One afternoon, Dave came home to a piece of mail from the Berkeley administration informing him that he and his fellow students would face another significant tuition and fee increase. After meetings with the UC Berkeley lobbyist, campus administration officials, student government and fellow students, Smith heard three words from an administration official that stuck with him and inspired his next move. He was told to “just show up.”

On the morning of March 11, 2002, showing up is exactly what Dave decided to do. He and a group of 110 students from the Berkeley student government arrived at the Capitol steps, prepared to meet with elected officials in the State Assembly and State Senate about the importance of their education and to share with them the mounting financial burdens they were facing. The meetings resulted in a stay on student fees and a $15 million housing bond for low-income student housing which the University matched for a total of $30 million. This day is now known in UC Berkeley history as "Cal Lobby Day."[8]

The students who participated in Cal Lobby Day decided to turn what started as a successful campus experiment into a national movement to mobilize young adults around the country. David and his fellow organizers took a trip to Washington, DC to meet with the leaders of youth organizations, and through their conversations, they realized there was no unified voice on youth issues and activism. From this trip and in an effort to bring these organizations and their leaders together and to empower young adults with the tools they needed to change public policy, Dave founded Mobilizing America's Youth, now known as[2]

The organization is now led by CEO, Maya Enista-Smith, and a team of Millennials who manage the day-to-day operations, conduct research and provide thought leadership on Millennial civic engagement, with the goal of fostering an inclusive democracy.[9][10]

Democracy 2.0[edit]

Today, is a national network connecting thousands of Millennials around the country to each other and to the resources they need to change public policy, and create positive social change in their communities.[11] Through its innovative, national Democracy 2.0 Summits, convenes Millennials to engage in collaborative problem solving where they decide the issues and challenges facing its generation and work together to develop solutions to address them.[12]

During Democracy 2.0 Summits and through the use of interactive voting technology, Millennials choose the top solutions that receive financial investments and expert support from and its partners to be implemented on college campuses, in communities or online.

Democracy 2.0 Award Summits and Winners[edit]

The old office.

Past Democracy 2.0 Award Summits include: 80 Millions Strong, Beyond the Welcome Home, Outdoor Nation, Millennial Return on Investment, and Target 2020 (North Carolina). During each Democracy 2.0 Summit, five projects are awarded Democracy 2.0 Awards. Winning projects include,, Team Rubicon, and The One Percent Foundation.[13]


In January 2010, acquired the assets of GenerationEngage, a nonpartisan, youth civic engagement organization founded in 2004.[14] Both GenerationEngage and's leaders realized the organizations had similar and complementary missions and decided that together, they could expand their reach and impact. GenerationEngage co-founder and former program director, Justin Rockefeller, is a former member of the Board of Directors.

Additionally, the company has also acquired YouthNoise and Sparkseed over the years.


  1. ^ Mission & History
  2. ^ a b c d David Smith Biography
  3. ^ Staff
  4. ^ Mission & History
  5. ^ describes itself as an all-partisan network
  6. ^ An Interview with Maya Enista,
  7. ^
  8. ^ Associated Students of the University of California
  9. ^ The Whitman Institute,
  10. ^ Maya Enista, CEO, UTNE
  11. ^ Is America’s youth too indifferent, distrusting and self-absorbed to participate in politics? Not according to, a nonprofit organization with offices in Washington, DC and Berkeley, California
  12. ^ Mobilizing the Millennial Generation, The Case Foundation
  13. ^'s Past Democracy 2.0 Summits
  14. ^ and GenerationEngage, A Match Made by Millennials,

External links[edit]