In offices, homes, libraries and other locations, thousands of Quad Citizens will come together in small groups on April 20 -21 to discuss how to collaboratively build and maintain a connected, inclusive and stronger community.
This 48-hour initiative of the Q2030 Regional Action Plan called the Quad Cities Big Table is designed to elevate civic conversations, foster new relationships and inspire collaborative action. The Quad Cities Big Table is a community engagement initiative supported by the Q2030 Steering Committee and various businesses and non-profit organizations.
“We’ve learned a lot through our work on Q2030 about the good things already happening at a grassroots level in our region. The Quad Cities Big Table will bring Quad Citizens together in a connected, organic way to discuss what matters most to them – and the ways to individually or collectively make our communities stronger and better,” said Rene Gellerman, Q2030’s Loaned Executive. “Its focus on local problem-solving and knowledge-building will boost efforts already underway and help more Quad Citizens affect positive change.”
The goal of the Quad Cities Big Table is to create more dialogue and relationships by convening community-wide conversations. Organizers anticipate that 5,000 people of all ages, from all walks of life and from throughout the region, will participate in more than 500, one hour, small group conversations on either April 20 or 21 – with even more people connected to the conversations through social media using the #QCBigTable.
Tables will be organized and guided by table hosts who will receive training and a tool kit in advance of the community-wide event. The topics, issues and ideas discussed during each of the gatherings will be driven by the interests and perspectives of the participants, and the opportunities and challenges that are most important to them.
“Anyone can be a table host or participate,” says Gellerman. “We’ve created resources to make it simple.”
The location and time on April 20 or 21 is up to the participant’s discretion. The hosts can fill their table by inviting friends and acquaintances or leave their public table open for other community members to join. There is no cost to participate. Signing up is easy on the QuadCitiesBigTable.com website.
The Quad Cities Big Table is modeled after Columbus Community Foundation’s Big Table which seeks to accomplish much of the same thing.
“This is more than an ‘event’, it’s a shift in thinking and the engaging of all of our communities in shaping the future of our region,” said Kent Pilcher, Tri-Chair of Q2030 and President, Estes Construction. “While the Q2030 Steering Committee is proud to bring this initiative to our region, the Quad Big Table belongs to the people who participate. In a very real sense, the Quad Cities future is dependent on the individuals who make up our communities and organizations and their efforts that will make our region more inclusive, stronger and dynamic.”
Following the events on April 20-21, the participants will receive a brief email survey. It will ask about people’s experience with the project, the topics their group discussed and the extent to which this experience may impact their future level of civic engagement. Q2030 and its partners will publicly share these outcomes, including trends, common themes and new collaborations developed to advance some of the ideas and solutions generated. Quad Cities’ area residents will be able to view the results, learn more about issues affecting our region, and become more engaged and active in shaping our community’s future.
Learn more and get involved - visit quadcitiesbigtable.com.
About Q2030 Regional Action Plan: As the Quad Cities’ only shared vision endorsed by more than 240 business, non-profit, academic, government and trades organizations, Q2030 aims to bring residents, practitioners, non-profit, academic, business and community leaders together to collaborate on making decisions and drive strategies that create cool places, creative people, a connected region and prosperous economy. The goal of Q2030 is to grow talent jobs, investments and economic opportunity for all who call the Quad Cities home. www.Q2030.org.
The Quad Cities Big Table is an integral project in Q2030’s effort to build community engagement and empower shared ownership. In inviting everyone to join in the conversation, Q2030 seeks to leverage collective knowledge and resources that inspire action and create lasting and meaningful change in lives and our region. www.quadcitiesbigtable.com.
Initial supporting partners include: Quad Cities Chamber, Estes Construction, IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union, IMEG Corp., Heritage Networks, dPhilms, Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, Get Me Registered, Global Communities, Dispatch / Argus, Fox 18, Hola America, KWQC, Mediacom, Quad City Times, Townsquare, United Way of the Quad Cities, WQAD, WHBF, WQPT, WVIK, Numad Group, Wagshal, OneStep.
Location partners include: Bettendorf, Davenport, Moline, East Moline Libraries, Bettendorf Family Museum, Davenport YMCA, Doris & Victor Day Foundation, Figge Art Museum, German American Heritage Center, Heritage Networks, Global Communities, Jumer’s Casino & Hotel, Martin Luther King Center, Rhythm City Casino, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 25, Quad Cities Botanical Center, Riverbend Foodbank, Scott Community College (EICC), TaxSlayer Center, Western Illinois University,