Every year at this time, when another member drive rolls around, I’m asked to share insight on our in-person speaking events. My role at Strong Towns, just like that of my colleagues, is to do what I can to facilitate our movement, bring together a group of people who care, and inspire them to action to strengthen their communities. I do that within the niche of events. I am our Event Pathfinder… the lucky person who responds to your inquiries about having us come to your community, and ultimately guides our event hosts through the process of lining up a spot on the Strong Towns speaking schedule.
Part of the process of booking an in-person event is having a phone call with me so I can listen to your stories and help identify the needs of your area. Then, we walk through putting together an experience that can address all of those needs in an efficient and engaging way. This is my favorite part about this job. I love hearing what people have to say… even when the majority of the time they’re saying that they need help.
The excitement of a growing movement is the constantly growing range of people we get to hear from. Sometimes the caller is someone who doesn’t know a lot about Strong Towns, but they heard about us from a friend who saw Chuck speak at a conference… so now they want to know more. And other times the caller is someone who cares deeply about their community and as a result, are deeply invested in the Strong Towns message. They know about the movement we’re trying to build, they regularly read and listen to our materials, and they’re trying to share that message with their city council members, neighbors, and business leaders.
Activism on this level is challenging. I often hear people say they feel like they’re the only one in their community with a Strong Towns mindset. They’re trying to educate people, and maybe they have a few folks they’ve persuaded to read an article here or there, but they really need some sort of catalyst, something to happen that will drive home these ideas.
In-person speaking events do just that: a Strong Towns event can jump-start the spread of our important message in your community. Our presentations convey the urgency of our message of local financial strength and resilience, bringing the core insights of the Strong Towns movement to life in an engaging and interactive format.
And when you pair that with a private meeting with your local Mayor or city staff, the results can be world-changing. I’ve lost count of the number of local officials who have told us that sitting down and discussing their city’s challenges with our team has revolutionized the way they see their work. In-person speaking events further validate all that hard work that we know local advocates are doing.
Change has to occur from the bottom up. It has to reflect the unique challenges of a unique place, and the hard work of local advocates who are committed to making that place stronger. What our events can do, though, is to share the Strong Towns message and soften the ground for those advocates to seed a better conversation.
And it’s working, at least according to the feedback we get. Here’s just a sampling of what people have to say…
The Real Game-Changer: The Strong America Tour
This October, Chuck Marohn’s first full-length book will be published. Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity hits shelves October 1st. (And did we mention if you become a member today at the $10/month level or more, you get a free signed, personalized copy?)
And to celebrate the milestone this book represents for our movement and vision, we are hitting the road on a Strong America Tour.
This is no ordinary book tour. The Strong America Tour is going to disseminate the Strong Towns message on a much more massive level. We are heading to nine key regions around the country, where we’ll spend around 4 days in each region doing a combination of book signing and speaking events. We’ll be debuting brand new presentations, with content customized to local challenges and stories. We’re bringing not just the Strong Towns message, but Chuck Marohn himself, to the masses on a level that we’ve never attempted before.
The quotes above represent 5 individual events that took place over a 5 week span of time. But with the Strong America Tour, we’ll be scheduling approximately 6-8 speaking events within one week… and then repeating that 9 times. The amount of exposure this tour is going to bring really blows my mind.
It’ll be hard work, but we’re ready for this. There are so many communities who are ready to hear this message. We’ve already received over 180 responses from people requesting their town be considered for a stop on the Strong America Tour. We’re wading through them and plotting things out. I couldn’t be more excited.
This is going to be our biggest year yet. We’re on the brink of something really incredible. We hope you’re on board with the most important change movement in America today. Please take a moment to support the work we do by becoming a member and donating what you can.