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Right Space and Whitespace

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We all need time to think. Attendees of meetings for large and small corporations and non-profit organizations are desperate for agendas that include – simply – time. We’re learning that blocks of unplanned time integrated within a meeting agenda are valuable. Very valuable. They allow attendees to independently and collaboratively digest the ideas and information from the content of the actual meeting. This planned-unplanned time is something meeting professionals call WhiteSpace.

When Herbert Fisk Johnson, Jr. donated Wingspread, his family’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home, to The Johnson Foundation, the term WhiteSpace had not yet been coined. But his ultimate purpose was to give thought leaders exclusive access to a beautiful, gated property where focused conversations – and, yes, WhiteSpace – were possible.

Valuable in both short spurts and large blocks, planners know that WhiteSpace helps prevent fatigue, recharges minds, sparks creativity, and inspires problem-solving.

How can you leverage WhiteSpace at your meeting or retreat?

Integrate it into your agenda. In Brain Rules, molecular biologist John Medina shares that the most effective learning occurs when our minds are given time to absorb ideas and concepts. So, a well-planned agenda can support successful outcomes.

Choose an environment conducive to WhiteSpace. Comfortable furnishings and decor, natural light, and engaging indoor and outdoor spaces should be considered. Minimize all distractions.

Plan WhiteSpace that can be shared. Organized physical activities and time outdoors can enable groups to disconnect from everything at the same time, open their minds and connect with each other.

Inspired by Wright’s architecturally amazing Wingspread home, The Johnson Foundation has built The Wingspread Retreat and Executive Conference Center around it. A unique meeting venue, its design reflects the belief that privacy, time, and space result in meetings that deliver powerful outcomes.

When your groups of 30 or more meet here, they have the entire property and staff to themselves. Onsite accommodations for up to 40 guests, private culinary services and well-designed indoor and outdoor meeting spaces eliminate the distractions often present in traditional conference environments. “Once you walk through our gates, Wingspread is yours,” promises Roger Dower, President of The Johnson Foundation – making Wingspread the right space for WhiteSpace.