CCFC's 8th Consuming Kids Summit: All About Change

CCFC’s 8th Consuming Kids Summit was all about solutions this year—and it was a resounding success. On March 21-23, advocates, parents, teachers, students, health care professionals and others who care about children at Wheelock College in Boston to learn more about the commercialization of childhood and what they can do about it. Check our YouTube page soon to see videos of the keynote presentations.


The summit opened Thursday night with “America’s Worst Mom” Lenore Skenazy, back by popular demand. Lenore enraptured the audience with her hysterical riff on “What Makes a Perfect Parent? (Hint: Trick Question!)." While discussing commercially-driven pressures on parents, Lenore posed questions to the audience like, “Guess who for certain never listened to Mozart in the womb??????” A book signing and reception followed.


On Friday morning, Susan Linn set the tone by laying out CCFC’s Theory of Change—what we need to do to restrict corporate marketers’ access to children.

Michael Rich, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children’s Hospital Boston, followed, with an eye-opening look at what science tells us about the impact of excessive screen media on children’s brain development.

We got an industry insider’s perspective when advertising legend Alex Bogusky unveiled his idea for ending marketing to children by appealing to students studying advertising.

The first day wrapped up with a panel of attorneys, providing activists with legal tips and strategies for combating food marketing, digital marketing, and other methods corporations use to target kids.

Day two began with The Praxis Project’s Makani Themba, who made a compelling case for the need to stop blaming parents for the harms marketing causes children and start holding corporations accountable.

Later that day, Diane Levin delivered a timely look at how the media and marketing industries sell kids on violence, and what can be done about it.

And Josh Golin closed the summit with an energizing recap of the lessons learned from the summit and a memorable call to action.

Breakout Sessions

Breakout sessions and lunch discussions, led by over 30 presenters from as far away as Brazil and Peru, were held on a range of topics including: reducing children’s screen time, combating junk food marketing, transforming neighborhoods into playborhoods, resisting the corporate takeover of education, using social media to combat sexualization, applying media literacy, and much more.

We gathered at the end for a book signing with summit presenters, and to take time for networking and to (reluctantly) say goodbye to new friends and old. We returned home exhausted, exhilarated, and more determined than ever to stop the corporate takeover of childhood. 

Here’s What People are Saying about Our 8th Consuming Kids Summit

Presenter Erin McNeill wrote about the take-away lessons she learned from the summit and invites others to add their own in the Marketing, Media & Childhood blog.

And here’s what other attendees said on their evaluations:

“It was inspirational! Wonderful people, wonderful ideas!”
“I always come away stimulated and energized.”

“Great range of topics. It was great to hear different perspectives on the issue…fabulous!”

“Good value. . .low cost for an awesome range of speakers, amazing people I met and everything I learned!”

“I’m continually amazed at all CCFC accomplishes with such limited resources. THANK YOU! I intend to increase my donation this year.”

“Your work has evolved so much in 3 years. I’m confident there will be even more to learn next time. I appreciate the emphasis on evidence-based advocacy and that CCFC is using much more than values to make a strong case.”
“There were so many wonderful choices . . .it was tough to choose!” 

“Well organized, great sessions, great networking.” 

“The variety of the schedule (keynotes, networking, workshops) was wonderful!!”

“Thank you for everything. You inspire me to do better by our kids.”

“Always inspiring, necessary, professional and FUN!”

“I’ve learned so much in 2 days. It was amazing!”