I have spent my life in rooms like this:
There is a single person standing in front of straight rows of people. We all know it well.
It’s a system from a bygone era. It represents subservience and hierarchy. I really wish this system would go away. I believe it is actually holding us back, as a society.
World leaders don’t meet this way. Here is the setting for the G-8 Summit at Camp David:
It seems no matter the size of the group, important people find a big enough round table:
I suspect the concern is the belief that you can’t get the same amount of people in the room.
Bristol Motor Speedway figured out how to get about 160,000 people in a circle:
Rock stars do it:
And schools can do it. Here is the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Centre:
We live in a transitional period of time with 7 billion people on the planet. Not questioning our traditions and accepted belief systems leaves us vulnerable to a few of those other 7 billion people (many of whom have no preconceived notions) figuring out how to do things better.
Meeting in the round is better.
It inspires engagement, thinking and interaction. Those are the skills we need to develop today.
Traditional classroom style meetings inspire a “shut up and listen” mentality.