Groucho Marx – Right on Q?

kinnon —  February 3, 2007 — 2 Comments

Warning: This is a Voice of the Inner Curmudgeon (VIC) post – that was updated later on Saturday evening.

I’m a fan of the TED conference – having linked to it a couple of times. TED – Technology, Entertainment, Design – brings together some of the worlds finest thought leaders from all disciplines. After watching a number of the TED Talks from last year’s conference, I commented to Imbi that “wouldn’t it be great to do something similar with a more intentionally Christian focus.” ‘Twould seem others had a similar thought.

Q is a conference from some of the folks behind Catalyst – rather obviously patterned after TED – although TED is open to anyone who can pay the cost to be there, and was able to get in on the registration (it’s sold out for 2007 – registration for ’08 opens shortly).

Q is a private gathering (VIC: If it’s private, why have a website?) for leaders in the church to become informed and exposed to future-culture. It is a space where select leaders (VIC: Oooh, pick me, pick me) can create, dialogue, collaborate, innovate, serve and ideate (VIC: I’ve never ideated before, is it painful?) around the important topics shaping the church’s future role in culture. In an intense, fifty-hour experience (VIC: Golly, it’s beginning to sound like a Forum Training session – will there be bathroom breaks?) designed to unveil the cultural context in which the Gospel must go forward, Q will expose participants to over twenty presenters on myriad topics. Church leaders will be inundated with information, perspective and expert thoughts that will drive conversation with their peers about the ramifications for the church. (VIC: Wowee, Christianity may never be the same. Or perhaps the writer’s hyperbole filter was broken.)

To be one of Q’s “select leaders”, you need to submit an application.

…we look for several things when reviewing new applications: first, a desire to be informed and exposed to future-culture; second, the potential and hope for influence that will shape the church today and in the future; third, an eagerness to learn and gain knowledge from others with differing worldviews who share the same desire to shape our generation and culture.

Perhaps its just the Voice of my Inner Curmudgeon at work, but if you want to create a private conference then take the time to investigate who might benefit from it and invite them…privately.

And does it really need to be held in the* “premiere venue in Atlanta.” “Location is everything” is such utter nonsense. Especially with the number of state of the art, barely religious, worship spaces in Atlanta that are probably sitting empty over the three days of the conference – unless, of course, a large part of the message is how cool you are.

Groucho-QThere do appear to be some interesting speakers at Q, including the latest Christian king of kewl, Rob Bell. And I would love to hear Kevin Kelly (who I quote at length in A Networked Conspiracy) but I’m afraid I won’t be applying. Perhaps I’m a little too much like Groucho Marx who is reported to have said, “I don’t care to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.”

Besides, I doubt I’m cool enough to be offered a place. (Memories of high school, anyone.)

Note: Groucho Q mashup is based on this design by Biratan – with the cigar “borrowed” from his cartoon.

*BTW, the Q site is a “totally awesome” Flash design – which means no inner links work. (I feel a Napolean Dynamite epithet comin’ on. Gotta run.)

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

2 responses to Groucho Marx – Right on Q?

  1. If I was to invest $1000 plus to attend a private event, what I want is individual time with the speakers. I’m not looking for presentations. I’m looking for interaction. Put the presentations online for everyone to see and talk about within their own social network, and then create open space opportunities at the conference where the participants can create projects that are future oriented. The whole thing reeks of self-importance, which is one of the blindspots of the kewl school of Christianity. I don’t think it is because I’m too old to be kewl, but that this is nothing new. It isn’t cutting edge or innovative or even future oriented. It is merely the triumph of marketing over clear thinking. If it were about the future, then we’d see Africans, Indians and Chinese talking about what is happening there? What happens here will be determined, and already is, but what happens overseas. They are the future. Besides, why listen to these people from the cultural elite whose industries are in decline. CNN and hip-hop have nothing to tell us now. They have bought into the past culture of politics and money. They aren’t the future. The future is the 7 year old kid who is composing new music on his computer in his bedroom. Or the preteen girls in Iowa who created a house shaped carabiner to sell to raise money for Habitat house on the Gulf coast. They are people who do things withou seeking fame. They are people who are influential in the lives of others, but would never consider showing up for this sort of thing. The future is in relationships, not presentations. As I always say, people want experiences that are personally meaningful and socially fulfilling. This doesn’t seem to meet either in a long-term sustainable way.


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  1. the view from her - February 7, 2007

    what’s the q?

    I frequently discuss Christians and the Church in relationship to current culture, so I’m really excited to be attending the Q Conference, coming in April in Atlanta. The concept behind Q is “…a gathering for leaders in the church to become informed and e

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