An ‘elite’ social gathering, a sort of networking – party for movers and shakers, taking place in a well-known urban center, needs people. Who is invited? Who wants to be invited? Who is going to enter uninvited? And who will be the attraction of the gathering (i.e. the reason others will appreciate they were there)?
Typically, you will have at least one person from the following branches: The President of a Fortune 500 company, someone running for a political office, someone who had such a position in the past, an academic of stature, an artist of popularity, an athlete of some symbolism, an intellectual who hates snobs (I wonder why…), a constantly cheerful entrepreneur, a journalist of at least some ability for irony, a star lawyer (or respected judge, depending on the country), a diplomat but not for sure, someone of unknown vocation, and a young person. That’s the invitation list.
Those who would want to be invited, and aren’t, are usually people who do not know so much about the invited people. Who is not attending although invited? Politicians who are already in office. They are buried with work, probably. Or it may be about the ‘risk vs reward’ ratio…
Who will enter uninvited? Someone who brings confidence to the front door based on abilities instead of a title or a business card alone. It’s also about talent, ambition, and ignorance. Don’t be surprised if that person becomes the ‘finale’ of the party, a conclusion of sorts, the person everybody was glad they finally met, even accidentally (he/she was not on the list, to begin with.)
Do not expect anything coming out of that encounter though, precisely because it was accidental. Worthiness is far less appreciated when compared to being a typical product of a prevailing system.
As for the party’s attraction, it will be someone who… attracts attention! An outgoing, extrovert, and motivated individual. The political-office hopeful is the best bet.
The question is, who is of significance in this setting? Depends on the game you are interested in playing. Still, someone here is of utmost importance because he/she is the most influential that particular evening since he/she is connecting all the other dots. It is the person who had the initial idea and organized that gathering.
But the mind behind the party can be of interest only if that person is not someone from the list. If the organizer is someone among those already mentioned, his/her motivations are no mystery, and his/her strategy is not so hard to guess. But what if it is someone who has no other known function tonight apart from being the mind behind the party?
This is a Key individual, a most intriguing role of sorts. The only measure of success for a Key Individual is the ability to maintain such a role after tonight. Probably he/she would. Otherwise, it would be nearly impossible to assemble such a group of luminaries for no real purpose. Or was there one?…
And for those of you who deem such Key Individuals and their approaches as ‘opportunistic’, and therefore deplorable, I would have to agree with you. In return, you will have to agree with me that this is how things work. And this is how things worked throughout history.
And then we could all agree that a system governed by different values-turned-principles is urgently needed for our social structures, for domestic politics, for international diplomacy, for business affairs.
Finally, if we also agree that nothing should be off-the-grid in seeking perfection through progress, perhaps the time has come for world-class intellectuals to exit hibernation and begin addressing vital issues instead of inventing solutions for self-produced theories.
Otherwise, the wake-up call might be too loud for comfort across the social spectrum.