On April 20 and 21, over 5,000 people from throughout the Quad Cities region gathered in small groups through the Quad Cities Big Table, an initiative organized by Q2030. Following the event, 1,714 people took a survey conducted by the third-party firm called Lextant to indicate issues their groups identified as potential ways to improve the Quad Cities region.
“Q2030 outlines incredible goals for the region, and it truly will take all Quad Citizens to create the type of cool, creative, connected and prosperous region set forth in this vision,” says Greg Aguilar, Director of Q2030. “We’re thrilled that so many residents stepped up to take an active role in the future of the community.”
The most frequently discussed topics align with the Q2030 areas of focus: connected region, creative people, cool places and prosperous community. The main topics of conversation among tables according to the survey results were:
• Community Engagement: Participants felt that engaging leadership to conduct outreach with the community and future leaders was key to finding a way to attract and retain young talent to the area. Fifty-four percent of tables talked about this issue.
• Equity and Social Inclusion: Participants voiced the need for open conversation that is inclusive of the community’s varied voices. They specifically referenced the need to develop greater awareness of challenges in central city neighborhoods, the need to develop empathy of people from difference backgrounds, and the need to embrace immigrant families and the value they bring to the community. Thirty six percent of tables discussed this issue.
• Children, Family and Education: Participants felt that an important way to begin growing the region is to start with establishing a world-class school system in every city. Fifty-seven percent of table talked about this issue.
• Civic Pride: Participants recognized the value of adopting a more regional mindset in which residents recognize that the individual contributions of each city makes the region greater than the sum of its parts. Thirty-nine percent of tables talked about this issue.
• Arts and Culture: Participants felt that lifting up the arts and culture community would help foster a greater sense of regional pride. Thirty-one percent of tables discussed this issue.
• Community Development: Many participants believe that community growth is the most critical issue the Quad Cities faces. The general belief is that cohesiveness of the Quad Cities is the ideal goal in order to have successful growth, but that cohesion must be accomplished at multiple levels, such as legislative, taxation, and school systems, to start overcoming the social divide. Sixty percent of table talked about this issue.
• Economic Issues: Bridging divides, including cross-river divides, income inequality, and unequal access to resources, was central to conversations focusing on how to improve the regional economy. Fifty-two percent of tables talked about this issue.
• Partnerships and Collaboration: Participants indicated that collaboration across cities, organizations, businesses and neighborhoods would benefit all. Thirty-one percent of tables discussed this issue.
In addition to these results, 81% of participants said they would continue having conversations with people from their table, and 71% indicated they discussed solutions that have the potential to make the community better. Following participation in The Quad Cities Big Table, 72% of people indicate they feel more optimistic about the next five years than they did before. Thirty-nine percent of people feel motivated to build relationships and collaborate, 33% want to get more involved in the community, and 31% want to raise awareness and educate others as a way to impact the community.
After The Quad Cities Big Table: What’s Next
“The Quad Cities Big Table was a starting point to spark new conversations and build new relationships,” says Big Table participant Tracey White of Well Suited. “We’re encouraged to see that people who weren’t previously connected are now working together on common goals they identified through their tables.”
The 2019 Quad Cities Big Table is scheduled for April 26 and 27, 2018. Over the next year, Q2030 leaders will incorporate top issues identified through the Quad Cities Big Table into their areas of work.
“Our commitment to the region is to keep listening and use what we’ve learned to shape how Q2030 can best inspire collaboration, engage Quad Citizens, and lead change with meaningful outcomes,” says Kent Pilcher, Q2030 Tri-Chair and President of Estes Construction. “While we will use information gained through the Quad Cities Big Table to guide our priorities for the coming year, Quad Citizens themselves should feel empowered to act at a grassroots level to elevate our region.”
Full survey results can be found here: 2018-Quad-Cities-Big-Table-Survey-Results.pdf
Thanks to the businesses and organizations that supported the Quad Cities Big Table: Quad Cities Chamber, Estes Construction, IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union, IMEG Corp., Heritage Networks, dPhilms, Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, Get Me Registered, Global Communities, Dispatch / Argus, Fox 18, Hola America, KWQC, Moline Foundation, Mediacom, Quad City Times, Townsquare, United Way of the Quad Cities, WQAD, WHBF, WQPT, WVIK, Numad Group, Wagshal, OneStep.
Q2030 is a long-range plan to grow talent, jobs, investments and economic opportunity for all who call the Quad Cities home. The plan’s vision is: “The Quad Cities region is recognized globally in 2030 for growing and attracting talent and businesses, is energized by a diverse and culturally rich community, inspires innovation and embraces lifelong learning.