Idea Factory to debut at Alternating Currents; bringing idea-driven discussions to cultural change

An exciting festival is happening in Davenport at the end of the month and Idea Factory will make its debut at that festival, Alternating Currents. Idea Factory will be featured at Alternating Currents on two different nights to hold an "after dark" event and a forum.
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - An exciting festival is happening in Davenport at the end of the month and Idea Factory will make its debut at that festival, Alternating Currents.

Idea Factory, according to its website, "started with an idea - having a forum for solution-oriented discussions that create a positive, inquisitive dialogue from those that live it. From this, the Idea Factory was born. A platform for discussing challenging topics and creating actionable solutions from a diverse set of perspectives."

Idea Factory will be featured at Alternating Currents on two different nights to hold an "after dark" event and a forum.

TV6 spoke with Andrea Olson, with Idea Factory and she said this is an opportunity to bring "something inspiring and different" to the Quad Cities area.

"We aren’t about drab, lengthy presentations from the same, tired experts," Olson said. "Our goal is to create a platform to share unique ideas and challenges that’s open and accessible to everyone. We want to start helping grow our culture by exposing our community to new perspectives - building off of the spirit of TEDx, but in a way that allows us to dive deeper, increase audience interaction, and leverage a variety of formats. It’s the new “town hall”."

Idea Factory's mission? To simply explore new ideas, topics, challenges and perspectives from "the lense of those who live it."

"Through tightly focused interviews, discussions, panels, forums, debates, presentations, and performances, we used a combination of education and entertainment to create experiences that stir curiosity and create action," Olson said. "Events and programs will be held across various locations throughout the entire Quad Cities region."

On Friday, August 23, Idea Factory will make its debut. Idea Factory Forum: Why craft brewers collaborate vs. compete will be featured at the Alternating Currents festival at 8 p.m. and it will be located at the Great River Brewery. The forum "the Idea Factory Forum Series presents an interactive discussion with area brewers on the culture of craft, examining the unique way these businesses work with their competitors to grow the industry."

On Saturday, August 24, Idea Factory will host Idea Factory After Dark: Exploring the culture of drag. This will be at 10 p.m. at the Exit Realty Garage. "The Idea Factory’s After Dark Series, presents an exploration of the drag culture, featuring a facilitated panel discussion with drag professionals, amateurs and more, followed by a full drag performance! An interactive Q&A will answer many of the questions you’ve been curious about but afraid to ask about the culture of drag."

As for why the Idea Factory chose Alternating Currents, Olson tells TV6 she felt the festival was the "ideal place".

"Alternating Currents is a convergence of interactive, film, music, performances, and more, fostering creative and professional growth alike," Olson said. "We felt that this festival was the ideal place, both in mission and spirit, to engage with the broadest and most diverse audience possible to introduce the Idea Factory platform and brand."

Alternating Currents will begin on August 22 and will go until August 25. And for Olson? She's excited to be apart of the festival but to also catch some of the performances and acts. As for who she is most excited to see? G Love and Special Sauce.

"Have been a big fan and saw them back decades ago in Iowa City," Olson said. "Wonderful they came back to the Quad Cities for another performance."

You can read the full interview with Andrea Olson below.

TV6: First things first – what is Idea Factory? Is this just Davenport focused? Or Quad City focused?
Olson: Idea Factory is a platform for idea-driven, solution-oriented discussions to create cultural change, increasing inclusiveness by sharing different perspectives. Our mission is to explore unique ideas, subjects, perspectives and challenges from the lens of those who live it. Through tightly focused interviews, discussions, panels, forums, debates, presentations, and performances, we used a combination of education and entertainment to create experiences that stir curiosity and create action. Events and programs will be held across various locations throughout the entire Quad Cities region.

