Meetings No 01
This is no ordinary meeting magazine.
Cover Story
Johan Johansson
encourages us to challenge our thought patterns.
Psychological Meetings
Meeting People
Gordon slowly opens the door just a little bit.
Ecological Breakfast
A great success.
Richard Gatarski
Gatarski Questions the Myth of Total Presence
Please turn on your mobile phones!
Shari Swan
Swan on New Ways of Working
and an ever present focus on the street.
Take a Break with Cottam
Excerpts from Mothers Pearls: 27 short autobiographical chapters of aha moments of realization.
Business Meetings Management
A five part masters programme.
Jonas Bodin
Meeting With Meaning
CSR in practice
Jan Rollof
On Creativity
and its impact on meetings.
Mind Check
The Significance of Colours
Tomas Dalström picks the brain of Karl Rydberg.
Business Intelligence
Four Years Before the London Olympics
What's on, Barbara Jamison, at visit London?
Per Hörberg
Hidden Agendas
Affecting meetings everywhere.
Meeting Architecture
Dr Elling Hamso an the most significant book ever.
Spread the Message
Nature's Ten Best Tips
To suddenly become green in your meeting concept is not as easy as it sounds.
Meetings Industry Research
Lund University conducts research into the meetings industry.
A way of communicating.
Roger Kellerman
A Buyers' and Meetings Planners' Magazine
Why Meetings International goes international.
New knowledge
Brain research
shows added value live events.
BTM World 2020
transitions to virtual.
post-pandemic momentum
Dubai Tourism forms Business Events Stakeholders committee,
host first meeting as industry resumes activity.
hotel news
Scandic expects
occupancy of 30-35 percent for September.
Covid developer
Scandic Hotels
launches the largest network of coworking spaces in the Nordic countries.
planned for 16-17 Sep
Update on GIAF
- New dates set for 5-6 November 2020.
Sands Expo and Convention Centre
is now a carbon neutral venue.
positive impact
The Hague webinar
celebrates partnerships and first anniversary of Ottawa MOU.
expanding network
ICCA Partners up
with Geneva International Associations Forum (GIAF).
Sponsored Content
Taiwan Ready to Reopen to the World
Over 80 events taking place in Taipei now.
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Meeting People

“The ‘total’ man is a man whose mental and physical activities form a whole during his lifetime. He does not know the distinction between work and enjoyment. He does not know the dichotomy of town and country created by the division of labour… and he will no longer have to confine himself to only one occupation.”
Excerpt from late Professor Marek Fritzhand’s writings on Marx’s Ideal of Man

As a psychologist I now and then try my best to understand what is going on inside other peoples’ minds. How are they constructing and forming their thoughts? Where do their ideas come from? How are they transforming their mental activities to their behaviour?

In order to find the answer I have to conduct a deep interview. Normally there is nothing peculiar about deep interviews. They could be regarded as serious conversations about quite common human experiences and habits. I ask my curious questions, inviting the other to share his or her thoughts with me.

Some of my questions are of course not that easy to quickly respond to. For example: “Could you elaborate on the concept ‘outlook on man’? Could you give me some examples on your thoughts about man and if your thoughts have undergone any changes from earlier times to the present time?”

Questions like these are like a key in the door. The door slowly opens, just a bit, but with space enough to get glimpses of values for an interesting continuation of my work.

So, what kind of answers do I get? Different ones from different people, but as most of the people I meet live in the Western world they have been raised within the Jewish-Christian cultural spiritual movements. This quite often leads to rather simple and straight replies, such as “Oh, I look upon people as basically very kind-hearted. People are very nice if you just treat them nicely. And I think that a lot of people can create wonders, really!”

“Have you always thought that way?”

“No, I don’t think so. When I was very young I met a few who were really nasty or just stupid, but nowadays I think that they probably came from poor homes and problem families.”

“So your idea is that most people, or all people, are fair and kind if you just treat them in a way that they appreciate?”

“Exactly. Do you agree?”

Well, do I? And if I do, shall I confirm that I share the other person’s ideas? That depends on the purpose of my investigation. Mostly I want the other to show me his or her cards, while keeping my own close to my chest.

But in this text I can afford to be more open. So my answer would be: “No, I certainly do not agree. All people are not kind-hearted and there are lots of people who are not susceptible to nice behaviour from others.”

Meeting people. What kind of people? Who are all those people that I see every day, especially on my trips to and from my office, or in the conference or meeting rooms, or during my holiday travels. Who are they? What is going on in their minds? What are their plans for their next steps in life? What do they want, and what don’t they want?

