Our 2020 Summit Theme: “Dadfluence” Is Better Than Influence

Doug French2020 Dad 2.0 Summit, Announcements, Fatherhood on Friday, Sponsor

When we started Dad 2.0 in 2011, one of our core discussion topics was the need to overhaul how fathers were portrayed onscreen. And it wasn’t just because we wanted to save the world from bad television; since broadcast media reached the biggest audience, focusing our energy there provided the best opportunity to shift perceptions and show fathers as complex and capable parents.

Since then, thanks to the ubiquity of visual platforms like YouTube and Instagram, life and art have been very busy imitating each other. And not only are those doofus dad tropes all but gone, they’ve been supplanted by the examples of fatherhood and masculinity that we want our kids to see and accept as normal.

The kids, however, are only a small portion of the appreciative audience, because some of the most viral content online showcases dads finding joy in the normal things parents do. And it’s because of the tremendous appetite for these stories that the simple image of a dad lap-diapering his kid in the men’s room can evolve into the Squat For Change phenomenon.

This is the subtle yet vital power of how “dadfluence” transcends influence, because being a visible father means more than just marketing products to consumers. It also markets fatherhood to men.

And that marketing is working, because for the first time more than half of men surveyed see fatherhood as central to their identity. We want more than ever to be active in our kids’ lives, and every day we see zillions of #dadlife photos that encourage us to act on that desire.

Whether you work actively with brands, or post a lot to your non-monetized Instagram feed, or just walk down the street chatting with your daughter on your shoulders, you’re having an influence. Your example is visible, and every time it replicates outward, it makes nine years of progress all the more palpable.

We’re all establishing the New Normal, and we’re not going back.


It’s been a big week on the Sponsor front!

  • We announced Dove Men+Care, the only Sponsor who has been with us since the very beginning, as our first-ever Premier Sponsor, and they’ll be in DC to discuss their expanding role in mobilizing Advocates For Paternity Leave.
  • Presenting Sponsor GSK is returning to include dads in very important conversations about the vaccines our older children need to help protect against meningitis.
  • Supporting Sponsor LEGOLAND is back with great news about its Florida and New York resorts, and newcomer Caulipower knows that once you try their delicious food samples, you’ll be a fan.
  • Our friends Responsibilty.org will return to continue the discussions about families and alcohol, and Bark is expanding its mission to keep our kids safe, both online and off.

Believe it or not, there’s still a lot to come! Stay tuned for more news on our next podcast episode (coming out Monday) and our traditional Monday night #dad2summit Twitter party, which formally kicks off Dad 2.0 Summit Week!


More on the paid leave debate: “In heterosexual couplings, if their wives need to take unpaid leave to physically recover from giving birth, men need to be highly compensated or ‘the financial hardship is really pronounced‘.”

Millennial dads are prepared to take drastic action to balance work and family. A third of dads surveyed had changed jobs since becoming a dad, and another third were actively looking.

An amazing coincidence for a NICU nurse from New Jersey, who treated a prematurely born boy and realized she’d also treated his father 34 years earlier.

Like most professional athletes, these Dallas Mavericks struggle with time away from their kids. “You get used to waking up to her and hearing her voice every day. Then you’re off on the road for a while.”

Check out this modern-day “Life Is Beautiful” scenario, when a Syrian dad hopes to save his daughter from the stress of nearby bomb blasts.

As David Eagleman told us in his closing keynote back in 2013, several studies reveal a man’s brain undergoes several changes in the first weeks of fatherhood.

Pro tip: If you ever wonder when your kids will stop thinking you’re cool, it’s already happened.

The Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk was interviewed by his dad Louis before a game in Edmonton. They gave each other a little business and ended with “Thanks, Dad. I love you.

For Robert Thomas, watching his three sons become firefighters with him makes perfect sense. “Being in the FDNY is truly a family experience, anyway.”


“Imagine if that same project was asked of you and instead of feeling defeated, you decide to be real honest with yourself about your abilities and ask for help. Suddenly that task becomes feasible and you’re no longer alone.” — The Dad Crew, Things I Didn’t Know I Needed as a Dad: Vulnerability

“I didn’t need his advice to save my life; the job he so smugly looked down on already did that.” — Robert Flippo, Bad Job, Dad Job

“Probably once a month in his toddler years, we were taking him in to get his elbow popped in, and I felt like total garbage.” — Clint Edwards to Art Eddy, Art of Conversation podcast

“By being exposed to diverse characters and stories, we teach our children, and ourselves, empathy, respect for others, and visibility to the many other cultures besides our own.” — Bryan Grossbauer, Mae Among the Stars

“No marriage can be a complete failure if it produces kids like you.” — Doug French, The Last Summer


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Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash