I'm told one of the great things about the annual 360 Summit is that each table can take the topic at hand and wrestle with it in any way it wishes. In fact, we suggest that if they don't like the topic at hand, they can choose from one of the other "What if's...?" we place on the table for inspiration.
The whole point of the dinner is to jump-start conversation about important topics, with the incentive to meet again after the dinner with someone you found especially interesting, to continue the conversation. People take this to heart, so much so that we've been given reports of friendships, even business deals that have grown from seeds planted at the 360 Summit dinner.
We purposely don't intend the conversations to be exhaustive on a topic. In fact, we cut off each topical conversation--on purpose--just when it seems to be getting good. Point is to get people to be hungry for more and motivated to keep that conversation alive by contacting others in the following days and weeks after the 360 Summit.
We've now heard from people at every table at the 360 Summit. All but one were apparently over-the-top successes. One group in fact has made plans to meet again--all 10 of them--to continue a conversation they started about the possibility of moving the UN from its permanent headquarters in New York City. Their concept--dreamed up at the table--is to consider changing the location of the UN headquarters every 10 years, so that it travels from one major city and country to another. They compare it to the Olympics, which changes venues every four years. Lots of value, this group says, in at least considering the benefits. Here is what Kathryn Swintek (one of those at the table) wrote to me:
"... congratulations on another successful event.
...The best idea from my table was to move the UN to Jerusalem. Many of us
liked that idea a lot. The ambassadors and administrators would be closer
to the big problem of the day, and hopefully Jerusalem would be not quite as
much of a "playground" assignment as New York. They'd have to really want
to work on matters of import and advance the mission of this august
Here's my idea to take it further.
Rotate the location of the UN, just like we change the Olympics every 4
years. But in the case of the UN, every 10 years maybe? Or 7? Rotation
would speak to the fact that trouble spots in the world should change if
institutions like the UN are effective, would put some pressure on to meet a
deadline, and finally, maybe keep the administrative structure light. Would
also give opportunities to many different supporting companies, helping to
build the economies around the world (even if in a smallish way), and to
keep things fresh and new."
Kathryn's note is one of many, exemplifying the kind of thinking that takes place around the table at the 360 Summit. As we tell guests, they should consider that the people sitting at their table are their guests...and consider engaging them as they would if they had invited those people to their own dinner party. Most take this seriously and it's great to see the engagement take place quickly.