This weekend I participated as a volunteer facilitator at one of the largest townhall meetings ever held in the US – over 3500 participants in 60 cities, hundreds of facilitators, taking place over 6.5 hours! The topic of discussion was the US Economy and Budget. The goal – listen to facts, discuss our differences, and come to a majority decision on a number of choices aimed at reducing the budget by $1.2 trillion.

The experience was amazing. First, the organizational and logistic planning was impressive and well executed. Second, working with a table truly diverse in age, gender, race and income proved to me that we can come together, listen to each other, make decisions that benefited an entire society and not just ourselves. I had participants who were able to listen to the stories told by others and change their views in the moment on sensitive topics, including healthcare, social security and spending on defense.

Here are the stats on the diversity of the participants. I encourage you to visit the link above, learn more about how democracy can really work, and think about how you can bring the “voice of the people” into your business, community, home.