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Q&A with Priya Parker
Symposium Logo
Q&A with Priya Parker
Priya Parker’s bold approach to gatherings redefines the ways people connect, learn and develop relationships. As the founder of boutique advisory firm Thrive Labsshe helps activists, elected officials, corporate executives, educators and philanthropists create transformative, unforgettable gatherings that allow them to step back from their daily routines, rediscover their motivations and develop strategies for innovation.

What influenced you to write your book?

For far too long we’ve been told that gatherings are about getting the things right: the logistics, the venue, the food, the tech. However, I wanted to write a book that put people back at the center of our gatherings. I wanted to write a leadership book that reminded leaders that gathering the intentional bringing together of three or more people for a purpose is a fundamental unit of power.

The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters
The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters
A few reasons you should read “The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters”
Read “The Art of Gathering” if you want to reimagine your everyday meetings, you have an upcoming high-stakes gathering that you’re nervous about either at work or at home, or if you’re planning an off-site, conference, wedding, summer barbeque, back to school night, family reunion, neighborhood block party, fundraiser, book club, political rally, baby shower or hootenanny.
Priya Parker keynote address at the Fall Symposium

What are the most important elements to a successful gathering?

One of the most important elements to a successful gathering is to have a specific disputable purpose, to know why you’re gathering and not assume you already know why that is.

You say that “Life is too short to gather in the old Martha Stewart way. Welcome to the new rules of gathering.” What is the No.1 rule that should be followed?

The new rules of gathering are about shifting the assumption that we create meaning through the shaping of things (the crudites) to creating meaning through the shaping of the interaction (the connection).

You were trained in the field of conflict resolution. How did your background there translate to your writing of this book?

As a facilitator, you’re taught to focus on how to make the interaction between people meaningful, provocative and even transformative. Every page of this book is written through that lens.

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