Our friends Karl and Philippa just returned from Tanzania. At 76, Karl summited Kilimanjaro, a 19,000' peak. Kindly, they brought us a speaker staff from the Masai tribe.
The function of the staff is to enforce support and respect for whoever is speaking, and make sure that everyone in the meeting has a voice. When you hold the staff, you have power and others listen.
We can emulate this elegant custom. The Masai abide by rules and structure. If a speaker is long-winded, and there is consensus in the room, they can be curtailed. What a great antidote for our current media model where experts shout at and over one another. Honoring everyone's ability to voice their opinion makes the meeting productive and respectful.
There are many things we can do to make 2018 more constructive, but if we emulate the Masai speaking staff custom, we will rise above the noise and create influence with grace.