This is My Community- Keynote 2015

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Socality Live SD took place July 29 - August 1, 2015 in San Diego, California.

Socality Live San Diego brought together hundreds of creatives, social influences and artists from 6 countries around the world. Over the 4 day event people gathered around common purpose with a desire to build community and unite to bring social change in the world around them. Attendees experienced 4 days of teaching, inspiration, workshops, craft excursions and a finale concert.

Below are stories of moments that took place in the lives of those who attended.

If you have a story we would love to hear from you so we can share it! Send it along with some photos to and subject it Socality Live SD stories.

All divider photo from Rachel Hicks @rachel.meagan.

To see more photos visit #SocalityLiveSD

Hey guys, Scott here,

One can hardly put into words all that took place during Socality San Diego. It was a 4 day event that featured incredible keynote messages, workshops from local artists and business leaders, excursions and a finale concert from Switchfoot! The word that everyone was using by the end of the event was 'family'. I love this because this is exactly what we are about!! Placing people into true community and belonging and connecting people for purpose. We always say that Socality isn't a stopping point but a pass through point; where you can find each other and connect for purpose. We exists to connect and create influencers for eternity and every space we create is about that! 

Scott Bakken, Founder & Creative Director of Socality, and his Wife Jessica before the Switchfoot Concert on August 1, 2015.

Scott Bakken, Founder & Creative Director of Socality, and his Wife Jessica before the Switchfoot Concert on August 1, 2015.

The event in San Diego was broken into 4 worship sessions with our keynote guests Jeff Vanderstelt, CJ Casciotta and Jason Russell. All of these speakers spoke with such passion and conviction about community, leadership and social change. I myself am still tying to process the message from Jason Rusell and his passion to have us 'wake up' and live the life God has called us to live. The next stage of the event brought on workshops from entrepreneurs and leaders in social change, creativity and business. We were able to learn from those who are active in all these areas and doing it really well.  If you can apply even just one thing from these workshop, it can bring about significant impact in ones life.

Our excursion to Scripps pier was really special. The excursions are a unique component and something that separates us from traditional conferences. We literally take people and drop them off collectively at a beautiful space and say go connect..go create. This is where relationships really take a new form. There is something powerful about people being in God's creation, sharing moments and then capturing these forever.

To top off an amazing weekend, we hosted Switchfoot along with Kris Orlowski and The Young Wild for an outdoor concert in downtown San Diego at Quartyard. This concert was extremely special and even Jon Foreman commented on the environment that was created by our gathering. This up close and personal concert was a true highlight!

Overall, we saw people connect for purpose, new relationships formed and people inspired. People gathered from across Canada, USA and some came as far as Ecuador, and even Singapore! 6 countries in total! In our keynote message we asked people what was the problem you wanted to solve and what is the gift that is in your hand. The reason for this was to highlight that the answers are inside of us and it is only when we work together with others we can activate these dreams. God never designed us to work alone, nor be lone rangers. We are designed to be unified so that God's perfect will and love can be demonstrated throughout the earth.

Our big challenge to everyone was to take part in your community and decide to join the story with those around you. Often it can be easy to run and escape from those around us and those who challenge us. Yet, it is when one decides that they are going to make a difference with those around them that their impact becomes lasting and eternal. What can happen when you decide #thisismycommunity and you are choosing to take part!

All gallery photos from Rachel Hicks @rachel.meagan.

An event of this magnitude could not be achieved without the incredible volunteers who served and gave so freely of all of their time, efforts and heart. We also have an incredible team within Socality who threw everything they had into making this all happen. A huge thanks to our venue hosts Mosaic Church, Moniker WarehouseQuartyard and SD City College for all your support. Newport Worship brought an army of musicians, production and crew that brought an energy to the event unlike any other!

Also, a huge thank you to our amazing sponsors and community partners who are not only excellent in what they do, but fully understand the vision and heartbeat of what are doing. Hipture, Sackcloth and Ashes, Lens Distortions, The Giving Keys, Bradley Mountain, Lone Flag, Cause RoastThe Bloomerie, Rock Church and Air1 Radio. THANK YOU!!!!

Finally, thank you to all those who came to the event, booked tickets and travelled to be with us. Socality is comprised of people and hearts and the movement is touching people lives because you are adding your story to it.

