I’m getting really pumped for Open Seattle next week. If you live in the Pacific Northwest we’d love to have you. Yesterday, we extended the regular registration deadline until next Monday– so you can still get in for $25!
What’s Open Seattle?
Open is an experiment. It’s asking the the youth ministry world the question… “What would happen if we completely flipped the script on a youth ministry training event?”
- What if a national organization gave leadership to local organizers?
- What if front-line youth workers were favored in speaker selection over those on the speaking circuit?
- What if we took chances instead of playing it safe on the stuff we present?
- What if The Youth Cartel didn’t have to fly its name out front, but instead lifted up the names of its partners?
- What if none of the speakers got paid? What if I didn’t have to get paid to help organize it… I just did it for a fair share?
- Speaking of money, what if a local YM charity was benefited financially?
- Heck, what if we just posted the full event budget online for anyone to see?
- Why not record everything and then share all the sessions with the community on a central website… so no matter where you live you can have access to training resources and the freshest ideas out there on the ground?
- What if we perfected the thing and just kind of open-sourced THE WHOLE THING so we can help people who have been to one organize one themselves?
My hope for the answer to all of those questions is… I think that the best ideas will be given a voice. My hope is that when front-line youth workers get an opportunity to share what they know and even their big, crazy ideas with a group of people just like them… that it’ll spur on more ideas and spark new innovations with the net result that we’ll reach more teenagers with the Good News.
So yes, it’s an experimental thing. Originally there was a lot of risk. It was really hard to explain the overall concept to the first few partners– Jeff at SPU, Brian Aaby at YouthMark, Mark Moder at Youth Dynamics. But as we kept talking about it this idea really took off. They made the idea even better.
At this point in preparation– I’m not feeling this is as big a risk anymore. Actually, when I look at the people who are presenting and the folks who are coming I don’t see a lot of risk. Now I just see an awesome, affordable, innovative event.
We’ve got two tracks of learning. One is training, it’s full of great stuff as a refresher for the paid person and covering a lot of bases for your volunteers. The second track is all about ideas. It’s got some stuff in there that’ll cause you to scratch your head or write stuff down or just plain want to wrestle the speaker at the after party.
For $25 You Get
- 16 sessions
- A free t-shirt
- The ability to say you were at the very first one of these. (We’ve got two more planned for this school year, one in Boston and one in Paris.)
In 2013-2014 we hope to add 6 more of these as we beta test the concept… 4 more in the United States, 1 more in Europe, and 1 Lord willing, in Canada.
I hope to see you next weekend on the campus of Seattle Pacific University. And if you can’t make it there, I hope to see you at an Open event soon.