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Launching the Conference Creator!

Let’s Co-Create our Conference: TOGETHER

This April 17-20, 2024, our TOGETHER Conference will bring together some of the leading thinkers, dreamers and doers of Charlottesville (and beyond). These engaged citizen leaders from all sectors and neighborhoods talk about the future of community, and the solutions that will create a brighter tomorrow. We will convene over four days of conversations, connections, and inspiration.

This year, our Festival theme is TOGETHER. This exploration of our interconnection and shared future is the ethos behind all of the music, art, and ideas you will see spilling throughout greater Charlottesville this April. TOGETHER is also how we’re co-creating Tom Tom this year, and that includes our conference!

Today, we’re thrilled to announce the opening of our application portal, Conference Creator, which empowers the community to share the themes, topics, speakers, leaders, and creatives they see most impacting the community.

Whether you are part of a local organization, or just a passionate individual with ideas to share, this is a unique opportunity for you to set the agenda. Now’s your chance to join our co-creative Festival, and shape the conversation at the 2024 TOGETHER conference. Propose a session today through Conference Creator!

See more about the application process and review criteria below.

Application Deadline January 22, 2024.

Application Process

So you want to join in the co-creation? Fantastic!

Here is a description of the Conference Creator Application Portal and the information we are looking for:

Step 1 - Choose a Format

The general session duration at the Conference is 45-60 minutes. If you are requesting a longer format, you can note that in the comments section. Formats at the Conference include workshops, panel discussions, keynote addresses, round tables, and interactive experiences.

Step 2 - Choose the Theme

Please identify where your session would fit into one of our tracks: Conscious City, Technology for Good, Society & Justice, Entrepreneurship For All.

Step 3 - Tell us your Topic and Narrative

Give us a first pass at a fun and fresh topic title. We’ll also be looking for a description of what you’d like to discuss, and how you position the topic in the current landscape of ideas and advocacy.

Step 4 - Identify your Speakers & Moderators

We ask if you have the speakers, facilitators, and moderators identified and / or confirmed for the session. “Confirmation” at this point means you have contacted speakers and they are generally interested and available for the dates of the Festival.

Step 5 - State your desired impact

Let us know what you want to accomplish with your session. Are there desired impacts and outcomes? You could tailor this program to address your specific audience/community. Or, perhaps you’re interested in exploring new terrain, and want to forge new, complimentary partnerships through your program.

To get started, fill out the form below with the topic, theme, and narrative of your proposed session. Once we receive your proposal we will follow up with more details.

The deadline to submit your application is January 22, 2024.

Review Criteria

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis by Tom Tom Staff and Conference Host Committees. Our Conference Host Committees are made up of community members from a variety of diverse backgrounds and industries. Most Committee Members have spoken at Tom Tom and curated programs in the past. We have a committee devoted to each of our Conference Tracks: Conscious City, Technology for Good, and Society & Justice.

Here are a few criteria that we will use in evaluating sessions:

  1. Relevance - Does this Session discuss a critical idea facing the Community and/or is it sharing a national media story?

  2. Innovation - Do the ideas presented offer a compelling and innovative way to approach problems?

  3. Collaboration - Does the Session bring together multiple community stakeholders that are doing important work in Charlottesville?

  4. Diversity of Opinions & Backgrounds - We want to hear from everyone. Sessions should reflect the community; as well as respectfully explore and engage with differences of opinion.

  5. Lasting Impact - Does the Session highlight work happening in the community -- or that could be happening in the community -- so that there are outcomes that live beyond the Conference?

Our selection process will be based on the criteria listed above in combination with how well the session fits into overall programming.

Our 2024 Conference Tracks

This year, The TOGETHER conference will continue the conversation around the tracks we introduced in 2023. We intend to dive a layer deeper into these themes, and think critically about how they interact, seeding ideas for greater interconnection, and a shared future. What voices and leaders do we need to include to tell this story?

What makes us a healthy, mindful, and connected community?

The Conscious City track will take us on an intellectual and experiential journey through healing. We’ll explore a variety of proven ways we can heal ourselves and increase our awareness and happiness.

Topics: Consciousness, Community Healing, Healthy Living, Sacred Ceremonies, Faith in Action, Conscious Dying

Check out this recap on last year's conference day on Conscious Cities.

How do technology and entrepreneurship

increase opportunity in the community?

The Tech for Good track brings together individuals from various sectors including biotechnology, energy, data, and AI. We will learn how these local innovators are driving global change, and how we can increase opportunity in the community.

Topics: Angel Investing, Biotechnology, Data & AI, Diversity & Technology, Climate & Energy, Innovative Startups

Check out this recap on last year's conference day on Tech for Good.

What creates a welcoming and equitable community with a shared vision for the future?

The Society & Justice track features critical conversations on the structures and resources of our community, and evaluates how they can be brought together to assist everyone. We want to establish a shared conversation for a more equitable future.

Topics: Criminal Justice, Financial, Empowerment, Early Childhood Education, Youth Mentoring, Inclusive Culture, Faith & Community

Check out this recap on last year's conference day on Society & Justice.

How do businesses start, grow, and flourish? 

Entrepreneurship is the buzziest of words, and also speaks to the lifeblood of main street Charlottesville. How do businesses start, grow, and flourish? Dive in with the seasoned entrepreneurs creating the mom-and-pops businesses that provide necessary goods and services, to the technology startups transforming industries and disrupting every-day life. This track explores the funding, training, and planning necessary to launch and sustain a business.

Topics: MicroFinance, Angel Investment, 1st Generation Entrepreneurs, Competitions, Showcases

Learn More

If any of the above sample topics resonate with you, or bring to mind another topic that might be of interest, please let us know! You can go straight to the Conference Creator Application, and begin to create the program you want to see at the conference. Or, if you feel like you need more information, then you can always reach out for more context.

We schedule regular Community Interest Meetings for anyone who is interested in getting involved in Tom Tom. Our next meetings are scheduled for Tues. Nov. 28 at 10am (Virtual), and Wed. Dec. 13 at 12pm (Tom Tom Offices). You can sign up for those here.


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