TV6: For our viewers, why should they consider going to the Idea Factory After Dark & forum?
Olson: Idea Factory Forum - Craft brewers have a community that is unlike many in the corporate world - instead of competition, it is collaboration. Craft beer is still very much a “little guy” standing up to “the man” culture. The Idea Factory Forum Series presents an interactive discussion with area brewers on the culture of craft, examining the unique way these businesses work with their competitors to grow the industry. Alternating Current’s only panel about craft beer, this unabashed and candid discussion will dive into all aspects of brewing, from perceptions of craft “elitism” to the impact of big beer companies buying up smalls brewers. Panelists include regional craft brewers - get ready for a beer-filled interactive discussion.

Idea Factory After Dark - Gaudy outfits sparkling brightly under lights, outlandishly colored eyeliner wings, voluminous hair and upbeat pop tracks: these are only a few of the images conjured when one thinks of drag performances. In reality, however, drag can be a vibrant expanse of performance types, with multitudes of participants that range in style, appearance, age, and background. The Idea Factory’s After Dark Series presents an exploration of the drag culture, featuring a facilitated panel discussion with drag professionals, amateurs and more, followed by a full drag performance! An interactive Q&A will answer many of the questions you’ve been curious about but afraid to ask about the culture of drag.

TV6: Why Alternating Currents? What drew the events to the festival?
Olson: Alternating Currents is a convergence of interactive, film, music, performances, and more, fostering creative and professional growth alike. We felt that this festival was the ideal place, both in mission and spirit, to engage with the broadest and most diverse audience possible to introduce the Idea Factory platform and brand.

TV6: If not answered already, what can viewers expect from the Idea Factory series at Alternating Currents?
Olson: At Alternating Currents, our events will set the tone and provide the community the opportunity to experience what the Idea Factory is all about. In short, instead of telling people about what the Idea Factory is, we want to show them.

TV6: Are you / the organization looking for presenters and/or speakers? If someone wants to speak or be a presenter, what can they do?
Olson: Our goal is to curate events through partnerships with individuals, organizations and companies across the Quad Cities. We are continually looking for speakers and participants to be a part of an upcoming event or program. However, we’re also looking for those persons in the community that are seeking a platform to discuss their ideas, perspectives and challenges, and seeking to partner with them to craft an event that will help “move the needle” of awareness, education, and action.

As an example, one of our current endeavors is partnering with the Quad City Times to create a new publication that gives voice to a broader range of perspectives across our community.

Anyone looking to be part of an event, or organize an event can visit our website at www.qcideafactory.com

TV6: The TEDxDavenport had a great turnout, is the Idea Factory something that viewers can expect year-round, or would these events be similar to TEDxDavenport and happen less frequently.
Olson: We are incredibly proud of our TEDx programming, and have succeeded in upgrading our license to allow for an unlimited number of attendees to our events starting in 2020. With TEDx, there are specific requirements, guidelines and rules we have to follow to maintain our license in good standing. While TEDx has been a wonderful platform, we found that many speaker applicants and ideas simply didn’t quite fit the TEDx requirements, but we didn’t want these concepts and ideas to fall by the wayside. Hence, the Idea Factory was born. Our goal is to hold a wide range of programming throughout the year, primarily in between our two annual TEDx events.

TV6: For you personally, aside from these events, what are you most excited for at Alternating Currents this year? Whether it be a musician, film, comedy, etc., why are you excited for that?
Olson: G Love and the Special Sauce! Have been a big fan and saw them back decades ago in Iowa City. Wonderful they came back to the Quad Cities for another performance.

TV6: Anything I may have missed that you want viewers to know!
Olson: We want to bring something inspiring and different to the Quad Cities. We aren’t about drab, lengthy presentations from the same, tired experts. Our goal is to create a platform to share unique ideas and challenges that’s open and accessible to everyone. We want to start helping grow our culture by exposing our community to new perspectives - building off of the spirit of TEDx, but in a way that allows us to dive deeper, increase audience interaction, and leverage a variety of formats. It’s the new “town hall”.

You can follow Idea Factory on Facebook below.