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How Virtual Roundtables Enable the Flow of Ideas in Unprecedented Ways

The real-time dissection of a complex problem, with the goal of developing and fine-tuning actionable solutions, promotes collaborative back-and-forth among participants, rather than a space where individuals recite pre-rehearsed sound bites. This is our aim for our roundtables.

Randall Bass, the Vice Provost of Georgetown University (our partner for the Reinvent the University for the Whole Person series) described the virtual roundtable format as a “problem-solving space.” Our roundtables are typically arranged into series,¬†and each roundtable looks at the overarching series question through a slightly different lens, thus facilitating a continuity and progression of the topic under discussion. Because these events are completely virtual, collaboration and innovation effortlessly transcend space and time.

“Obviously we could never have brought this many thought leaders together around this issue if it hadn’t been virtual,” said Bass. “It would have taken us a year and a half of planning to bring 30 or 40 people of this magnitude and this much wisdom all together in one place, even for a day and a half, and at enormous expense. All throughout the episodes, participants wrote me afterwards and said how much they enjoyed it, how eye-opening it was to be in that kind of environment…how much they wanted to use [this format] in their own work.”