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Case: engaging high level experts

How a large consulting company engaged high level experts using Synthetron online dialogues.


A large private sector management consultancy wanted to develop knowledge and expertise around the treatment for depression. They wanted to involve multiple experts in a constructive dialogue.

The experts were dispersed and therefore they had to look for an innovative and efficient way to engage them all together.


McKinsey & Company commissioned a synthetron session where a high-level panel of more than twenty academics from Harvard, Yale and Oxford discussed issues around the treatment for depression.

Synthetron and the internal pharma project team jointly developed questions about treatment pathways, how to address challenges and how to formulate effective answers to improve care in depression.

The questions were put in front of the participants, after which they were able to react and vote on each others statements. Thereby the experts filtered out what they though was important, and what wasn’t. Everyone was able to give input.


Engaging participants for more than an hour, the moderators collected around 500 statements of substance. Nearly 21% of those achieved a collaborative support. From the instant report at the end of the debate participants learned immediately about their level of consensus on major issues.

McKinsey partner Dr. Jorge Santos da Silva was quick to congratulate the team – not only for careful preparation but also for the momentum achieved in this highly interactive format.
To inform experts around the world about insights from the panel, McKinsey published an in-depth research paper on the topics.