A meeting system is any systemic means of improving meetings, workshops or conferences. They are particularly important in consensus decision making and deliberative democracy, but they have always been recognized as important to judicial procedure and parliamentary procedure, down to the level of the town meeting or below.
There are many such systems, of which one of the best-known is probably Robert's Rules of Order, which is applied in parliamentary debate and corporate meetings in many English-speaking countries. Also well-known is the cross-examination debate applied in both criminal law and civil law. Much innovation in meeting systems has come from objection to these two basic models, notably due to the fact that both reflect an adversarial process.
When used in political or economic contexts, meeting systems are very often associated with a voting system. When used in matchmaking or other sexual/romantic contexts, a meeting system is considered a dating system. These are discussed in other articles. Accordingly, this article will focus on the corporate and organizational uses of a formal meeting system of rules and limits of debate, and of decision.
Examples of meeting systems:
- Robert's Rules of Order
- cross-examination debate
- consensus decision making
- Open Space Meeting
- open space conference
- any genuine dating system, i.e. those where people really meet