One common complaint among meeting planners and attendees alike is that technology has taken over their lives, so why not explore how living a prehistoric life can shape the way your group sees the future?
NPR’s Here & Now program aired a segment this week with Washington College Anthropology Professor Bill Schindler, who also took part in National Geographic’s “The Great Human Race” show that tests contestants on living in the same conditions as our Ice Age ancestors. In the segment, Schindler talks about how he teaches students what life was like in prehistoric times. That includes students making their own tools and clothing and gathering food for sustenance.
“By connecting these students with those [skills], we give them a context through which to view the world in an entirely different way, and also, a way that they can view their place in the world,” says Schindler. Research has also shown that survivalist activities hone in on increased attention, awareness and productivity, all of which can be channeled after the walk through time ends.
Schindler’s hands-on, survivalist learning experiences can also be applied to attendees, creating a connection among the group that goes well beyond modern-day technology.
While meeting planners may not be interested in having attendees rough it to the extent of the explorers on “The Great Human Race,” Schindler’s main point is that the more one understands basic skills, the more he or she can have an informed discussion and a more grounded approach to life. He notes, “If we’re talking about housing development, they probably should know how to swing a hammer and pound a nail.”
Schindler says one of the easiest ways to reconnect and practice some of these lost survivalist skills—or incorporate into a team building activity—is through food. Foraging and fishing and then participating in cooking a meal from scratch are all ways for groups to reconnect with the land and disconnect from the hectic, technology-driven way of life. For more on Schindler’s explorations, listen to the segment here.