Catalyst was conceived as a Next Generation Leaders Conference in 1999 by Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, John Maxwell, Lanny Donoho and several young leaders. Catalyst was created to meet the felt need that existed within the church leader space for a leadership event that was focused on a new generation of church leaders. Everything within this space seemed built around a forty to sixty year old mindset and medium. This team was convinced that this needed to change.
Catalyst was able to meet that demand by creating a conference specifically focused on leaders under the age of 40. In October of 2000 in Atlanta, GA, partnering with North Point Community Church, Catalyst convened 1500 church leaders for this inaugural experience. With a unique approach to programming and learning, defined by a fun, dynamic attendee experience, leaders were personally challenged to become "change agents" within their organizations, churches and communities.
Since inception, over 100,000 leaders have made the annual trek to Atlanta to participate in the Catalyst Conference experience, and this October, once again over 12,000 young leaders will gather to experience Catalyst up close. In addition, over 3,000 leaders will gather for the Catalyst West Coast experience in Orange County, CA and 3,000 more will gather for Catalyst in Dallas.
Leadership has been the topic of focus for the Catalyst brand since inception and will continue to be so. Catalyst and the annual Conferences provide a wide cover for addressing a variety of topics specific to Next Generation Leaders, including organizational leadership, personal leadership, integrity, character, relationships, and teamwork, among others. Over the last eleven years, Catalyst has grown in influence and reach, now offering three annual events on the East and West coast and in Dallas, regional One Day events, multiple resources, a dedicated online magazine, online community, the Filter content program, a bi-weekly podcast, and many other tools for young leaders. Catalyst has only just begun to go deeper with the Catalyst Community in taking them beyond a conference experience and into a relationship that provides ongoing support for growth and continued learning.