I recently attended a panel discussion about climate change. What drew me was the roster of informed experts, individuals who each had their reasoned, researched and passionate views on the topic. The three panelists were professionals from different spheres and they brought challenging perspectives, innovative ideas and opened doors to new research, facts and lines of inquiry.
After two rounds of presentation, the MC then chased me out of the room. He ordered us to break into small groups, discuss and come up with consensus opinion of various aspects of what the panelists had delivered. Only after such an agonizing natterfest would he entertain questions for the panelists.
Why did he do this? I didn’t come to the event to hear what the hoi polloi thought. I came to learn from people who knew more about the subject than I did. The pooling of ignorance served no one except the outdated egalitarian and social media flavoured sensibilities of the event organizers. I left because I don’t care what my fellow audience members thought.