John Cryan: a neuroscientist at the University College of Cork in Ireland who has examined the effects of two bacteria, lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, on depression in animals. An article from The Atlantic, describes his hypotheses and work regarding gut bacteria and brain function.
Ezinma Ramsay: a professional violinist whose performance videos have gone viral on social media, mainly on YouTube and Facebook. Her videos show an eclectic fusion of various genres of music which is likely a result of diverse cultural and musical influences. She has redefined the violin through experimentation with blending different sounds. For instance, Ezinma has covered songs by artists like Rihanna and Desiigner with a pop culture twist and still retaining her impressive technical skill on the violin.
Wade Davis: a world-renowned anthropologist and ethnobotanist, as well as writer, photographer, filmmaker, and public speaker. His travels and work around the globe have distinguished him as a knowledgeable and adventurous observer of various cultures. The National Geographic Society has named this “Renaissance man” as “one of the Explorers for the Millennium.” (Mr. Davis was recommended to be a guest by a Facebook user.)
Gabby J. David: a 21-year-old professional dancer known for her EDM shuffle dancing. Ms. David is admired for not only her skill but for her courage in battling Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a chronic condition which was caused by an accident in 2014. Amidst her struggle, Ms. David was supported by the rave community with which she was well-connected, according to an Insomniac article. Her YouTube channel and Instagram account are filled with videos of her shuffling but she was recently featured in DJ Don Diablo’s music video for “Cutting Shapes.” Ms. David is an active advocate for CRPS awareness and encourages her followers and fans to share information about the condition about which even doctors know little.
Emily Temple-Wood: a 21-year-old science microbiology student at Loyola University in Chicago who has received recognition for being a prolific Wikipedia editor with a distinct objective. A Huffington Post article from March of 2016 tells of how Ms. Templw-Wood is dedicated to creating Wikipedia pages for women scientists in response to harassing emails.
Something tells us that Mr. Davis would likely play a major role in facilitating conversation. Based on our impression of Mr. Davis from online biographies and video clips of presentations, he is intent on understanding the intricacies of human cultures from all parts of the world. Would he ask questions of the other guests? Each of the guests would surely have some point to discuss or story to share on the topic of anthropology and culture. With his background in biology, would Ms. Temple-Wood engage in a more focused discussion with him? And what of Mr. Cryan with his knowledge and passion in science? Is it fair to assume that he would be thoroughly engaged in topics initiated by Mr. Davis or Ms. Temple-Wood?
We try to consider the fact that dinner parties do not always adhere to a single conversation among an entire group of people. It is likely that side exchanges would occur and we are just as, if not more, intrigued by those.
Additionally, the group dynamic would be an interesting item to study. We suggested that Mr. Davis would facilitate much of the conversation but what if Ms. David brought up a point about her advocacy of CRPS awareness and it sparked a discussion? What if Mr. Draws and Ms. Davis shared a passion for art utilizing glow technology and materials? What if Ms. Ramsay and Ms. Davis decided to collaborate on a video showcasing their particular talents?
These dinner parties are not simply social gatherings. They are incubators for creativity and collaboration, for critical thinking and strategic problem-solving. They are informal think tanks, to a certain degree.