Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Power outage rocks campus
Power outage rocks campus
Jack BrandtSeptember 13, 2023

Augustana hosts small conversations in hopes of big change


On April 20 in Gavle room 3, Augustana was host to the Quad Cities Big Table Talk. This event brought students, faculty and staff of Augustana together with community leaders and neighbors. A few elected officials were also in attendance, including Congresswoman Bustos.
President Bahls is a leader of the Quad Cities Chamber’s Q2030 initiative. This initiative’s goals are to grow talent, jobs, investments and economic opportunity for all who call the Quad Cities home. The Q2030 initiative has four key initiatives, the first being ‘Cool Places.’ The idea behind this initiative is to create strong and functional places in which people live, work and play. The second key initiative is ‘Creative People’ and focuses on providing young people and workers with the skills they need in order to help grow the QC economy. The final two initiatives, ‘Connected Region’ and ‘Prosperous Economy’ are similar in the focus of coming together to help one another grow and find new ways to make the economy prosperous.
It is through the Q2030 initiative that the Big Table Talk came to be. The Quad Cities Chamber believes in the idea that ‘Big ideas can spring from small conversations.’ So, through this idea, more than 5,000 people in the Quad Cities area had over 500 conversations on how to make this region better for the future.
With Bahls being a part of the Q2030 initiative, it was his suggestion to bring the Big Table Talk to Augustana. The talk centered around an hour long lunch conversation between those in attendance. These different conversations focused on three big questions: What do you love about this community? What can we do to make our region even stronger? And what can we do as a community and as a college to keep more Augie alumni in the QCA after graduation?
During this event everyone conversed with those around them, sharing ideas of what they believed were the answers to the three big questions and learning new perspectives. “One of the things that we learned from the students is that the students are kind of less familiar with all the great things the Quad Cities has to offer. They tend to stay around this neighborhood,” said Bahls.
Now that these multiple conversations have been held, the Chamber and the Q2030 initiative hope to take what has been said and start putting these words to action. Assistant Vice President for Communication and Marketing here at Augustana, Keri Rursch said, “We hope new relationships were formed. We hope people were reminded of what’s special and great about this community, and we hope ideas were generated to make the Quad Cities an even better place for Augie students and grads to thrive.”
President Bahls has high hopes for this initiative and the future of the Quad Cities. “Our hope is that we can show the students the strength of the Quad Cities, but our hope also is to say to the Quad Cities ‘If you want our students to stay, you need to provide great jobs, great amenities, and great reasons to live here.’ So we hope to start that conversation today,” said Bahls.
If you would like more information on the Q2030 initiative and the Big Table Talks, then visit their website:
Photo Above: President Bahls talks to students and faculty during the Big Table event last Friday. Photo by Kevin Donovan

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Augustana hosts small conversations in hopes of big change