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Meaningful meetings: how can meetings be made better

February 02, 2017 by Geoff Mulgan

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Many of us spend much of our time in meetings and at conferences. But too often these feel like a waste of time, or fail to make the most of the knowledge and experience of the people present. Meetings have changed - with much more use of online tools, and a growing range of different meeting formats. But our sense is that meetings could be much better run and achieve better results. This paper tries to help. It: ● summarises some of what's known about how meetings work well or badly; ● makes recommendations about how to make meetings better; and ● showcases some interesting recent innovations. It forms part of a larger research programme at Nesta on collective intelligence which is investigating how groups and organisations can make the most of their brains, and of the technologies they use. We hope the paper will be helpful to anyone designing or running meetings of any kind, and that readers will contribute good examples, ideas and evidence which can be added into future versions.