On-demand Conversations

On-demand Conversations

Conversation yields better answers to hard questions. On-demand Conversations are focused, facilitated, and free.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question not listed below, please send us an email.

On-demand Conversations are facilitated, highly interactive, small-group conversations catalyzed by a presenting question submitted by one of our community members. Think of them as virtual breakout discussions that allow for efficient deep dives into a specific topic. On-demand Conversations are not webinars. Typically, conversations are held via Zoom and are 30 minutes long.

Questions are more important than answers. That’s because questions seek to clarify, evaluate, and frame while answers are temporary, conditional, and decay over time. So, On-demand Conversations start with a question. Step 1 - Presenting Question A community member presents an interesting question. Step 2 - Interview We identify and interview a guest expert. The purpose of the interview is to catalyze conversation, not provide a definitive, general-purpose answer. Step 3 - Invitation We publish notifications of the upcoming On-demand Conversation along with an RSVP deadline. Step 4 - Conversation If we receive indications of interest by the RSVP deadline, we host the On-demand Conversation at the previously scheduled time. Step 5 - Synopsis We publish a summary of the insights gleaned from each On-demand Conversation (subject to the Chatham House Rule) to be shared publicly.

Presenting questions are conversation starters that initiate On-demand Conversations. Only members of one of our communities may submit a presenting question. The best presenting questions are open-ended, sensitive to context, and, consequently, nuanced. Presenting questions are often phrased like:

  • Explain…
  • Under what circumstances…?
  • Why…?
  • Compare…
  • Strengths and weaknesses of…?
  • Advantages and disadvantages of…?
  • Prioritize…
  • What are the top three…?
  • When…?
  • What do you think about…?
  • How do you feel about…?

By default, On-demand Conversations are conducted under the Chatham House Rule: "When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed." The purpose of the rule is to encourage the free sharing of good ideas and valuable experiences.

We do not engage in self-promotion. We don't pitch posture, or spam. We embrace diversity. Systematically ensuring that we welcome diversity and ensure equitable and inclusive practices isn’t just the right thing to do. Addressing complex challenges and opportunities benefits from cognitive diversity. We strive to be our best selves.

  • Be nice…especially when you disagree with another’s point of view.
  • Be prompt—we start and end on time.
  • Share your experiences and insights freely.
  • Avoid giving advice unless asked for it.

Anyone may participate in an On-demand Conversation subject to our principles. However, only community members may submit a presenting question.

Subscribe to one or more email lists to receive notifications of upcoming On-demand Conversations.

Check out the Archive page.

Participation in On-demand Conversations is free.

On-demand Conversations are free, but they take considerable time and effort to organize. So…what’s the angle? There are three reasons we do this.

  • First of all, it’s a service to our community members. These conversations allow our members to tap into the insight and know-how of an even more cognitively diverse set of people who, nevertheless, have shared interests.
  • Secondly, we hope that some of you, after experiencing one or more On-demand Conversations, might consider joining one of our membership communities. Don't worry—that's all we're going to say on the matter. We won't pitch or spam you.
  • Thirdly, it's fun, and we learn, too.

Our Communities

On-demand Conversations start in our communities.

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