Urbana 06 Open for Business Conference

This year’s Urbana 06 conference in St. Louis, Missouri, USA 27-31 December 2006 will also features a special “Open for Business” track for delegates who have a passion or growing interest in business and global missions. Open for Business will build, mobilize and equip a multi-generational network of business practitioners who seek to harness the potential of business to contribute to the global advance of God's kingdom around the world.

There are important economic, political and demographic forces at work in the world that create a unique context for business as an agent of holistic transformation. This is why this event is so important and timely.

The Open for Business program will function as a conference within the larger 25,000 person Urbana convention. It will consist of plenary sessions and seminars that deepen a biblical view of business, examine instructive successes and failures and highlight business-as-mission lessons from around the world. There will also be a business plan competition to solicit innovative “business as missions” proposals for entrepreneurial ventures around the world.

This conference is for:

  • Business professionals who want to integrate their business skills and passions with their faith and God’s mission in the world.
  • Business-as-mission practitioners who want to network with other practitioners, hearing what God is doing around the world and connecting with the next generation of missions-minded business leaders.
  • Students who want to pursue business as their Christian calling and seek vision and guidance in that pursuit.
  • Pastors, educators or other leaders in the Christian community who want to see business-as-mission values and strategies integrated into the broader body of Christ.

The Open for Business conference will fit into the overall Urbana 06 experience through the following ways:

  • Dedicated plenaries. Open for Business delegates will participate in special plenaries with business-as-mission leaders who will illustrate how business can help alleviate poverty, transform lives and bring healing and spiritual renewal.
  • Dedicated seminars. Open for Business delegates will have exclusive access to seminars that will inspire, equip and deepen one’s sense of the life God is calling him or her to.
  • Networking opportunities. Open for Business delegates will be housed with each other in two downtown St. Louis hotels, providing for ample networking opportunities. Participants will be able to network with hundreds of people who draw experience from a diverse range of countries, specialities and career stages.
  • Dedicated Bible studies. Ephesians is the scripture for the entire Urbana 06 convention. Open for Business delegates will study Ephesians with each other, drawing specific insights on how God's calling is worked out for business people.
  • Innovation Opportunities. Open for Business is hosting a business-plan competition—complete with a $40,000USD prize pool—to spur innovation and incubate the next generation of business-as-mission ideas.

More information can be obtained from http://www.urbana.org/u2006.ofb.cfm.

Johnny Chun is executive secretary of Tentmakers International. He is also executive director of Mission International and former director of the Korea Association of Tentmakers (KAT).