More than 200 presenters!

How is that possible?

This very special format that we currently have on IECs developed in 2014, when we received an unexpected response to our call for papers and presenters for the very first conference.

That time, the organizers of IEC 2014 had been looking for 20-30 presenters, but instead received 150 applications – mostly people they had never heard of -, most of whom sounded incredibly interesting.

We noticed that it was possible to group them into themes like “health”, “leadership”, “education” and “politics” etc., so the idea for the thematic sections evolved. It is always quite a puzzle to create the programme and make sure that the same presenter is not meant to be in two different rooms at the same time.

What is the “elevator pitch”?

Each day after the morning keynotes, around 50 presenters stream on the main stage in groups that belong to a particular “thematic section” and are given 30 seconds each for an “elevator pitch” to entice participants to choose their room over 9 competing others. This takes about half an hour and is informative, amazing and a lot of fun.

After the elevator pitches and a 30-minute break, participants go to their chosen room and listen to three 20-minute presentations. Following these, the facilitator form small groups and lead them into an attentive dialogue, where participants – together with the presenters – will listen to each other and try to learn something new.

Why do all presentations last 20 minutes?

Some presenters might complain that they cannot explain everything in 20 minutes, but Ted talks prove that it is possible to transmit the essence, and particularly what is new about your message.

Also you cannot explain everything in depth in 40 minutes or even 2 hours but you can explain enough so that the listener will know whether she wants to follow up on the topic or even sign up for an extensive training later on.

The reason for taking one out of two hours for a group dialogue – rather than giving each presenter 40 minutes including the more usual Q&A session – is that we believe that there is a lot of hidden wisdom in each individual.

Meaningful learning that has an impact for one’s own life is encouraged by this teaching style. It is amazing even for the presenters, how many newly emergent ideas and realizations can come out of such a group conversation.

In case you feel overwhelmed at some point, you can simply skip one session and go for some quiet sitting in the meditation cave or under a tree by the lake – or take a relaxing swim or sauna in the spa which is open all day. After all, even if you go to everything, you will miss 9/10th of the talks, but you can listen to all of them via the Media package back home.

So with 200 out of 600 participants – one third of the whole crowd are actually presenters in their own right – IEC is nothing less but a huge peer-group meeting.

Many also bring their topics in form of a poster, which are exhibited in the lobby and can be studied during the social evenings on the first two nights, as well as during the breaks. Roger Walsh (who will be a keynote speaker again this time) said:

“- It is impossible to have a boring conversation at IEC!”

Come and join the Integral European Conference and meet interesting people with totally different perspectives than your own, and most of them also with perspectives that differ in some way from the mainstream.

Be prepared to be surprised, challenged and delighted!

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