May we always be encouraged that what we can do together will always be greater than what we can do on our own.

There are so many more lives to impact and communities in need of our support! The journey isn't finished, but only now just begins....

Let's GO!

All for eternity,

Scott and the Socality Team

Socality is a clear picture of one of my favorite quotes by Darren Hilleman "Family is not something you are born into, it's something you fight to create." As soon as I got to the conference I felt part of a larger family, the idea of all of us being together for the same purpose was exciting, inspirational and life giving. Socality was four days full of community, growth and enrichment.

I found out about Socality through Instagram and I was curious to know what this was all about. When I found out about the conference I thought it would be awesome to go but there was not a way to raise support for this trip in that little time. Well I started praying and I had so much peace about it. I was working crazy hours to save up and I was able to raise some support and I had just enough to go a week before the conference. God is faithful even when we are not.

There is something so powerful about community and getting together. I will forever treasure the good talks with Steph, the crazy coffee finds with Noelle, listening to Sophie's story, dancing with Christopher, being encouraged by Esther, laughing with Jeffrey, Jonathan hugs every time he saw me. Talking about how small the world is , hanging out with Lyssa, winning corn hole with JT, talking about missions with JB, meeting my first friend, Zac, from Singapore and I could go on and on.

I'm encouraged and empowered to serve the Lord to the best of my ability. I have been challenged to use my gifts and talents in creative ways to make an impact for eternity. I now understand that each individual has a potential to be a movement within their community . I'm a better woman of God because of communities like Socality.

-Mika Insuasti (@themikainsuastiQuito, Ecuador

I'll admit it my exceptions for Socality were low, I didn't expect much. I thought of it more of a bunch of creative people in there own distinct cliques getting together to possibly try and get to know each other. But after the first night that exception and judgmental idea was shattered. Everyone was very inclusive and genuine. I got a new perspective of a healthy community, which included the idea that we are all imperfect and we need grace for each other. But what challenged me the most was, we need a theology of insecurity.

thank you Socality.

-Steven Wickenheiser (@stevenwickyKelowna, B.C., Canada

I work at a church and have been involved with church my whole life. When I went to Socallity Live, it was a breath of fresh air. It's refreshing to be apart of something that has a Christian-based faith and purpose, but not the feel of "church". I went there and experienced amazing live worship, and messages not only, from a pastor but also, from people actually working in the field making differences and causing movements. They not only, were encouraging but also, empowering and inspiring! I felt like I belonged to group that genuinely wanted to be like Jesus and change the world by loving people like Jesus did. It was also great to meet people that I have known on Instagram and been friends with for awhile, and all the new friends that I meet there with the same passions that I have! It was definitely a life changing experience!

-Lance Asper (@lance_asperJacksonville, FL, USA

Thank you for this amazing experience - it was more than I could imagine and more than I could ask for. I came back home feeling so alive and encouraged.

I was nervous coming into the conference because I had been creatively dry for more than ten years and didn’t see how I could fit in with all the incredible talents each with gorgeous Instagram accounts. I was particularly taken by surprise when a new friend wanted to add me on their Instagram account - after all, I only had five posts to share, all of which were everyday posts- nothing spectacular or creative- and then she said in the most sincerest way: I want to follow your journey. Everyone starts off somewhere. I’m curious to see where God takes you. In that moment, I felt an instant uplifting – and a sense of safety and encouragement – that I was in the presence of friends who had a heart for Jesus. I felt so known and loved. I came back with a fresh revelation of who He is- from every person I met- their eyes sparkled with His passion, their dreams inspired by His creativity, and their boldness in pursuing those dreams through His adventurous spirit. And ultimately, His love reflected in their eyes – that melted every fear and inadequacy in my heart – I just knew I belonged.

-Anna Kwok (@13kannaSan Francisco, CA, USA

photo by @nathantecson

photo by @nathantecson

I had no clue how impacted I would be from Socality Conference! The friends made, memories created, encouragement received, and all around experience of Socality is something I can't put a price tag on. One word for Socality Conference 2016: GO!
I hope to see you there!

-Kendall Cleveland (@_kendallblakeHouston, TX, USA

Originally, I thought Socality were just a group of photographers, but upon attending the conference I realized how strong the community was. I truly felt inspired being around amazing creative and uplifting entrepreneurs. Also, it was a blessing to meet some of the people you've been following on Instagram in person!

-Kenneth Ly (@likquidpopxSanta Ana, CA, USA

A couple weeks have passed since #socalitylivesd and I am still processing all of the wisdom I was able to imbibe in the span of only four days. When people ask me, “How did it go?” the first thing I say is, “I have never been more inspired in my life.” And it is true. My soul is ready to take all I learned and share it with my city and anyone I come face to face with. Socality affirmed that we are equipped to build an authentic community through social media, where we can fellowship in real life, encouraging and inspiring each other through Christ’s love. The beautiful, genuine souls I met were such an inspiration to me as well. Everyone had a unique story, different passions, and I am so thankful to have met the people I met. These friendships will last for all of eternity.

Now that I am back in my ordinary schedule of life, there is still an ocean of ideas, thoughts, desires, and dreams overflowing from within and I am psyched to be home and to watch them unravel here. I have been awakened and I will linger aimlessly no more. Thank you, Socality, for inspiring me along with so many others.

-Amy Leiva (@amyelizabethloveSan Francisco, CA, USA

I have been surrounded and a part of various artistic and spiritual communities my entire life. I had no idea what to expect when I decided I was going across country to attend Socality Live San Diego. I had never met any of these people, yet I left having felt that I am now a part of the most genuine community of people I've ever been a part of. I came back to NY with the hope and desire to one day have a strong Socality NY community here.

Each and every individual inspired me. That coupled together with all other aspects of the conference helped fuel my lost dreams and visions. It was truly a life changing experience and I'm excited to see where God leads me next.

-Noelle D'Arrigo (@noella_bellaPatchogue, NY, USA

A hope that was renewed, a mind that was transformed, and a yielded life: I did not expect this event to be a life changer for me. Two months before the event, I had cancelled my plans going to Socality but God had planned on me attending.

-JoJo Cayetano (@mypixeledlifeSan Francisco, CA, USA

Before the conference, I was actually in Bangkok with my mum and it was seriously one of the most despondent seasons of my life. But clinging on, I decided to get out of it by watching a sermon where the preacher was speaking about how celebrating in the small steps were so necessary. I regained hope and momentum in God again. On that night itself, I was scrolling through Instagram and Socality posted about #FlyMeToSocality where they collaborated with Lens Distortions to fly someone over to the event from anywhere in the world. I felt like Jesus was shouting at me, “just do it!” So I did it, and I’m thankful because I actually had the opportunity to fly to San Diego!
But when the news came in– sure I felt thrilled for the first few minutes, and then fear overwhelmed me. For a boy who grew up in a broken family, living in an environment of fear was constant and I would always hide behind peoples’ shadows, so this really pushed me into putting myself out there in unfamiliar territories.

The Lens Distortions team poses for a photo on August 1, 2015 with Zac who they flew from Singapore to be at Socality Live SD.

The Lens Distortions team poses for a photo on August 1, 2015 with Zac who they flew from Singapore to be at Socality Live SD.

I can come back saying I’m victorious all because I really have the best Father in the world who would see me in times of hopelessness, in times of seemingly unanswered prayers, and in times of swimming in my own gunk. Not only does He see me, He singled me out and chose me– a boy living in one of the smallest countries in the world and fly me halfway round the world to encounter Him in a very tangible way. Because that’s how He is– He lavishes grace. Until now I feel so undeserving, but He’s loving and loving I can’t deny that there is some worth in me. I can come back saying I don’t have to live in fear anymore and it’s not going to hold me back. Sure, I’m not THERE yet, but I’m taking baby steps and praising in them. Fear’s not taking away my song anymore. Looking back five years ago when I was a backsliden Christian, I wouldn’t have done what I just did this past month and it makes me emotional thinking about the change He’s still in the works of. Jesus is good and I’m still in the undoing and there’s still so much to learn. Sure I would’ve loved to connect more, but celebrating instead of regretting because I left knowing I have a family back in Socality. 

