Priya Parker is an author, facilitator, and conflict resolution expert. She is the author of the book “The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters,” in which she explores the power of well-designed gatherings to bring people together and create meaningful experiences. +
She has also worked as a facilitator and consultant, helping organizations and individuals to design and host effective meetings and events. Parker has a background in conflict resolution and has worked with organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank. I met her at SXSW, and was blown away by her smart and quick mind.
The Art of gathering
In her book “The Art of Gathering,” Priya Parker argues that most gatherings in our lives are ineffective and uninspired. From conferences and meetings to dinner parties and weddings, we often underestimate the power of human connection and the potential of well-designed gatherings to bring people together and create meaningful experiences.
According to Parker, the key to creating a successful gathering is to have a clear purpose and intention. This means taking the time to think about why you are bringing people together and what you hope to accomplish. It also means considering the needs and perspectives of your attendees and designing the gathering in a way that meets those needs and serves the intended purpose.
One of the most important aspects of gathering design is setting the right tone and creating a sense of belonging. This can be achieved through thoughtful details such as the location, the food and drink, and the activities. Parker also emphasizes the importance of establishing ground rules and norms to ensure that everyone feels comfortable and respected.
Create moments that matter
In addition to creating a sense of belonging, effective gatherings also require active participation from attendees. This means creating opportunities for people to engage with one another and contribute to the gathering in meaningful ways. This can be achieved through a variety of techniques such as open-ended questions, group discussions, and interactive activities.
“The Art of Gathering” offers a refreshing take on the often-undervalued art of coming together. By approaching gatherings with intention and design, we can create meaningful experiences that bring people together and foster connection, belonging, and active participation.