Systems and methods consistent with the present invention provide a structured environment or protocol for managing conferences using a computer. In particular, the system uses an iterative process through which participants view statements and respond to them. The system first outputs a statement to all participants in the conferencing session. Each participant then responds to that statement. The system collects every participant's response and forwards the collection of responses to each participant. At this point, each participant evaluates or ranks each response according to predefined criteria. The system then uses the obtained evaluation data from all of the participants to determine which response merits further discussion by the group. This response is then transmitted to the group as a new statement, at which time, the process begins the next iteration.