That’s a Wrap — Critical Mass Annual Conference 2014

Although this year’s Critical Mass Annual Conference was dubbed “AYA Snowpocalypse 2014” before half the nearly 200 attendees were wheels down in Denver, perhaps the silver lining was the pervasive feeling that people were really, really excited to be in attendance—a feeling and energy that lasted throughout the entire meeting. After all, what would make you happier about being somewhere than surviving a life-threatening cab ride from the airport?….

…The 2014 Critical Mass Annual Conference was said by several attendees to be the best one yet, with superior educational opportunities, multiple networking avenues and a unique culture fostering true collaboration, innovation and progress. This is how we move forward, working together, sharing goals, pooling resources, data and information, and never forgetting why we do this work. Many have said that this event is where they come to be inspired, to find co-investigators, collaborators, mentors, new hires and colleagues, in the truest sense of the word. This year, we strengthened our ties as a robust network of organizations, institutions and individuals wholly committed to young adults with cancer, working on the front lines and the cutting edge, together. [To read a more detailed conference summary, click here to go to the blog]

We look forward to your joining us for the 2015 Critical Mass Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois from Wed., November 4 through Friday, November 6 at the DoubleTree - Miracle Mile. We are already busy working to ensure that next year’s Annual Conference is again the place for innovation, education, inspiration and connection that will help improve the lives of the young adult patients we all serve.

Here are the dates you need to know:
April 1, 2015: Call for 2016 host cities opens. Do you want to Critical Mass to come to your town in 2016? This is your chance.
April 27, 2015: Applications for host cities due.
May 4, 2015: Call for scientific abstracts opens.
May 28, 2015: Scientific abstracts due.
June 4: Registration opens.

This year’s theme was Strengthening Our Ties. We know that we can move farther and faster together increasing the value of strong ties within the Critical Mass network, in our local communities and within and between disciplines. Do not miss this unique opportunity to grow your collaborations, expand your network and increase your connectivity while focusing on this year’s 3 focus areas:

  1. Outreach and Connectivity
  2. Clinical trials and research
  3. Economics
We had a powerful line-up of incredible speakers with expertise in the economics of young adult cancer, the power and impact of young adult cancer research, and engaging the millennial audience. Click here to see the full line-up and read up on speakers.
This year we increased the focus on networking with ‘The Hub,’ a display and lounge area designed to encourage information sharing and facilitate collaboration. Every participant was encouraged to create a poster display for the Hub, and so many did (and were glad they did!). It was so great, we are going to do it again this year! Be sure to reserve your spot when you register to be part of this great networking center. One participant called the Hub displays “live brochures,” and everyone raved about the value of displaying in the Hub.

An exhibit table was another great way to get noticed, and another opportunity for 2015. If you would like a table exhibit at the 2015 Critical Mass Annual Conference, they will be available for $2500. Just email Kate at and let her know you are interested. She can give you more information and get you all set up!

In addition to plenary sessions and interactive breakouts, we had scientific abstract presentations. We are excited for participants who presented new research, exciting results and novel methodology in AYA research. Check out the abstracts that will be presented this year.
After brunch at the 2014 Critical Mass Annual Meeting, many attendees shared an afternoon of rock climbing, hosted by First Descents. The freezing temps didn’t stop the leaders from Survive & Thrive, Cancer and Careers, Hope and Cope, City of Hope, John Wayne Cancer Institute, Lacuna Loft, Texas 4000, timshel, Critical Mass and First Descents. This crew kept going: strengthening the ties, sending routes at Boulder Rock Club, and chowing down on some delicious Indian food at Sherpa House in Boulder. It was the perfect ending to an amazing conference.





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