[Editor’s note: The original version of this post can be found on our MaestroConference blog. The version below has been lightly edited.]
VoiceVoice, the company, was created specifically to bring to life a particular format of conversation.
Back when I was a student attending a workshop, a training, or a class, the teacher or facilitator would say, “okay, turn to your partner and tell them why you are here, what you want out of this lesson, what you’ve learned.”
I could feel my excitement, the excitement of the room, when the questions were on topic. Rather than just listening to someone speak or teach, we were connecting to other people by actively, deliberately participating and talking live with others in the room.
Some people refer to this format of conversation as “facilitated, guided or hosted.” Those in a teaching context call it “active learning.” These terms are all related, but to me, none of them truly encapsulate the essence of these purposeful conversations, so I struggle with the wording.
And yet the purpose of our technology has always been crystal clear- to create these very lively conversations and invite very large groups of people to participate in them.
This style of conversation has a long history for me. In graduate school, I was teaching Calculus, and I became a bit of nuisance for the department’s office staff because as a teaching assistant, I demanded to have a room with chairs that moved. You see, the way I taught Calculus was to put people in teams, and there were specific ways I needed to set up those teams. I couldn’t teach in a room with chairs that were fixed! So I told the office staff, “I need to teach a different section, I need to switch with somebody. This will not work. We need to move to a different classroom or move me, but this will not work!”
In the end, I was recognized as the Calculus teacher with the best results in the department’s history, with students achieving the best grades in the university for three quarters in a row. In fact, I had one class who had one-third A’s, one-third B’s and one-third C’s, with no D’s and no F’s, this while every other class was reporting nearly a 40% failure rate. So I knew something right was happening, there was something lively in this format of conversation.
By the time I started this company, I’d understood that my purpose, the maximum positive impact that I can have in this world, was to awaken people in this nation to a greater understanding of what is possible through conversation. Specifically by bringing people together in new, purposeful, meaningful ways.
So when I was involved in a previous startup, a financial education company, and we wanted to move to interactive teaching online only to discover that there was no webinar or conferencing call service that allowed us to have this lively format, I sensed the market opportunity and an alignment with who I am and what I can bring to the world.
Hence the founding of a company with a core purpose- we exist to bring amazing, purposeful conversations to life!
So why I am telling you all of this?
Conversations with customers, partners and hosts have done very well on our platform. We’ve brought these conversations to 8 million participants and counting. And yet we believe we have even greater potential.
We believe we have found a new way to foster the power of the individual to share a conversation, a conversation that someone can actively, deliberately, fully participate in and not just listen to. And once people are introduced to this way of connecting with others and generating something meaningful and powerful as a group, people will say, “Hey, let’s have a conversation in this format!”
With the new technology we’re developing, we are going to be able to invite more people into discovering how purposeful conversations can change the world through dialogue and action.
We think we can sweep the internet and capture the public’s interest in the way that eBay, YouTube, Facebook, Airbnb, Uber or other online sensations became part of the fabric of our globally connected classroom.
And that’s the potential of this new platform- to awaken more of the world to the power of these purposeful conversations in an entirely new way. I can’t wait to show you the new platform and how it will help us help you, our amazing customers and partners, bring more of these conversations into life.
Thank you for taking the time to read this far,
Founder/CEO of VoiceVoice