And to the vessels (the team at @lensdistortions) who made everything possible. These three saw some worth in me to even pick me as the winner for #FlyMeToSocality. So undeserving, but these three saw the bigger picture in God's plan when I was short sighted and I'm so grateful for that. I can safely say that my life's changed drastically this past week all because these guys thought "hey let's fly this dude from Singapore to San Diego just so he can attend @socality." And when I was there, they welcomed with open arms, prayed for me and looked out for me like father figures which gave me so much comfort in. I really want to proclaim a huge "WHO AM I?!" But I'm reminded that I'm a child of God and I was hand picked by Him. I'm still trying my best to wrap my brain around that truth- that God's the best Father and He lavishes anyway. And this photo will always be a reminder and testament of that. Love you guys, you've made a huge mark on my life.

-Zachary Van Der Ven, (@zacvdv) Singapore

"You want to know the meaning of life? This is your highest calling: You are called into the dynamic co-creation of the cosmos. This breath is your canvas and your brush."
- Jon Foreman

I came to Socality knowing absolutely no one. My accent gave away that I was from half way across the world - I was on a mission to discover a deeper meaning to my creativity. I have always had a deep longing in my heart that knew there could be more than just taking pretty photos and throwing them out into cyberspace. I yearned for purpose, meaning, intentionality, community. When I wrote "I am @socality" 18 months ago I barely knew what I was saying. But nothing could have prepared me for all that I've learnt and the places I've been taken through it.

Over a year ago through the #socalityseattle tag I was connected to a beautiful friend who I came out to visit, and my trip has snowballed into wondrous immersions in different communities through the socality city tags - from Sydney to Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego and Portland. I cannot explain the connection I feel.

  • Since Socality I have noticed my creativity is more deeply rooted in the Creator - reflecting His heart, His beauty, His people.
  • Since Socality I have been so acutely aware of that fact that I am ALIVE - that the very breath in my lungs is an act of creative power and that the elation I feel when I drive the winding valley of Yosemite or hike the peaks of Washington mountains or feel the warm summer water wash over my feet in San Diego, I can feel every day.
  • Since Socality I have learnt that creativity is a natural overflow of intimacy with my Creator, who is constantly displaying Hi glory as I creatively tell His story in every day life.

Socality is doing what Jesus did - bringing people into community and doing life day by day with them. Through Socality I have built online communities into real life relationships that have changed my life. I am and always will be socality; part of a social community all for eternity.

-Athena Blanksby (@athenagracecoSydney, Australia

How do I even begin to share what happened during Socality Live San Diego week for me? My friend Gene and I signed up not really knowing what to expect at Socality Live. We tell our family and friends back at home that it felt like we went on a mission trip. It was so intense, humbling and rejuvenating all at the same time.

What I thought would be just another nicely organized conference about our crafts turned out to be an incredibly powerful retreat for my soul and spirit. I found myself repenting of so many things I held from God, experiencing new healing through testifying to others, praying endlessly and absorbing new meaning in the Scriptures, and being so filled with the Holy Spirit. 

Every single speaker, workshop, and praise & worship time was a joyous blessing to me. Every attendee I met was not only so kind but also echoed so many of the same struggles and dreams I also had. To connect in such a deeper level in just a short amount of time was incredible to me. To be next to so many passionate sisters and brothers lifting the name of Jesus in worship was an experience I never wanted to end. It was truly a taste of heaven. On top of that, what seemed like every hour, my friend Gene and I started testifying to each other what God was revealing in our hearts individually but realizing we were quickly finishing each other sentences, confirming what the Holy Spirit was doing to both of us!

I honestly think I learned a million things from attending Socality Live San Diego but what I really came back the most with was learning how to truly open up my heart to God and give Him my weaknesses as well as my dreams and trust Him with all of it. I’ve already witnessed so many of God’s blessings as I’ve returned home and have been sharing my experiences with my friends and family. Everyday has presented new opportunities for me to share my gifts and my faith with others boldly like never before and I feel God unveiled my eyes in a way that I can see better in what He is doing in my life. I am so thankful for the people behind Socality. It has literally changed my life!

-Laura Izumikawa (@lauraizLos Angeles, CA, USA

When I heard about Socality Live, I was feeling a bit lost in life. I wanted to pursue God harder, but felt disconnected. I didn’t know who I really was, or what I was supposed to be doing in life. I spent all my time trying to figure out what I should be doing or thinking about how life was not going how I planned. But I knew God was calling me to go to San Diego for the event. I decided to take that leap into the unknown and go. I instantly felt peace about the decision, which was not something I had felt about any decisions in a long time. I had been struggling with anxiety for the past year, but felt no panic about the thought of traveling to San Diego by myself.

