Meeting like diplomats in the Board Room

Sometimes we get the chance to get a glimpse of what the world is like in those areas where the big decisions are made. During this Rotarian year 2014/15, I have the great honor to serve on the Rotaract/Interact-Committee of Rotary International. It comprises 11 people from around the world and in order to discuss our different points more effectively, we had one meeting in person where we all came to the Rotary International headquarters in Evanston, USA.

The meeting took place on the highest floor of the building (floor 18) in the „Board Room“. It’s a large room where you find in the middle a table in the shape of an elliptical ring. In the middle of the ring, there are huge screens where the presentation slides are shown. In front of your seat, you find a small microphone. It may be helpful for people who speak very low, but it is crucial for the interpreters. On one side of the room, there are several booths for the interpreter. They can see into the room without being seen themselves and they will only hear what you say when the microphone is switched on.
It is fascinating how well the discussion worked being effectively held in 3 languages: English, Japanese and Spanish.

As participants, we came from 5 different continents, all different walks of life and with different backgrounds. It was fascinating to see how well we could work on all the topics and discuss our different viewpoints – always in an atmosphere trying to find a consensus.
In the future, I will certainly look differently at pictures from diplomatic meetings – having experienced what it feels like to work in such a setting.

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