The Red Table adds another leaf.
An old Jewish guy.
A Libyan-American Muslim millennial woman.
A Filipino-American deeply spiritual Christian gay pop star.
They walk into a classroom.
They meet as a professor and Communication Masters graduates at the USC-Annenberg School of Communication, the world’s Number One Communication school. Laced in with their diversity, they find a powerful commonality. And they all agree that the highly technologically evolved Communications business equally needs a resonantly dynamic human interaction component.
So they search for the legs of a big idea: The Red Table.
NINETY MINUTES OF POWERFUL CONTENT, DESIGN AND PERFORMANCE ART
Two parties sitting at an actual red table, surrounded by an audience. Either a corporate dilemma between two departments or factions, or a society issue between two sides. Thirty minutes diving into the tension between them. Thirty minutes finding their human and professional commonality. Thirty minutes of creativity where the people at the table and the audience are facilitated to work together to create unprecedented solutions that can change the status quo. All integrated with design and bits of performance art. The content is then moved through social media.
The professor brings to it his years advertising Apple and Coca-Cola, his nonprofit marketing experience, as well as organizational creativity facilitation and university teaching. The Muslim millennial brings her degrees in public diplomacy, economics, as well as her knowledge of design and deck presentations. The gay pop star—he brings his several years as the social media maven for the Kardashians, Lindsay Lohan the LA Times and Time Inc, as well as his recently found online stardom.
For the first Red Table, they become their own client and used it for the launch of the professor’s book, Sorry Millennials, we’re not dead yet: The Boomer Rebellion. They suddenly have a success upon their hands and realize they have come upon a great idea.
A SIZZLING CLASSROOM AND A NAIL-BITING COMPETITION
Next, the professor invites his Red Table partners to begin teaching with him, and they bring together the wisdoms, Communication practices and the different sensibilities of their generations into the classroom. And this cross-fertilization begins to make the classroom sizzle.
Then Heba Gibani (guess which one of the team she is) enters the Red Table into a contest on innovation at the USC-Marshall School of Business, called the Mayor’s Cup in competition with hundreds and hundreds of other entries. They present (through the coaching of the fabulous Dan Negroni) and after multiple rounds make it into the very last twenty. Then they got kicked out. But hey, it reaffirmed they had a great idea.
SPECIAL OLYMPICS AND THEIR CORPORATE SPONSORS
Then the professor gets a call from Special Olympics inviting him, based on his book to be the keynote speaker at their all-day seminar with their fifty top corporate sponsors. And he thinks, “Corporate sponsors?? These are the people I want to get the Red Table in front of.” So he convinces Special Olympics that the Red Table is a better idea than simply him as a speaker. So the client, the smart and visionary Kris Drummond, agrees. And they do a Red Table at the Toyota Museum between the tensions and possibilities at the corporate-nonprofit intersection. And the evaluations and quals are through the roof.
Bank of America was present. And immediately called to say, “We need to do the Red Table in the Bank.”
While the back and forth with Bank of America begins, Chris Agutos (ok, by simple deduction, which one is he?) urges the team to take up on the offer to join common.is , the world’s most impressive creative business accelerator for entrepreneurs who have a social conscience and are committed through their businesses to create a better world, as well as new models of value. The Red Table joins Common and becomes part of a global network with some of the most inspired and progressive thinking people all over the planet, exchanging ideas, advice, value and introductions.
TOWARDS JULY 20TH
Then Bank of America, actually puts a date on the table. July 20th. Over the next few weeks, the plate is full figuring out how to pull this one off.
The Red Table will let you know how it all unfolds and keep you up on all the other events, as well.
The professor never imagined this happening at the age of sixty-six. Just thinking about it kills his shivasana rest position at the end of each yoga class. He has to go lie down now. Also, at the moment of this writing, Heba has to help her mother cook for the Eid celebration at the end of Ramadan on Saturday night. And Chris is off to perform as Junius Frey on the Orange County Gay Pride stage.
To understand more about what actually happens at the Red Table: garywexler.com/the-red-table/