When I arrived at the event that first evening, I immediately felt so welcomed and loved by this group of rad strangers. I knew I belonged there, and instantly felt like we were all family.

The worship sessions at the event were life changing. As we sang the lyrics “I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God,” I felt something change in me. After battling depression for years and anxiety recently, this simple sentence was the light at the end of the tunnel, and it brought me to tears. I am a daughter of the Almighty Creator, the most Loving Father, the Best Protector, Who will never abandon me or stop loving me. And because of that, I have no reason to fear. I don’t need to worry about the future. I don’t need to wonder who I am. I am a child of God. And that satisfies my soul.

-Rose Grubb (@roseg13Cut Bank, Montana, USA

The Pink House crew enjoying their time during the Beach Excursion on July 31, 2015. photo by @simply_loved

There was a lack a community in my life. I used Instragram as a platform to see what others were posting. I was not apart of a family or community and not knowing how to connect with others. I was using Instagram just to be with the crowd. Once I came across Socality on Instagram, I started to scroll through and followed others off the Socality feed. Not knowing what Socality was, I saw that a conference was going to be held. I took the risk bought a ticket. By that time, I was following a few people on Instagram who are apart of the Socality community and went to a instameet . I also got to meet a few people and become friends long before the conference.

After the conference, I felt a sense of purpose and apart of a family. A sense of His presence to push me out of my comfort zone and found a new passion that I am acually good at. I was actually going to give my ticket to someone the day before and switch my airline ticket back to the east coast because I was so out of my comfort zone. While at the conference, it was amazing to see everyone's heart glowing for God's glory. To see everyone's passion in some art form (photography, writing, singing, etc). My heart was opened up to the new experiences and knowing that I am apart of a family that loves Jesus. To have a family that has a passion and also brothers and sisters in Christ. I didn't feel out of place, but felt loved beyond what words can describe. Socality Live was more than a conference, but a blessing to see everyone's story come together for a common purpose. I was beyond moved and at one point brought to tears to see that I am a part of a bigger family.

-Ranjan Ghate (@ranjanghatePrinceton, NJ, USA

To see more photos visit #SocalityLiveSD

To see more photos visit #SocalityLiveSD

My heart is happy and has become bigger with all the people, places, and memories that now reside there from Socality Live San Diego.

This was my second Socality conference to attend! Although the location was different, the heart and authentic community remained the same. One of my favorite parts about Socality is the genuine relationships that are made; old friendships are strengthened and new friendships are formed.

When a group of creatives join together under the common cause of Jesus and making His name known - great things happen! I knew the Lord was up to something but I didn't know all that He had in store for me! His presence was so thick during worship and throughout the days of the conference! During those times I felt the Lord breathed new life into old dreams He has given me.

Excited to be saying yes to new adventures and thankful to be apart of and have the support of such a wonderful community!

-Abigail Gallagher (@abi_gallagher) Baton Rouge, LA, USA

When I came to Socality. It was at a cross road in my life. I wanted to quit. I wanted to give up. I realized that I was not alone with the endeavor of church unity. I met communities which became families. We built bonds like no other. I realized my in my calling to launch @SyncedCulture a couple years ago was not just a crazy idea but part of a greater plan. God's plan. We are one. I belong. I am a movement.

-Leo Garcia (@Don.LeoGarcia) San Diego, CA, USA

It's hard as a creative sometimes; you don't feel as though you're doing life alongside people, shoulder to shoulder. It can be really isolating. And now I don't feel isolated anymore, now that I have all these new friends and peers and creatives around me! I think the thing that stuck with me the most was the fact that authentic community doesn't just happen; it's something that's worked on from all sides, and you get out of it what you put in. I realized that God calling me to community doesn't mean I just sit and wait for it, but rather I go out and chase it. I must love fiercely if I want to experience the same. What an incredible thing to be reminded of in the midst of an opportunity for so many new, awesome relationships.

