What do hosts do?
round up a group of friends for an hour or so of live, in-person conversation. we provide an episode that touches on one or two topics — anything from forgiveness and commitment to creativity and the future of artificial intelligence. you play the video for your group and the group talks. there are 8 episodes, if you and your group decide you’d like to continue to meet.
Can I see the film before my friends come over?
yes. hosts have access to each of the episodes in advance. many hosts say they enjoy experiencing the film for the first time with their group. most opt to watch episode 1 before their gathering to get a feel for how the project kicks off. (again, many hosts report the experience of watching the film with their group is very different from watching it alone. in the good way.)
How long is the event?
the episodes are shorter than 30 minutes and we recommend setting aside one to two hours for conversation
How many people should I invite?
there’s no hard rule, but between 8 and 15 people is a great size for conversation, depending on your space. you’re encouraged to over-invite—we all know that things come up at the last minute and people will cancel.
What makes for a good mix of people?
some hosts focus on gathering people from diverse backgrounds. others round up friends who know each other well. we think it adds something special to have people in the room who don’t know each other. however you do it, you will discover that even people who seem to have much in common have a diversity of life experience that makes for interesting conversation.
Should meetings be co-ed?
that’s your choice, as well
What's your recommended phone policy during the gathering?
we suggest you send an email ahead of time with details on the start time, etc. and, in that email, ask them to turn off their cell phone before they come in. perhaps provide a landline number if, for instance, a babysitter needs to urgently get in touch with a parent. some people provide a “cell phone basket” to help remove the temptation to check the phone.
Are hosts meant to act as facilitators? Are there discussion questions?
no. the host is a conversation participant, just like their guests. what we have seen is that the conversations do not need facilitating. we have a brief introduction we recommend you have a group member read aloud before you play the film, to provide some context and guidelines. there will likely be awkward silence when the film ends. some people won’t talk right away, or at all. that’s ok. just wait. resist the urge to talk first, even if your friends seem to look to you to begin. conversation will start. it always does. we promise.
Can I host the meetings outside of my home?
sure. any private space works as as long as you have a TV that can show the film and there’s some privacy afforded to the group during their conversation. another nice touch is comfortable seating, with arms, if possible.
Should I put out food and drinks?
we’re not really into “shoulds.” food and drink is totally up to you. whatever you might put out for a book club probably makes sense for this.
Can I share host duties with a friend?
yes. consistency is the most important thing, so if sharing makes it easier to meet more regularly, do that.
Can I host more than one group?
yes. some may want to round up a co-ed group for an evening conversation and then a different group for daytime. fine by us.
What if I can’t get the group together every month?
we recommend meeting regularly, if you can. we understand not everyone can do that strictly monthly. there are 8 films in the series, so try to do the first three with consistent timing, if you must take a break. some groups (like teachers) have found meeting weekly during the summer works best to complete the series. while others like to meet twice a month. it’s up to you.
Some people I invited can't come, but can come next time. Is that ok?
absolutely. it’s inevitable that the group will evolve. you may find that around your 3rd or 4th meeting you’ll want to stick to the group you have.
How do I get the film to show my group?
hosts have access to the videos to screen for the group. qualified hosts are granted access to the films and other episode-specific resources. join us here to learn more or start a project.
What are the technical requirements?
hosts stream the video from their computer or other device to their TV. you can use a Smart TV, Apple TV, Chromecast or even plug your computer into your TV with an HDMI cable. we have tech guides accessible to qualified hosts.
How do I formalize my group?
we’re expanding rapidly, but we’re still small and want to stay in touch. contact us to let us know you’ve set a date or have already gathered for episode 1 and want to continue. we’d love to connect and get to know you.
How does membership work?
for a limited time, we have a sponsor running a promotion that covers the fees for new neighborhood projects and hosts the experience in our online community. this waives the $180 membership fee for all participants. (so it makes sense to start your project soon.) membership in the online community is free and provides private space so group members can be connected to each other and the broader project and projects can interact with each other, too. once you’ve met for episode 1 and notified us of your intention to continue, we’ll set up a private space for your project there to which you can invite your group members.