A pair of (highly optional) Sample Agendas
Agenda No. 1
10 minutes: Opening
Welcome and your opening comments/remarks (3 minutes)
Start with the purpose of the dinner and your personal relationship to the book: What has WINNERS TAKE ALL meant to you? Why are you hosting this dinner? And why did you want to specifically invite these people around the table to join you in conversation around this book?
Ground rules (3-5 minutes)
Share openly, listen with curiosity, encourage all to speak, discuss confidentiality.
10-15 minutes: Introduction of guests: (10-15 guests or ~1 min per guest) keep it moving
This should be quick (about a minute a person or so)
Invite each person to introduce themselves by saying their name, and answering one of the following (Decide ahead of time)
Beyond the fact that I invited you, why did you agree to come to this dinner? Give us a little flavor of your work and how it relates to the argument of this book.
What’s your “charade”?
What have you secretly worried that you may be a part of by doing the work you do but have never given voice to?
Or make up your own.
90 – 120 minutes: Dialogue.
Stage I: CHECKING FOR UNDERSTANDING
What’s the core thesis of this book?
What is MarketWorld?
What’s the problem with a win-win?
What does Giridharadas say about “thought leaders”?
Neoliberalism is a term we hear thrown around quite often. How does Giridharadas define it and what does it have to do with his argument about social change?
What is “real change” in Giridharadas’ mind? What is fake change?
Stage II: YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO REAL CHANGE VS. FAKE CHANGE
What did this book cause you to reflect on in terms of your own life and the beliefs that guide you?
What part of the book do you agree with? What part do you disagree with? What part of the book was most provocative for you?
What have you secretly worried about your work that you haven’t admitted aloud?
What are the myths that you have bought into that this book made you question?
Stage III: WHAT NEXT? WHAT NOW?
What is “real change”?
What is a public solution versus a private solution? Why do public solutions matter?
What are practical ways to be part of this type of change?
15-30 minutes: Future Commitments/Actions
Give time to allow the dinner to close and people to reflect.
Individual check-out: We suggest asking one question that each person answers as a “check-out.”
Spreading the Change Dinners: And finally, you can invite them to host their own Change Dinner with 10-30 others in their community or workplace.
5 minutes: Your close as a host.
Give yourself the final word, and end with your own final reflections and themes you heard from the dinner.
Agenda No. 2
(Borrowed and adapted with permission from Courtney Martin — @courtwrites)
First half half or so — the group gathers and socializes
At 30-minute mark, ask everyone to grab dinner and sit down
45 minutes in, the reading of a poem
Go around the table, asking everyone to say their name, how they ended up at the table, and answer: “ESP or time travel?”
50 minutes in — break off into pairs and discuss: So what did this book cause you to reflect on in terms of your own life and the beliefs that guide you? (5 mins per person) And then come back to the full group and ask: What came up for you all in that sharing? (5 min)
Roughly an hour in:
In pairs: What part of the book was most provocative for you? (5 mins each)
In full group: What came up for you all in that sharing?
Large group discussion for about an hour
Possible questions to throw out:
What does our world look like with real equity and justice?
Anand painted a vivid picture of the social change sector as it is. What would the sector be like if it actually shifted to a focus on systemic change? What would you personally gain? What would you have to give up?
Where do you already see that happening?
Who is someone in your world that operates outside of the MarketWorld delusion and is making change you deeply believe in? What are the lessons of his/her life?
Around two hours in: close by going around the group again. Ask for one thing (big or small) people would like to commit to after the discussion today