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Poll: Do Idea Conferences Matter?

Mayor Rawlings welcomes visitors from 51 counties to the New Cities Summit last Tuesday.
Mayor Rawlings welcomes visitors from 51 counties to the New Cities Summit on Tuesday.
Last week Dallas played host to the New Cities Summit, a two-day event during which 800 people from 51 countries converged on the downtown arts district for a series of discussions about the future transformation of our urban environments. Here’s Krista’s take on it.

The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture and the Dallas Morning News the other day announced that they’ll host “For the City: The Dallas Festival of Ideas” next February. The stated goal of of the event is to “ignite a passion for our city, to energize our citizens through an exchange of ideas, and to create the opportunity for change by shaping the future of Dallas from within.”

In recent years these sort of short-form intellectual pursuits have seemingly grown in popularity. I’m thinking here also to the many conferences operating under the TED brand — 10-minute mini-lectures on a wide range of topics — including TEDxSMU.

Do events like these have a lasting impact, or are they merely a form of mental masturbation for the educated classes of developed societies?

  • thufir_hawat

    “Do events like these have a lasting impact, or are they merely a form of mental masturbation for the educated classes of developed societies?” If you have to ask . . .

    Also, don’t discount the public sector’s affinity for free travel, free food, and open bar. Yes, someone has to pay for it; I would venture so say we all do.

  • Robert Drubo

    Once again, “D Magazine” is undercutting its supposed vested interest in supporting Dallas’ cultural renaissance by resorting to trite hipster speak, i.e. “mental masturbation.” Really? Is this how “D” serves its audience? I would venture to guess that whatever 20 year old journalism student who pushed this naysayer street-talk out in a groggy slump is about as invested in Dallas’ future as Rick Perry is invested in Texas’ education system. Just sayin’. –a tried and true Dallas citizen

  • UpTn DallasSocial

    No such thing as bad publicity. J. R. Would be proud.

  • Anonymous

    Dallas needs as much mental masturbation as it can possibly get. Some of our leaders need to be ejaculated.