“I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”

“I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”

Now our time is called the new normal, for example, after the pandemic. We have received hybrid meetings next to personal meetings as a new cousin from the country, making online meetings more fun if the production is professional enough. Although the technology itself has been around for many years, the pandemic kicked the technology into the future.

Now we face a world where the old rules no longer apply, and things need to be seen in a new way. One such method of trying to help the perhaps increasingly lost meeting participants is to learn what lateral thinking is, that is, to use an untraditional approach to an issue that can provide unexpected and straightforward solutions to complex problems. The concept of Lateral Thinking was coined by Edward de Bono in his book “The Use of Lateral Thinking” as early as 1967.

Compared with traditional problem solving, where you directly address the described problem, you laterally spend time thinking about different ways of looking at the situation through lateral thinking. Only then do you get into the actual work of finding solutions? In English, non-linear problem solving is called obliquity, reaching the goal without aiming at the goal.

In Latin, it says “Speramus meliora, resurget cineribus”, which translated means: “We hope for better things that will rise from the ashes.” Thus, in the walk among burning ruins, we can find puzzle pieces for something new.

But have we undergone such a significant change that we can say that we are rising from the ashes? It can be discussed. There is no doubt that we do it financially in the business events industry, but will the congress part in the industry be significantly reduced in the next few years? Do we not have to have personal meetings between researchers and thinkers to keep up with the pace of development and innovation?

All forms of scientific and cultural research at the universities deal with in-depth study. Specialists sit and dig deeper and deeper. But the understanding of the outside world does not increase at the same rate as the specialist knowledge.

We do not just need people who dig deep. What we mainly lack are people who connect all deep excavators by building horizontal tunnels. We do this when we meet at congresses and events. We need each other in the personal meeting.

According to researchers at the University of Turin, Italy, the title of this column is taken from the film “The Wizard of Oz”, the world’s most referenced film. What is quoted is a reply. A tornado sweeps with the girl Dorothy, played by Judy Garland, and her dog Toto from life on a farm and takes them to the magical land of Oz. At the exact moment, the film changes from black and white to colour. Dorothy says to her dog: “Toto, I have a feeling we are not in Kansas anymore.”

Every time the playing field changes radically, in everything from music to culture to politics and business, it is referred to that we have a feeling we are not in Kansas anymore. I think we in the global Business Events industry can agree that we are not in Kansas anymore.

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