The magic of the bosberaad

It's time to host more bosberaads - a truly South African solution to division and fragmentation.

The word 'bosberaad' is a South African term, which when directly translated means a 'bush meeting'.

What it really refers to, in a more philosophical sense, is 'an organised gathering in a neutral, quite location - away from noise and distraction - where serious issues that pose a significant challenge can be resolved through open and constructive dialogue and collaboration.'

Other South African terms like 'indaba' and 'kgotla' also mean something similar - 'gatherings of people with the intention of reaching an agreement as to how to move forward.'

With such a diversity of cultures living in Southern Africa it's fair to say that South Africa's are very accustomed to workshopping issues in a collaborative way.

We're world champions at it.

Negotiated settlements are our speciality - our history tells us so and it is something that we should be proud of. The ability to reach consensus, even while holding opposing views, on to how to progress collectively, is a remarkable superpower.

More often than not in this country, these moments of social breakthrough happen when people are gathered at a bosberaad.

Perhaps it's the personal stories that get shared over drinks and a braai after the conferencing is over at the end of each day; or possibly it's the emptiness of the distraction-free environment that opens people up to thinking more creatively and expansively that does it, but the effectiveness of workshopping a strategy or solving a critical issue in a forum like this, is unparalleled.

Location, when it comes to hosting any workshop or conference, is a crucial component that has a direct effect on the overall outcome that emerges from the event.

Even if it might be more expensive to ship everyone out to a rural location for a couple of days to think-deeply about an issue, it's more than likely well worth it when compared to the outcomes that emerge from inner city alternatives.

Having the space to think clearly and really make connections with the people that you need to find common ground with cannot be underestimated.

The bosberaad is indeed a great South African tradition, one that should be embraced in this challenging time of division and social fragmentation.