Confluence is the new name for the annual Spectrum of Technology Symposium, hosted by the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce. Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, will be the keynote speaker for the two-day event Feb. 21-22.
“This is a big deal,” said Tricia Steele Seifert, chairman of the symposium planning committee.
The event will be based out of the DeSoto Theatre and have programs at other locations around downtown Rome.
“We really wanted the event to tangibly impact our community,” Seifert said. “Confluence has the goal of impacting and creating a culture of creative problem solving in Northwest Georgia.”
The event is being designed to bring together business executives, technologists and entrepreneurs to showcase inspiring ideas and experiences.
Greg Richardson, head of Seven Hills Makerspace, actually extended the invitation to Anderson and said that when Anderson accepted he sent back another email just to make sure Anderson was aware the event was in Rome, Ga., and not Rome, Italy.
“Being able to secure someone like this allows you to re-imagine what you’re doing. It allows you to be so much more ambitious in terms of the agenda,” Richardson said. “It allows you to attract other speakers and get a lot of energy and enthusiasm going.
“A lot of people in this field are scratching their heads about what will this decade be in terms of technology’s influence on society and business and industry. This is going to be a more profound transformation than what we’ve seen in the prior three decades.”
Anderson discusses his vision for the future in new booked titled “Makers — The New Industrial Revolution.”
Seifert said there are several other speakers that have been contacted and she expects the announcement that Anderson will keynote the event will prompt some that are on the committee’s speaker bucket list to go ahead and commit to participate.
“Right now we have focused on getting the right content,” Seifert said. “There will be something worth while for manufacturing folks, for health care folks, for web folks, for educators, for small business owners, students, even for artists.”
She said that having Anderson serve as the keynote speaking should increase regional attendance for the event.
Dr. Leonard Reeves, chairman of the Future Industries Initiative at the chamber, said the event has historically provided an opportunity to bring the old and the new together.
“Just as the Etowah and the Oostanaula join at the confluence downtown to make the Coosa, our educational, industrial and people power in Rome will all flow together at Confluence,” Reeves said. “The river that’s going to flow from that is going to be the future for our community.
A website has been established online at www.romeconfluence.com to post information about the event. Tickets are expected to be available at that site within a couple of weeks.
Following the press conference for Confluence, Chamber of Commerce President Al Hodge announced that M. Lowell Pratt has been promoted to serve as the chamber’s director of entrepreneurship and innovation.