What exactly is a Thought Leader Conference?

You may be familiar with TED. Aspen Ideas Festival. The Nantucket Project. EG, Skoll and several others, which take place around the country and the world. The Imagine Solutions Conference is a thought leader conference built from the blueprint used by TED, Aspen Ideas and others. (In fact, Imagine Solutions partners with both Aspen Ideas and TED.)

However, the question remains, what exactly is a thought leader conference and how does it differ from other conferences featuring diverse and informative speakers?

First, let’s be clear about what a thought leader conference is NOT. A thought leader conference differs from a speaker series/event in several ways.

  • Speaker series/events tend to present “brand name” speakers—those on the speaker circuit and book tours, and well-known personalities—as opposed to foremost experts.
  • The focus of a speaker series/event is not primarily “big ideas.”
  • Finally, speaker series/events are not about solutions.

All successful and sustainable thought leader conferences have certain things in common:

  • They present BIG IDEAS from Renowned Experts on Critical Issues They do this by aligning/partnering with major resources. Imagine Solutions has assembled a “friends and family” group—like NOVA, The Economist, RAND Corporation, National Geographic Society, Mayo Clinic, MIT, Stanford and 40 others—credible friends who can make invaluable introductions
  • They have strong local connections; locally funded, run, managed Imagine Solutions is managed and operated by local community leaders and funded by a locally backed public foundation comprised of 20 families with ties to Southwest Florida
  • They include the leadership in the community, particularly the non-profit leaders Imagine Solutions has underwritten more that $250,000 in scholarships for non-profit leaders in Southwest Florida since 2015 (our practice from the beginning); we also provide scholarships to Golden Apple Award winners in Collier and Lee Counties, $46,800 to date
  • They facilitate solutions and give back to the community See our blog, “6 Ways we Serve our Local Community”
  • The seeds for Imagine Solutions were planted in Naples in 2007 by Imagine Solutions Founder & CEO Randy Antik. For more than 24 years, Randy had personally participated in the thought leader conferences mentioned above and others around the world, and he thought it was time to bring the concept home.  In February 2020, we present our 10th Annual Imagine Solutions Conference, bringing giant intellects and future-shaping ideas from all over the world to you.