Date: Tuesday 19th July 2016, 6:00pm - 9:00pm. Please arrive at 6:00pm or shortly after, which will give you time to settle in and meet other people. The event itself will start at 6:30pm.
The event itself is free but you will be expected to pay for your own dinner and drinks that can be ordered at the bar. This is the food menu.
My good friend Alan Stewart will be in the UK in July. Alan has a similar passion to me for hosting interesting conversations and organises events called Conversare which he started running in Hong Kong several years ago and now runs regularly in Adelaide Australia.
So what better opportunity while he is in the UK to hold one here in London.
This is how Alan describes his events:
The name Conversare (pronounced conversari) comes from the Latin: to turn or to dance together. Conversare events are social gatherings in public places in which participants converse – talk well to each other. There is a host who co-creates with those present an ambiance in which everyone feels welcome, included and ready to participate in face to face conversation.
The purpose is to have safe, friendly contexts in which all who come – whatever your background – quickly feel welcome and at ease. With a setting which is gentle and accepting, by the end your fellow participants don't feel like strangers at all.
A central feature is engaging, in pairs, in one to one conversation with a stranger. Everyone in the room does the same; everybody participates fully. Not knowing anything about this person means having to be aware of how to question, listen and contribute appropriately. Doing this often leads to the finding that, no matter who the person is, the pair have much in common even though their personal histories may be quite different.
And so here is an opportunity to meet others who have different life experiences, lifestyles and fascinating stories to share; people who know something you don't know. There can be totally unexpected outcomes – learnings and insights! – from doing this.
Developed firstly in Hong Kong these new kind of social gatherings are now being held regularly in the Adelaide Central Market after trading hours on weekday nights.
These events can be held in diverse places such as cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels, community centers … Being public places means that anybody is welcome to participate. And it is not necessary to know any of the people present before coming to join in.
In our modern, complex, and often quite fragmented lives, there is little opportunity to have satisfying conversations other than with people we already know. And many find it very difficult to meet new people in ways which may lead to satisfying friendships.
The events are for people who yearn to be heard and to listen to stories of lived experience which they could not have imagined. They bring attention to people that there are now places in which these happen
They are similar to Theodore Zeldin's Conversation Dinners but without the conversation menu.
You can learn more about them here. Alan will be hosting the evening
If you love the idea as much as I do then come along on the 19th July and enjoy the conversation. It's a bit of an experiment that will hopefully will be the first of many such Conversare Cafés in London :-)
We have reserved tables in an area of the pub known as the lower Lamb or the pit.
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