[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/28/whitehouse.entrepreneurs.jpg caption ="Young entrepreneurs meeting at the White House."]Washington (CNN) – Senior White House officials huddled Tuesday with a group of tech-savvy, hyper-connected "Generation Y" and "millennial" leaders, CNN has learned.
The day-long meeting was with 70 young entrepreneurs, entertainers, philanthropists and local leaders between the ages of 18 and 35.
"It's all about networks," said attendee Mike Del Ponte, the Founder & CEO of Sparkseed which funds college students who have ideas for start-ups intended to improve society. "Legislation can take years, but the next-gen leaders who met at the White House can move mountains with a quick phone call, or even a tweet."
The White House wanted to help foster partnerships amongst the young leaders and gain more traction for White House public-private partnerships and initiatives such as Let's Move, Educate to Innovate, and the Recovery Act. Senior administration officials met with the young leaders from organizations big and small such as Sparkseed, Facebook, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Rockefeller Foundation.
It was the first time the White House has brought together such a cross section of young leaders whose influence is not normally courted by government officials in this way.
The White House hopes that those who participated left Washington ready to work together within their communities to promote the three partnerships. Already, individual participants have planned follow-on conferences in their states to galvanize support, build momentum, and address local challenges, according to White House policy adviser Howard Buffett, who works for President Obama's Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation.
"The Administration recognizes that the success of its priorities relies on the government's ability to partner with individuals from across the country," said Buffett, who organized the meeting along with his colleague Matt Tranchin of the White House Office of Public Engagement.
"Our future rests in the hands of this nation's next generation of leaders, and their ability to successfully empower communities to create, elevate, and sustain community solutions," Buffett said.
He added, "The message to participants was simple: the energy, ingenuity, and assets of the next generation can catalyze the innovation required to develop new solutions to old problems, and the White House is here to inspire and empower."
Follow Eric Kuhn on Twitter @KuhnCNN