Pressing The Flesh

There really isn’t any substitute for meeting people face to face. We live in the teeth of the world’s second information revolution: the first one was Victorian London, where the postman might call twenty times a day.

together again

Reunited: the importance of being together

The Victorians and early Edwardians were obsessed with their postal service. Great chunks of novels of the period – Dracula, Wuthering Heights and Howard’s End are just three that spring to mind – feature letters as part of the text. But from the Great War right up to the invention and propagation of email, correspondents could only look back at the past with envy, much as we might now look at the seventies and marvel that it was a time when people walked on the moon and you could get from Heathrow to New York in three and a half hours.

Perhaps paradoxically, in virtualising our physical selves and firewalling our interpersonal relations technology has made the face to face meeting more important than ever. I can send the words ‘buy my product’ to my entire address book at the click of a button but it’s not until I ask you what your needs are that I can persuade you my product is the one that solves all your problems. Indeed, email marketing has become so commonplace that it’s largely ignored. With a meeting, you’re not only more likely to sell the thing you want to, but if you don’t, you come away with an understanding of why not. Meeting clients shouldn’t be thought of as ‘hospitality’, it’s basic R&D.

Too many people forget that the telephone remains the most efficient way of exchanging information. On the phone you can establish in seconds what can take hours via email. Meetings are deeply inefficient ways of exchanging information, but they are the best way of establishing and deepening relationships, and this is their value. Mitravitae has progressed through face to face meetings: planned ones with our partners at Exeter, inspiring ones over cups of tea with BJ Cunningham, informative ones with salt workers in India, and formal ones at conferences. We don’t have to imagine the communities that would benefit from the Mitravitae project; we’ve met some of them, and look forward to meeting more.

If you’re interested in how we’re solving the energy nexus we want to meet you – come and hear us speak:

Biodiversity 2012 Hyderabad, India: 14-15 September

EcoSummit 2012 Ohio, USA: 30 September – 5 October



Your thoughts

  1. 20 April 2013 by maillot foot

    this is great blog, I will certainly be back.

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