Loren Burgess (@loreneburgess) San Diego, CA, USA

Night one of Socality Live San Diego we spontaneously sang happy birthday to three attendees on July 29, 2015.

I came to Socality Live SD as a birthday gift to myself. Wednesday night kick-off was my birthday and I won the first giveaway Scott was giving out. As he handed me the Hipture Frame, I told him it was my birthday to which he spontaneously called me up on stage, together with the sound man and another lady and everyone sang happy birthday to us. (See photo above) That one experience set the tone and broke the ice for my whole Socality experience. Everywhere I went, everyone remembered me and my name. That was an answer to prayer because I'm somewhat reserved and It was so out of my comfort zone to come to Socality. But I am new to San Diego and don't have any community, had been feeling so alone and had been praying for friends. God not only blessed me with a whole new extension of friends and family, He opened my eyes through the teachings we sat under, the leaders we met and HE validated the art that I've been trying to do. I'm so grateful for the time spent with so many individuals that stopped for a moment and connected with me. I especially want to send a shout out to @technopaul, you kept saying my name every time I would run into him... he really made a difference for me at Socality. He really is a people connector. Thanks a ton Paul!

I hope to be at the very next Socality. I really hope to meet friends of old and make a bunch of new ones too. Thank you Scott and team Socality!

-Helen Masvikeni-Masango (@helenmasangoSan Diego, CA, USA / Harare, Zimbabwe

I've always been a lone ranger, through most of my life always doing things on my own. Not because I was depressed or isolated, but because they were few people that I can truly relate and felt aligned with. Funny how things come about.

I've followed and seen what Socality has been doing for a few months now, always intrigued by the simple fact of there statement : Social community for eternity. For believers in Christ, we will have relationships when crossing in eternity, so why not make a few now? I saw the post for Socality Live SD and was lead to register for the one day exhibition, Saturday comes and a gnarly story is only to remember with relationships I hope to grow.

It's incredible how divine those appointments were for those who I met on this one day journey to San Diego. Leaving that night before Switchfoot got off stage, I was blessed tremendously with like minded people from all over the country who I had no idea were there. My reality was opened to the simple fact that there are other creatives out who are on the same mission for Christ and in eternity we have in common.

-Isaac Martinez (@iaguemarWest Covina, CA, USA

Before my Socality experience, I felt like my world was crashing down on me. Even though I felt the Holy Spirit carry me through all my struggles, I didn't feel any confidence as a child of God and I felt like I was not making a difference. When I came to Socality, I instantly felt a sense that I belonged. My character was not hidden behind someone who God did not create me to be. I threw my authenticity into my conversations, on stage and even at the after party dance-floor. I was specifically encouraged at the way people spoke into my life this week. The simplest "You're awesome" was said to me over and over and that motivates me to keep doing what I do best. That affirmation is fuel for letting Jesus work in my life to make a difference in the lives of youth and young adults. I have an incredible community and I hope to take what I've learned and apply it here in my life as a missionary. Thank you Socality

-Jordan Reitsma (@weitsmaCalgary, Alberta, Canada

I truly believe attending Socality Live was a life investment. One of my biggest struggles, is that I am often the one trying to make everyone feel included at home, and I try really hard to build a community here in Sacramento, but it's often not returned or it's really hard to carry out, and I end up feeling lonely and take it personal. At Socality Live, I learned a lot about building community, and what a real community looks like. One of the best tips I heard this week, was from Faith, who said show up and be consistent. If you continue to do what you say you are, people will eventually see that. And it's true, I often struggle with consistency because I get discouraged when I try to produce something and no one responds. My passion has always been building community, and making people feel included, so hearing tips from people who are doing such a good job at that already was really inspiring. I was also reminded this week that, Socality is my home. I often am overcome with a feeling of loneliness, But I forget of all the friends and family I've met since I joined this community a year ago. Spending time in San Diego with them, just reminded me that I am apart of something. That there is a group of people who are all trying to reach the same goal, and who have similar passions. I'm so blessed that Socality exists, and that I am apart of it. I'm super excited to take everything I learned at Socality, and bring it back to Sacramento.

-Dinelia Noel (@dinelianoelSacramento, CA, USA



All divider photo from Rachel Hicks @rachel.meagan.

To see more photos visit #SocalityLiveSD