What a diverse bunch of people who turned up for this meeting held in Westgate studios in Wakefield.
After people had introduced themselves I wanted to demonstrate a visual metaphor which showed the importance of critical thinking in any debate. In the two minutes it took me to set up the props the room was buzzing with animated conversation and I was somewhat reluctant to interrupt. I did interrupt, made my point and the evening commenced but the incident got me thinking…
Thanks to everyone who contributed and made such a stimulating evening. The subjects were broad and far reaching but seemed to centre around the concept of the ‘outsider’ which is perhaps unsurprising as we were all freethinkers and artists.
On a practical note, it was decided that meetings would take place on the first Monday of every month, so the next one will be February the 4th commencing at 7.00 pm. It was also decided that a topic should be chosen before a meeting so people could have a think about it and raise any issues at the meeting. Richard suggested that the topic for the next meeting should be ‘fame’ as he has a particular fascination of it (along with vast majority of the population I should guess, going by the number of celebrity programmes there are on television).
So we will look at fame; what is it, how do we define it, why do some people want it, why does it have such power? To kick start the meeting we will ask each person there if they would like to be famous and why (if they can bring a famous person along with them to tell us what it is actually like, even better).
And so my solution to what got me thinking in the second paragraph… Instead of having the formal meeting first and people going to the pub afterwards if they wished, I suggest we meet informally in the pub first, have our ‘getting to know you’ chats, then have the formal discussion afterwards. This could be held in the pub itself if it is quiet, or if not, we could retire to one of the studio spaces in the Prudential Buildings.
It could be that people get too comfortable in the pub (which hasn’t been chosen yet and need not be a pub – any suggestions?) and may not want to decamp to the other place. I see this as a challenge to make the topic of discussion so interesting that people will want to be involved.
I also suggest (should people agree that meeting in the pub first is a good idea) that an official greeter is appointed for each meeting who will be there in plenty of time to make any first time visitors welcome and introduce them to others as they arrive.
Until such time as we have a dedicated forum, can people please leave their comments and suggestions here for others to see.
Many thanks to all involved and I look forward to making connections at the next meeting.