Sara Critchfield is the former editorial director of Upworthy –"the fastest-growing media company of all time," according to Fast Company. She believes that stories focusing on social issues can be just as viral as any cat video – as long as you market them correctly, using data and emotion to direct decisions. Funny and practical, she speaks on digital marketing and the power of human algorithms.
During her tenure as founding editorial director of Upworthy, the massively popular (and much-copied) website curating highly sharable, social-issue driven content that flows organically into our online lives, Critchfield helped set the template to draw attention to important social issues, such as racial profiling, body image, and child poverty, by making the stories highly shareable. Her contrarian theories have shifted the way companies think about reaching users, and have proven that people are just as hungry to consume content about meaningful issues as they are about celebrity gossip – with the right content marketing. Critchfield's approach to making good content go viral helped make Upworthy the internet juggernaut it is today.
Critchfield has also worked at MoveOn.org, and has co-founded an intellectual property firm. She has been a longtime advocate, organizer, and communicator for anti-poverty efforts in Washington, D.C. and Central America. As a keynote speaker, she has addressed the White House National Conference on Mental Health, Personal Democracy Forum, SXSW, News Foo, and Netroots Nation, and her work has been studied by and featured on PBS, Business Insider, the Nieman Journalism Lab, and Fast Company.