It's about connection, not size

If you have ever tried to put an idea into action, you know that, always, usually midway or near the end of the process, there is a moment where you ask yourself what on earth made us think this was a good idea? or, probably more often, what the hell were we thinking?

Hay Forum Dallas starts in a few days and we're going through one of those moments. Fortunately, we still have fresh memories from last year’s edition to remind us that, when a group of amazing writers arrive into your city with just the intention of having a good time, share ideas and maybe a few drinks; things usually turn all right, if not amazing.

The idea of organizing a Hay Forum in Dallas started to take shape while visiting Hay Festival Querétaro in Mexico a few years ago. More specifically, we were in exactly one of those places where these ideas usually flourish; a bar, between events. We were fascinated by the atmosphere created by the festival in a city like Querétaro, a city that already has its share of beautiful corners and sights.

At first, when we envisioned the festival in Dallas, we couldn’t help thinking how cool would it be to have the streets of our neighborhood flooded with people, and the City of Dallas jammed with amazing writers and journalists. However, we quickly realized that the key to a festival of this nature doesn't lie in the size or the number of guests and attendees, it's in the connection you build between the audience and the guests.

Dallas, like many modern cities, is a reflection of the society we live in, where more often than not any new idea or initiative has to be the biggest, shiniest, fastest thing that ever occurred. Cities that almost force you to believe that unless you’re rapidly growing or increasing your ambitions, whatever you’re doing will either succumb to other forces or it will simply disappear. Well, we are firm believers of the opposite, that close and meaningful connections tend to have better lasting impacts in our communities, that a few people talking in a small room, listening to each other and challenging each other’s thoughts, goes much longer ways than thousands of people listening without the ability to confront or look deeper into those thoughts.

Hay Forum Dallas tries to be a representation of this way of thinking. One of those rare events where you have the opportunity to sit in the same room with some incredibly bright and fascinating people, listen to them, talk to them, discuss with them and, if you stay late enough, dance and drink with them.

It will be two days where, one event at a time, you can listen to ideas that delve beyond the surface; where fiction meets activism, journalism meets music, poetry meets photography; and thoughts and ideas keep bouncing between the audience and the guests, in real time. That’s the reason we are able to cope with uneasy feelings like today’s - where just a few hands need to balance flights, accommodations, dinners, sponsors and what not, simply because we know that, in just a few days, we’ll have the opportunity to witness, share and engage in conversations that will stay with us for a long time, that will be instrumental in how we move into understanding some aspects of the place we live and the society we want. All that while having a great time, and maybe a few drinks and some embarrassing dancing moves. And that’s all we need to carry on, and start all over again.

We hope you can join the fun.

Javier García del Moral is co-founder and co-owner of The Wild Detectives bookstore in Dallas, Texas, home to Hay Forum Dallas, 7-8 September 2019. To find out more about the event and book tickets see here.