Our Story

On November 12th, 2004 more than 630 young professionals, artists, entrepreneurs and community members for the first 40 Below young professionals summit in Syracuse, NY. From 2004-2011, 40 Below hosted five regional annual summits and one statewide “We Live NY” summit.

The original 3 task forces were:

  • Public Arts Task Force
  • Civic Engagement Task Force
  • “It’s All Here” Task Force.

Adapt CNY was born from 40 Below’s work to revitalize the Wilson Building. This became a component of the Pike Block Project.

In 2011, 40 Below reorganized the vision and goals of the organization: Deliverables included the Coworking Task Force, and 40 Below Monthly Events series (alternating between speaker series events and speed networking events at local bars and restaurants), with the 40 BeLOW OUT New Year’s Eve Party as the primary fundraising event each year 2011-2015.

Public Arts Task Force has been a very active group throughout 40 Below History, with initiatives such as

Civic Engagement Task Force has evolved over the years with a variety of initiatives. Originally, CETF focused on connecting 40 Below members with nonprofit board memberships and volunteer opportunities. From 2011-2013 the task force ran the “Future 40 Belowers” job shadowing program to introduce local high school students to careers of 40 Below young professionals

In 2014, 40 Below added the Transit and Career Connect task forces and consolidated the “It’s All Here” Task Force into the Events Committee (now the Marketing Task Force. The Career Connect task force was later consolidated into the Marketing Task Force as well.

The Coworking Task Force developed into Syracuse Coworks. After several years incubating in the Syracuse Tech Garden, Syracuse Coworks grew into a separate nonprofit and a much larger space. 

From 2004-2017, 40 Below was an affiliate of CenterstateCEO. In 2017, 40 Below merged with the Adapt CNY board and transitioned into a separate nonprofit organization. On December 26, 2017 at the annual Come Home to Syracuse event, 40 Below launched the campaign to transition to the name Adapt CNY and familiarize 40 Below members with the new name and identity.