All those questions are raised from my interest in humans as biological, psychological, social and, not least, political creatures. By political I mean that we are all formed and transformed within our present streams of politically directed influences. They form the overall existing cultural values of today and we are the recipients of all those streams, often without even knowing about it. But during certain circumstances there will suddenly appear islands of resistance, new visions being brought forward, and changes will come. New political systems on the stage, new transformations of our minds resulting in new, bigger or smaller behaviour changes. The society you live in today is certainly not the same as it was some thirty to forty years ago.

Society is a dynamic force, always influencing its people – and vice versa. Society is a very complex organisation and so is the individual. Trying to describe the outlook on man is thus not a simple task. How would I reply to the questions that I sometimes pose to other people? How about my own outlook on man?

I will try to give a brief outline of my own thoughts surrounding this issue. The single man is not strong. In recent decades there has been an increase of the general value of highlighting the individual. This has enforced internal mental constructions about the speciality of the single man, the individual person. We “bake off” humans from a recipe, primarily based upon the reminiscence of the American Dream, a cup of the concept Personal Integrity, another cup of the phrase “The Individual’s Civil Liberties”, and a spoon of selected psychological theories of human developmental stages. All these ingredients are mixed together, and the result will mostly become... a mess. The single individual is just as strong as the range of our imaginations. In sudden new and unexpected situations the individual reaches his breaking point much sooner than a group of people. But all of us have our breaking points. Personal feelings of confidence and security are relative. Everything that we describe in terms of basic trust, good emotional balance, stability and so forth could very well become visible in some situations, but could also vanish completely with the wind in other situations.

Each individual is always mirroring and reflecting his significant surroundings. With very, very few exceptions we are all formed, not only by society itself, but even more by our close relations to those people that have meant, and still mean, a lot to us. Significant important persons are generally the Father, the Mother, the Siblings, the Close Relatives, the Close Friends, The Spouse, the Important Teacher, and the Important Boss. We are in fact always acting out most of all those fields of relationships that all those significant persons have helped us create. The more united and simplified all those people and their relationships to each other have seemed to us, the more confidence and trust in life it has created. But at the same time, life could appear as rather superficial and very easy, not letting you see all the dangers and threats that also exist.

Homo Sapiens = The knowing human? Well, not exactly.”

Homo Sapiens = The knowing human? Well, not exactly. Most humans are unaware of many of their own driving forces and the consequences of their actions. For different reasons we try to avoid a deeper self-insight. This was stated by Friedrich Nietzsche and has since been confirmed by several other scientists. Basically it means that you can never rely on statements about oneself that are now and then proclaimed by certain persons. The sentence “I know myself better than anyone else” is mostly to be regarded as an expression of a wish or a hope, but it is not certain that it is true. It is probably not true at all.

Humans are products of the present politically formed culture. This has already been said above. All of us are forced into the melting pot of all invitations of how to be, how to react, how to think, which is taught to us by schools and workplaces, by most of the nuclear families and of course by the mass media; newspapers, radio, TV and the internet. Well, on the web there are of course voices, texts and pictures that sometimes call for something completely different, but as this is quickly diagnosed as abnormal there will only appear a few that really do deviate from the course of normality. The special critical thinking that is a necessity for scientists and a few other professionals is hard to find among the commoners. The ordinary people will always become streamlined and follow the ideas of the time.

Humans are not able to perform everything they want to perform, no matter how they try. This is a myth saying that we could do anything we want if we really go for it. Basically we are biological animals who have been provided with certain possibilities, and we differ a lot from man to man. There are very few people who could learn and train to jump over two meters and twenty centimetres, and there are very few who could run 100 metres under ten seconds. There are very few smartallecs like Albert Einstein and Stephen W. Hawking, but there are on the other hand lots and lots of people who still firmly believe that God created planet Earth in seven days some 5,800 years ago. No, it is not possible to become whatever you want. There are biologically determined limits and barriers that are not possible to pass, physically and/or intellectually.

Most humans are trained to act as social competitors. At least at present. Our main cultures around the globe are active members of the global competition market, which means that most of us will be taught and trained to seduce or manipulate others in order to gain favours for ourselves. It is an old fight for survival going on out there. The individual looks out for any openings and roads that hopefully will lead to even more comfort, power and glory. We form our strategies for how to behave on the market. We will act softly when this is wished for, and we try to act convincingly when this seems to be more suitable. In this way we are trained to act. Some are more honestly open than others, but not always.

Based upon all these outlooks on man I have to state that most people are not to be trusted until they have shown, over and over again, that they have a heart of gold and are able to resist all the crazy temptations of our time.