Next gen leaders collaborate to launch MEDAx

Noting shifting supporter demographics and a new wave of leadership on the horizon, MEDA has announced the launch of MEDAx, a specialized event for professionals under age 40, Nov. 9-10. The event will be held in conjunction with MEDA’s longstanding Business As A Calling Convention, this year Nov. 8-11 at the J.W. Marriott in Indianapolis, Ind.

MEDAx marks the first event of its kind in nearly four decades of MEDA conventions.

Though designed with a slant towards emerging professionals in business and international development, the conference-within-a-conference is open to anyone under 40 interested in exploring the intersect of personal values and professional pursuits, entrepreneurship, and MEDA’s international work. 

Activities include curated networking events, conversation with guest speakers, a start-up pitch competition and an inside look at MEDA’s worldwide work in creating business solutions to poverty.

To create the event, MEDA associate development officer Vanessa Hofer and marketing coordinator Katie West are working with fellow MEDA colleagues and a committee of nine next generation leaders from across the US and Canada.

“It is extraordinary to witness the enthusiasm for this bold initiative from within MEDA and from our friends and supporters across both countries,” said Hofer.

“Our committee is exceptional and integral. We are grateful to have a team of talented peers working with us, offering personal experience in a variety of fields, including business consulting, finance, women’s peacebuilding and leadership, family business and more.”

MEDAx will run a total of 24 hours, kicking off with a Friday Night Launch Party and concluding with a farewell reception for outgoing MEDA president Allan Sauder. Hofer, West and team are finalizing additional programming details in hopes of announcing speakers by mid-August.

“Some activities will be geared for generations X, Y and Z. Others will be completely integrated with the larger convention,” Hofer said. “This is an important detail. We want to both speak to the next generation and to facilitate cross-generational relationship building.”

Space is limited. Registration for MEDAx is now open. Applications for the start-up competition are due by mid-September.

For more information about MEDAx, including pricing, registration, and submission requirements for the MEDA 5k Pitch Competition, visit or contact Vanessa Hofer at