One + July 2011 - (Page 22)
We’re Good Because We Belong
Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson—two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and father of sociobiology—has caused an uproar in the biology ﬁeld lately by trying to overturn a well-established theory about the origins of altruism. And yes, this has something important to do with meetings.
Wilson has for years supported the kin selection theory about altruism. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Kin selection theory predicts that animals are more likely to behave altruistically towards their relatives than towards unrelated members of their species. Moreover, it predicts that the degree of altruism will be greater, the closer the relationship.” Not so fast, Wilson says. According to his revised theory—and here’s where meetings come into play—organisms practice altruism because of groups. “Under certain circumstances, groups of cooperators can out-compete groups of non-cooperators, thereby ensuring that their genes—including the ones that predispose them to cooperation— are handed down to future generations,” Leon Neyfakh reported for the Boston Globe. “This so-called group selection, Wilson insists, is what forms the evolutionary basis for a variety of advanced social behaviors linked to altruism, teamwork and tribalism.” Wilson says that human beings have an intense desire to form groups and that they always have. “This powerful tendency we have to form groups and then have the groups compete, which is in every aspect of our social behavior...is basically the driving force that caused the origin of human behavior,” he said. This is fascinating and adds to the noted beneﬁts of joining associations, attending meetings, lobbying for industries, etc. We’re good because we belong to something. It doesn’t necessarily mean that those who are anti-social are bad. It does propose, though, that group membership can lead to good behaviors. —JH
Read more stories at
Jennafer Ross, CMP
Have you ever had to prove the business value of meetings to an executive? What process did you use to accomplish this?
Conference program manager for the International Legal Technology Association As an association planner, much of my role is proving the business value of our conferences to 1,200 law ﬁrms and departments. Here, we focus on assisting attendees in measuring a conference’s contribution to their organizational success without adding a huge work process around that measurement. We track ﬁnancial and nonﬁnancial results after the conference, using survey tools of non-delegates as well as delegates, and ask those who came to report back on speciﬁc improvements they’ve made in the months following the conference. We compile, summarize and publish these for anyone who needs them.
CEO for JR Global Events Proving the value of meetings begins with the sales process and continues through ﬁnal billing reconciliation and debrief. It starts with having a relationship that is mutually valuable to the client and the provider. And it’s imperative to speak the same language as your executives: dollars, time management efﬁciencies, transparency and maintaining or exceeding existing quality. We do this by integrating the language and methodology with which we approach events and meetings into the corporate culture of the executive.
Chief Gathering Ofﬁcer for Creative Community Connections, llc (C3) We were planning an internal event for a customer that had big budget dollars against it to launch the upcoming season’s product. While the internal team saw the value, resultant sales were not as strong as they could be. The client wanted to shrink the onsite event and move content online. But I knew that the internal sales team needed face-to-face with the product. We worked with the client to re-imagine the event internally and externally: train the sales team and then bring in key retailers and sell the product. Two years later, the event has increased revenue generation by 20 percent.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of One + July 2011
One + July 2011
Energy of Many
Paradigm Shifts, Part II
Ask the Experts
Recognizing Community and Organizational Excellence
Art of Travel
The Prism Effect
Using New Tech for Old Purposes
So You Think You Can Dance
Don’t Use Tech You Don’t Understand
Are You In It to Win It?
Anything is Possible
Night of the Radishes
When People Come Together, Magic Happens
Building a Better FAM
One Bar at a Time
MPI + CSR
Making a Difference
Until We Meet Again
One + July 2011