[Meaningful Mondays] A deeper dive into our Meaningful Conversations event 🤿

  • 5 April 2021
  • 2 replies
[Meaningful Mondays] A deeper dive into our Meaningful Conversations event 🤿
Userlevel 4

Last week we announced that our upcoming event, Meaningful Conversations, was officially live, and to celebrate I shared a bit about my why—why I do what I do, why I ended up at Typeform, and why I’ve poured so much of my heart and soul into our Meaningful Conversations event. If you missed that article, you can read it here.


This week, I’m excited to take you behind the scenes and share more about how we’ve organized our event, and what conversations we’ll be having across the two days of Meaningful Conversations—April 20 + 21, 2021.


Some months ago, a core group of us gathered around a virtual white board for 4+ hours to begin to workshop the event. All that we knew coming in was that we wanted to host an event that was called “Meaningful Conversations”...and that was basically it.


We started the workshop by openly sharing our most memorable conversations. Some of us talked about hearing the stories of people who’d come from a rough past and, through sheer willpower and mental fortitude, had altered the course of their lives for the better. Others talked about TED talks that have stayed with us for years. I talked about the first conversation I had with my now fiancé, Ilias. Early on a few key phrases started bubbling to the surface: “We all have a story” and “Good conversations aren’t just ones that make you feel good; difficult conversations are good conversations too.”


A peek at our “virtual whiteboard.”


That led to our event purpose, “Let’s Talk About the Things that Matter.” an inherently subjective phrase. What matters to me may not matter to you, and vice versa.


I’m a big fan of the phrase, “By being everything to everyone you’re nothing to anyone.” Therein laid our first predicament. How do we structure an event that is designed to be challenging yet inclusive, accessible yet boundary-pushing, and still echoes Typeform’s core mission, vision, and purpose?


If you’re a fan of Meaningful Mondays here on the community, you may have already seen @paul’s post on “Bringing Meaningful to Life at Typeform.” If not, I highly recommend you set aside 9 minutes to watch it


One of the things @paul discussed was the four dimensions that define Meaningful Conversation Design at Typeform:

  1. Beautiful

  2. Contextual

  3. Personal

  4. Relevant


We use this as an internal reference quite frequently at Typeform and so we thought, “What if we used this framework to structure our approach to meaningful conversation design at Meaningful Conversations?” Try saying that three times fast :wink:.


And that, my friends, is what we did. But first, let’s go one level higher and talk about how we’ve structured our event overall. 


As an attendee at Meaningful Conversations, you’ll be able to choose from three session types: mainstage events, interactive workshops, and 1:1 gatherings, aka small group conversations (with other event attendees!). These will be happening simultaneously across the two days and you’ll have the opportunity to transition across the three—engaging in whatever way works best for you.


A look at our three session types: mainstage conversations, interactive workshops, and gatherings.


Thanks for taking that detour with me; now we’re heading back to the four dimensions. The four dimensions apply to our mainstage events—where we’ve invited people that we admire and that inspire us to share conversations that are meaningful to them. All of the conversations that will be happening on the mainstage at Meaningful Conversations fall into one of the four dimensions, and you’ll be able to see which dimension they fall into in the event schedule. 


Here’s how we’ve defined the four dimensions within the context of this event:


Beautiful : this dimension encapsulates all conversations that fall under the categories of art (whether studio art or artistic forms like dance and creative writing), visual design, physical beauty, and societal standards of “beauty”. 


If this speaks to you, make sure to tune in for our panel, “Created by Women for Women: Disrupting Mainstream Standards and Creating Inclusive Products for All Women,” as well as our closing session on day one, “Let’s Talk About Art: No Stuffy Conversations Here.”


Contextual: this dimension encapsulates all conversations that are specifically designed to help audience members have better conversations, gain a better understanding of their audiences, and consider new approaches to listening and conversing. Think of this as the meta dimension: if we’re having conversations about conversations then it falls under this event track :)


If you like how this sounds, don’t miss our opening keynote with Travis Hollingsworth, founder of Norn. His session is titled, “Unlocking Meaningful Conversations: An Interpersonal Strategy to Exploring the Things that Matter.” He’ll also be teaching a special workshop on day two where he’ll be going into this topic in greater detail.


Personal: if the event is about the personal experiences of individuals, our collective lived and felt experiences, or a conversation that is about a [somewhat] boundary-pushing topic or something that challenges our comfort zones and biases, it falls into this dimension. 


Tune in for Cristina Georgoulakis’ session on “You Can(not) Have it All: A More Sustainable Approach To Decision Making,” if this dimension sounds interesting. 


Relevant: if the event is about the state of the world (climate change, the digital dilemma, etc), a current events issue, the pandemic, remote working, and/or things that are particularly topical at this point in time, it falls into this dimension.


Well let’s just say that the last year has provided us with heaps of relevant content for an event like this. At our upcoming event we’ll be hosting panels on mental health, pandemic parenting, the digital economy, and launching businesses amidst a global pandemic...and lots more. We hope you’ll join us for those, and share your own stories and questions!


As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, registration is now live for our free, two-day event happening (virtually!) on April 20 + 21, 2021. We really do hope that you’ll join us for these conversations.


Stay tuned for updates on our sessions and speakers coming soon to our event website and follow—and join!—the conversation on social, #meaningfulconversations2021.


I’ll be back next Monday to chat more about the workshops we’ve planned. In the meantime, if you have any questions, comments, feedback, ideas, you name it, feel free to drop them as comments to this post and/or leave a video or audio message here.


With gratitude,


2 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +6

@rachelmkalt - I love how you have tied the structure into @paul ‘s framework. And as a user of the platform and a believer in striving to have more meaningful conversations (in every aspect of life, and admittedly I have lots of room to improve - my wife will tell you that is true lol) I think the approach that the Typeform organization has taken to pull this together is wonderfully spot on. 

cheers from the trench


Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Excited for this! :grinning: