The engagement Graph

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Maarten Vanneste, Meeting Design Institute

Abstract 

There is a significant difference between a real experience and watching it on a small screen alone. Between these two extremes, there lies a whole range of online/virtual and Hybrid meeting formats. Each of these come with an increasing level of engagement which needs to be quantified in the coming years. This paper is an essay putting time and place in a graph that shows the different formats in a qualitative position of lower or higher engagement… Time and place of the real meeting (same time & same place) versus the engagement levels in other formats of ‘presentation consumption’ or ‘people meeting’. (…) Read more

Justifying State Violence

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

David Gibson, University of Notre Dame (Sociology)

Abstract 

One thing people do in meetings, particularly important meetings, is justify decisions — including those lying in the past, when things have gone sour, and those lying in the future (and perhaps imminent). Particularly weighty are decisions made by political leaders, and arguably most weighty of all are decisions to use violence against foreign or domestic adversaries, if only because it is harder to undo violence than, say, to undo a tariff or a cut in entitlements.

This is a paper about how heads of state and their advisors justify violence to one another, drawing on data from several cases: Lyndon Johnson’s phone calls leading up to his decision to retaliate against North Vietnam for the (partly imagined) Gulf of Tonkin incident in August of 1964; Saddam Hussein’s discussions with his top advisers a few days before he ordered the invasion of Iran in September of 1980, setting off the eight-year Iran-Iraq War; the meeting of the Polish Politburo in December of 1981 from which emerged the authorization to impose martial law (a kind of gateweay to violence) in response to the challenge posed by Solidarity; and the deliberations of the Standing Committee of the Chinese Politburo during the student protests in the spring of 1989, which resulted in the imposition of martial law and, soon afterward, the bloody clearing of Tiananmen Square. (…) Read more

Examining Meetings, Context and Initiatives Promoting a Culture of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the United Arab Emirates

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Gina Poncini, Khalifa University of Science and Technology (Humanities and Social Sciences)

Abstract:

This paper examines meetings and their context in the changing landscape of the United Arab Emirates. It explores ways to investigate the social, cultural and economic context of meetings, in particular team meetings, as the country experiences rapid change. Emirati females are entering the labor force in greater numbers and taking on new roles and leadership positions, encouraged by the government. Efforts to diversify the economy and decrease dependence on oil encompass a range of initiatives such as the Khalifa Fund, which aims to foster entrepreneurship among Emirati Nationals, and programs supporting Emirati participation in the private sector to decrease reliance on public sector jobs, considered unsustainable. (…) Read more

Meetings, fast and slow: How efficient is decision-making in social movement organizations?

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Hans Jonas Gunzelmann, Scuola Normale Superiore (Institute of Human and Social Sciences)

Abstract:

Social movement organizations (SMOs) embrace democratic modes of decision-making in their meetings, using either consensus or majority voting. Unlike in bureaucratic organizations, no individual has the power to impose a decision; all members participate in the process. For a long time, it has been common sense in organizational studies that horizontal decision-making leads to endless discussion, fights among participants, and ineffective use of resources. This reflects the long shadow of Max Weber and his claim that bureaucratic organizations produce the most efficient results. (…) Read more

A Fresh Look at the Number, Effectiveness, and Cost of Meetings in the U.S.

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Elise Keith, Lucid Meetings

Abstract:

At Lucid Meetings, we work to solve the “meeting problem” in the US. We sought statistics to help quantify this problem. How many meetings are people holding? How many of them are ineffective? What does all this wasted time cost? We found lots of numbers, but as we dug into the sources, we realized they were out of date. This paper details our attempt to uncover more modern metrics and the conclusions we reached after reviewing the available data from literature, industry surveys, and online demographic data sources. (…) Read more

The interactional use of sticky notes in business meetings and workshops

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Mie Femø Nielsen, University of Copenhagen (Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics)

Abstract:

Sticky notes were invented by mistake by 3M. Dr. Spencer Silver accidentally created a “low-tack,” reusable, pressure-sensitive adhesive in 1968 when he was working on developing a super-strong adhesive. He promoted his “solution without a problem” within 3M both informally and through seminars and in 1974 his colleague, Art Fry, came up with the idea of using the adhesive to anchor his bookmark in his hymnbook and then developed the idea further with his team. The original notes’ yellow color was also chosen by accident, as the lab had only yellow scrap paper in stock. (…) Read more

Process push-back: A grounded practical theory for facilitators facing challenges to the meeting design

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Leah Sprain, University of Colorado Boulder (Communication)

Abstract 
Within the meetings literature, ‘facilitator challenges’ often references difficult situations that facilitators must navigate, such has dominating participants, minimal participation, disrespect, and conflict. This paper takes on a related type of facilitator challenge: moments when participants challenge the meeting design or group process implemented by the facilitator. In, particular, I consider process push-back within public meetings with deliberative designs where a facilitator guides a small group of six to nine participants in deliberative discussion (Gastil & Black, 2008). Rather than presume that these challenges are inappropriate or out of line, this paper turns to social interaction during actual meetings to develop practical theory for handling process push-back given the potential that such push-back may actually be an important form of furthering democratic values. (…) Read more

Politics as a practice of meeting

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Richard Freeman, University of Edinburgh (School of Social and Political Science)

Abstract 
When we do politics, what are we doing? The purpose of this paper is to produce an account of politics based in practice, that is in human action and interaction. It places the meeting at the centre of those actions and interactions.

I begin with Arendt’s idea that politics begins in plurality, that is in the human encounter; from interactionist sociology, I take the sense that the encounter is performed. I outline what recent work in practice theory and an associated array of ethnographic studies of politics might add to this understanding. (…) Read more

Studying What Doesn’t Happen in Meetings

The Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

This paper belongs to of the Gothenburg Meeting Science Symposium

Kathleen Blee, University of Pittsburgh (Sociology)

Abstract 
We have good ways to study what happens in meetings, but few ways to notice or understand what does not happen. This is a problem for research on meetings since their direction can be significantly shaped by implicit collective understandings of what is appropriate or plausible to consider. This paper draws on a three year ethnographic study of meetings by 60+ new and emerging activist groups in Pittsburgh that traced both what groups considered in their discussions, and what they could have considered (based on prior meetings or discussions in similar activist groups) but did not. (…) Read more