Why I go to the Q conference



Stay tuned for my updates from the Q conference!

Every year or two David and I drop everything to attend the Q conference. Q stands for Question. And it is, indeed, the questions raised while we are there that keep us coming back year after year.

The conference itself is set up something like a Ted talk, with rapid-fire presentations lasting 18 or 9 minutes. Each presentation relates to one channel of cultural connection (science, education, media, non-profit, church etc.). Some of the presentations make me want to find a rotten tomato and throw it at the person speaking. I have disagreed vehemently with many of the speakers (though rest assured, I’ve never thrown a tomato, rotten or otherwise. Yet.). Other speakers could be speaking my own thoughts out loud, and make me want to stand and cheer. Haven’t done that, either. Yet.

The tension between those two extremes — and the necessity of determining where I fall on the tomato/cheering spectrum — creates an environment of learning and growth which I haven’t found anywhere else. For two days my brain expands in the tension between polarities.

Over the past six years or so nearly every major initiative in David’s and my life together can be traced either directly or indirectly to Q. The people we have met have influenced us unimaginably. Old friendships have rekindled and led to new outreaches for the kingdom. For instance, a rekindled friendship with Kevin Palau has led to an exploration of a Palau festival and outreach in Palm Beach, birthed outside a hotel in Chicago at one Q conference. One year I was thrilled — over the top excited — to meet my hero Bob Goff. I found out he is the hero I thought he was, and in the interim years he has spoken into the Saunders family in so many ways. Many of you reading this are beneficiaries of Bob’s wisdom, though you may not ever know it.

This year David and I launched a digital design team called Visual Creatives. It’s a business we inadvertently began preparing for years ago, at Q, when we sat in on a Bobette Buster seminar and later took an intensive course in NYC sponsored by Q and featuring Bobette’s wisdom shared from years of storytelling.

I honestly could go on and on. Human trafficking, fatherlessness, cultural creation of good things. People, places, ministries, businesses. Books I’ve read by authors I’ve heard. Q has been the genesis of nearly all of them.

I can’t wait to see what this week holds. The only thing I know for sure is that I won’t be the same when I return.

If you want to get a small smattering of Q, I believe there is a live link of Monday morning’s sessions, 9-12 Pacific time. Tune in.

Or join me next year!

By Marla Saunders

I am passionately devoted to living my life in the places God has given me. Over the years those places have changed: from homeschooler to businesswoman, from consumer to storyteller. These days I'm focusing on building a new business and figuring out what it means to do everything with integrity and informed by faith.