On diversity, anti-mentors, and cheery blossoms – Meeting March 28th

Did you know that Zurich has a dedicated page only for cherry blossoms? Well, now you do, and it‘s our magnificent Toastmaster of the evening, Anna Franzen, to thank for that (look here for more https://www.zuerich.com/de/besuchen/jahreszeiten-in-zuerich/bluetenzauber). 

Harry Loots started the speeches with an insightful speech on how we as leaders are too small for boxes retrieved from online questionnaires, with proper examples that even though he‘s a democratic leader by the books, there are many situations where such notions don‘t apply.

A beautiful tale of encountering otherness was told by Michelle Sabatini of humans and animals and lost connections, of encounters with bears and the delusion of uniqueness as human beings.

Santhiago Alves Vieira told us how mentors who are always right are the best, but the worst are those who have a 50% chance of being right, and that anti-mentors who are always wrong still can be useful as anti-mentors.

Yesenia Sánchez opened with the most beautiful quote of the evening: „The wound is the place where the light enters you.“ and explained beautifully how and why diversity, equity and inclusion are so important.

Pietro Castoldi closed the speeches with his icebreaker which – as all agreed – was a great introduction to the club.

All being excellent speeches, our evaluators had an easy job finding what was done well and a hard time finding improvement opportunities. Denisse Sevastian gave her first ever evaluation, by no means an easy feat. Congratulations! 

Rafael Illan gave his debut as a Table Topics master, and chose, inspired by last weeks debate, many mini debates on hilarious topics like „Allergies are a conspiracy by the tissue industry to sell more tissues“ or „Why New Year’s resolutions should be moved to spring“.  

For the evening‘s roundup, General evaluator Roland Straub and his team consisting of Grammarian Selma Zeni, Ah & Vote counter Andrea Egger and Timer Alexander Merian gave an on-spot reports. Flamboyant, the pompous word of the day, was used an impressive 6 times. 

We‘re looking forward to seeing all of you again in the next heroic meeting on April 11th.

Richard Bruckner

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