By E. Brown
Questions create dialogue and fuel creativity. This is the essence behind Q. In the spirit of Socratic learning and the European education system, enjoy an environment where honest questions can be asked, debated, and discussed. We desire that you draw conclusions and discover answers based upon your theology, experience, cultural context, dialogue, and learning. And by all means, ask a question.
This was the copy that appeared on the inside of the Q conference program.
Simply named “Q”, this was the inaugural event, hosted in Atlanta, Georgia, that drew thinkers, futurists, creatives, musicians, theologians, entrepreneurs, media personalities, political activists, educators, and technologists from around the U.S. and the world. The goal of the conference was to start an ongoing dialog and expose idea makers to such questions as:
– What will Culture look like in the next 50-100 years?
– What will the Arts look like in the next 50-100 years?
– What will the Church, Technology, News and Media, and the World look like in the next 50-100 years?
The event lasted three days in downtown Atlanta. Hosted for Days 1 & 2 at The Tabernacle (formerly The House of Blues) and concluding on the the third day at the historic Fox Theatre, the event was an instant hit amongst invitees. Part of Day 2 included a series of field trips that sent half of the 500+ attendees to the CNN Studios, while the other half visited the High Museum of Art to tour the Louvre Exhibit.
To stimulate the crowd and give credence to its name, the daily speakers were asked to keep their content within an 18 minute time frame — causing them to boil down their talks to “meaty” richness and leave out any time consuming “fat.” At times the audience entered into the dialogue but Q&A times were specifically reserved for TalkBack sessions that occurred once every day where one could sit with a specific speaker in order to drill down on any concepts, thoughts, questions, or revelations they had.
Some of the speakers included:
Kevin Kelly, Editor-at-large, WIRED Magazine,
Catherine Rohr, Founder, Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP),
Rick McKinley, Founding pastor, Imago Dei Community,
Jeff Johnson, Producer, BET,
Blake Mycoskie, Founder, TOMS Shoes,
Jon Foreman, Lead singer, Switchfoot,
Majora Carter, Founder, Sustainable South Bronx,
Susan Grant, EVP, CNN,
Q plans on becoming an annual event. Cities slated for the years ahead are Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Seattle to name a few. At this time, my understanding is that these events are attended by invitation only.
For me, Q was unique and inspirational. It was unique in the that the entire conference was an ongoing dialogue. Unlike other conferences I have been to, where you are given tools and material to take and apply, Q was more open-ended. Certainly, tools and material were provided but not so much as an end, as much as they were for exposure and reflection. For instance, volunteers passed out “question cards” between sessions, designed to create conversation during breaks, while at lunch or dinner, or to encourage introspection — to wrestle with forms of personal application (of which this blog is highly oriented).
The event was inspirational in that it exposed me to a variety of ideas, organizations, and people that had passion and creativity about reaching out and changing culture and the world. The caliber and quality of attendees, inspired innovation, energy, and excellence.
I look forward to continuing the dialogue, getting to know others on the journey, and seeing how and being a part of the catalyst that Q will become.