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What is a Round Table?

A round table is a meeting technique in which equal and diverse participants discuss and exchange ideas on a selected topic.
Its origins are said to be in King Arthur's Round Table, where knights, who were on an equal footing, exchanged opinions around a round table. By sitting around a round table and exchanging opinions and ideas on an equal footing, participants can communicate in a free atmosphere and share knowledge and experiences from different perspectives, without any hesitation in expressing their opinions on the topic.
It has been attracting attention in recent years in various fields, including business and education, as an effective format for smooth decision-making and discussion.

Our Center and the Roundtable

The Inquiry Intelligence Center proposes the introduction of round tables as a method for effective decision-making and exchange of opinions, in line with the philosophy of a social think tank. We also hold discussions using round tables, confirm their effectiveness, and publish the results. For details, please see past events and reports.

Past efforts

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By placing emphasis on the following elements, it is possible to respect diversity and hold meetings based on democratic processes. This will not only make meetings run smoothly, but will also produce results that were not possible before.
Roundtables are an effective way to arrive at "solutions" to complex problems based on the experiences and insights of the participants, rather than "correct answers" to simple problems.

Key Elements


It can be said that the purpose of a normal meeting is to make a decision or clarify something as a result of discussion.

However, the Roundtable aims to achieve results that could not be achieved with existing methods, including these points. This can be achieved by holding discussions in an environment where equal and diverse participants can feel comfortable expressing their opinions on topics that have been prepared in advance.

There is no set format for a roundtable discussion, but there are a few key points to keep in mind.
In particular, a safe meeting space, equal and diverse participation, clear goals, and a smooth moderator are essential.

Safe meeting space

Diverse participants expressing their opinions on a topic contribute to improving the overall quality of the discussion.
But to do this, it's important to make it clear that everyone is on an equal footing, in a safe meeting space, and comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings.

Creating an environment where people can say things that they might find difficult to say in regular meetings directly leads to the expression of diverse opinions.

Equality and diversity of participants

Participants can learn something new by hearing multiple different perspectives on a particular topic, and the unique insights of participants may be further developed through the roundtable discussion.

Clarifying goals

By showing the goal and a specific agenda, participants can easily understand the purpose of the discussion and prepare in advance. It also allows participants to organize the knowledge they can contribute and attend the meeting.

Smooth hosting

The moderator determines the tone and outcome of the entire meeting. A smooth moderator keeps participants engaged in the discussion and encourages them to share their insights, opinions, and experiences. By maintaining the flow of the meeting, the moderator also contributes to participants actively listening and communicating respectfully.

Roundtable-based conferences deliver great benefits for both participants and the conference itself, as the issues are clarified before the discussion and the goals for the day are set out. They are held in a safe meeting space, and participants with diverse experiences and insights can engage in discussion under a smoothly moderated discussion.

Effects of implementation

By creating a safe meeting space, equal and diverse participation, clear goals, and smooth moderation, the introduction of roundtables has the potential to produce multiple benefits.

First, it allows for open communication. Participants are more proactive and feel comfortable expressing their opinions, which allows for multiple perspectives to be presented and further explored. As a result, the meeting may uncover potential risks or develop new solutions.


Participants will gain communication skills and gain experience in thinking independently based on the opinions of others, which will lead to better decision-making.

Furthermore, the experience of presenting opinions to each other and listening to different opinions contributes to building better relationships between participants. In business situations, it is possible to share best practices and build new networks and partnerships. This shows that this method is effective not only in regular meetings but also in events.

*Some of the images on this site are created using generative AI.


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