supportinga famous artist and their social impact initiative

University of Hartford, Pandora, and Real Industry support students in preparing for careers in industry.


The 2018 Pandora Challenge: Music & Social Impact program educates and empowers hundreds of university students.  Students work on a key social impact issue, through the lens of music, music business, and fan engagement. Over 4 weeks, students will launch their own Hosted Programs on Pandora, driving audience traffic and calls to action to benefit a famous artist's foundation or social impact issue. Hosted Programs allow anyone to become a curator on Pandora and share their stories through Pandora’s catalog of music and artist voice messages.  Students work in teams to design, launch, engage, optimize, and drive traffic to their Hosted Program across traditional and social media, learning best practices for digital marketing and fan engagement.   


We kick-off our University of Hartford Pandora Challenge in late September 2018, with a 3 hour campus-wide event (6-9PM), attracting over 100 university students. The event will introduce the artist's social cause and and provide some instruction in how to apply principles of fan engagement, marketing, and curation towards driving a successful call to action. 

For 4-6 weeks following the kick-off, students will work in teams to create, promote, and launch playlists that can include artist audio messages, songs of the students choosing, audio messages and interviews uploaded by students, and drive  calls to action.  

Students will launch their playlists on Pandora - with teams striving to create the playlists with the greatest engagement and highest calls to actions for the artist social cause. Students will be mentored and receive consultation from music business and digital marketing mentors. Students gain invaluable career experience, work on a key real-world social impact initiative, and meaningfully engage with an artist and their cause.  Winning teams receive experiential prizes, including a day with Pandora's executive team, internships, and guaranteed job interviews within the music industry. 


Student learning outcomes:

  • How to apply Design Thinking principles to solve social problems: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test

  • How to apply principles of marketing, branding, and community building necessary for success as in a professional artistic, industry, and entrepreneurial career

  • How to review, analyze, and act upon customer analytics, audience and fan engagement data, and artist demographics

  • An understanding of principles of fanbase engagement

  • An understanding of Theory of Change, to be applied for nonprofit and impact

  • A rich network of music industry connections, to jumpstart their career

We understand that a one-day workshop or a 4-6 week design challenge will not equip a student with all of the information that they require to become a successful professional. However, it might illuminate a path that will define their career and life. It could show them what possibilities exist, and put them in contact with the people that can help realize them. It could reveal their strengths and weaknesses, which could subsequently address through directed academic coursework and social engagement. We believe that these kinds of experiences will produce students that are better informed and more directed towards specific goals. When students graduate, they will transition more smoothly within and contribute more to the institutions that they join. Students often do not know what they want to do because they do not know what is out there. Our model addresses this significant problem in a way that is flexible and requires relatively little commitment from participants, thus it is able to reach a broader group of people.


In 2017, we served 1,200 students in partnership with Common, Jack Antonoff, Tegan and Sara, Manchester Orchestra, and BloodPop®!
(Billboard, Variety,  

In 2017, Real Industry and Pandora empowered the next generation of media, music, and business leaders on a US campus tour. Over 1,200 students worked with major artists (Tegan and Sara, Common, Jack Antonoff, Manchester Orchestra, and BloodPop®) to support the artist’s Foundations (The Ally Coalition, Tegan and Sara Foundation, Common Ground Foundation, Make Yourself Foundation, 1 Million 4 Anna, Made of Music).

Stanford students applied their business, music, and digital marketing knowledge to launch a successful advocacy and social impact campaign. Students were joined by executives from Pandora, Warner Bros Records, and the Tegan and Sara Foundation in designing national music marketing campaigns.


Gabe Herman (The Hartt School-University of Hartford) and Jay LeBoeuf (Real Industry, Stanford University) will collaborate to design and secure the event. Real Industry and Pandora will secure the guest artist and foundation. 

here are some of the universities that support our programs...