col·lo·qui·um (noun): a usually academic meeting at which specialists deliver addresses on a topic or on related topics and then answer questions relating to them.
In 1980, American Mensa's then-Chairman Gabe Werba proposed an annual Colloquium, saying, "I want to stimulate within Mensa a climate of intellectual excitement in which concepts can be explored, dialogues can be started and ideas can be generated that will move us in new directions."
The first Colloquium was held in October 1982, citing as its purpose: To offer a forum for any interested Mensan to explore, debate, evaluate and offer judgment on a major issue of long-range importance to society.
Using the format of that first event as a springboard, each Colloquium has made changes, learning from previous experiences and adding new features. Colloquium participants come primed to discuss whatever topic is presented, not primarily to socialize — although there is also ample time to do that. This day-long educational event is also open to the general public.
The Mensa Foundation now hosts and supports events, like Colloquiums, that encourage and expand learning, research and intelligence.