Conversare – “Get off your bum and connect with people face to face”

March 31, 2015 |  by  |  Uncategorized


** Breaking news of a remarkable new venue for Conversare gatherings in Adelaide. See below.

Curious about participating in social gathering in which the core activity is having a meal with one person, a stranger?

These have often been reported as “very enjoyable and enlightening.”

Which is not surprising, as for starters, they are not really different from any other social event if you go along with an open mind, a sense of keen anticipation and – most essential – a conscious intention of wishing to ‘give’ rather than ‘get.’

Knowing that the expression of such an intention is being curious about the process and about the people – particularly your meal partner – you will meet. And that the main contribution you can make is through being an interested, thoughtful listener.

Sound intriguing?

As followers of this blog may note there are diverse dimensions to what Conversare events may be, and mean, to different people.

For while these are essentially a way of getting together in contexts in which anyone who comes is welcome and respected for whoever they are the thought of talking to a stranger reportedly scares some people. “I’m too shy to participate in that kind of event” is something I’ve often heard.

And yet when they are encouraged to come along and quickly see that everyone present is friendly and all are engaging in the similar activity they invariably participate wholeheartedly.

What do you feel about having conversations face to face? OK with family, friend and colleagues? Too frightening with strangers?

Conversare events provide the context in which lively, in depth, exhilarating and highly satisfying face to face conversing happens!

Which can be considered as a crucial way of recharging life force energy.

Does this matter? Why not continue as individuals and as society as a whole in the way we now reportedly increasingly living?

Two items which came to my attention very recently focus on observations that face to face conversations on more than a superficial level are increasingly rare – given that so much of our time and attention is now given to living in virtual worlds.

If you see that lack of in depth ‘face time’ is as a matter of concern to you personally and to that of others around you do have a listen or look at:

Neurogenesis: a force for creativity?

Fiona Kerr

For the transcript:

and a link from the above:

Hell Is Not Other People

A review by Bryan Appleyard of the book by Susan Pinker

‘The Village Effect: Why Face to Face Contact Matters’

Says Susan Pinker: “In a short evolutionary time we have changed from group-living primates skilled at reading each other’s every gesture and intention to a solitary species, each one of us pre-occupied with our own screen.”

In these two items the authors make the strong case for how much is lost when people do not have opportunity for close, respectful conversation.

Could having a look at the stories and examples in both of these related articles bring you to a greater appreciation of the ‘erosion of our humanity’ from the direction in which we are heading – and also what to do to redress this?

(Could it also bring to mind that the way we treat our planet reflects how we treat each other?).

And come to a deeper knowing – contrary to what we see on the nightly news – ‘Hell is not other people (after Jean-Paul Sartre) rather, as Susan Pinker says “Sartre was wrong, other people are our only hope for salvation.”

Comments Robyn Williams, host of Ockham’s Razor “So in the office, in the factory, in your neighbourhood, put down that bloody screen, get off your bum and talk to people.”

If you are interested in these kind of matters you may also wish to have a listen to this broadcast on ‘one of the issues that have the potential to corrode life at its core’:  Loneliness – a modern epidemic

Do you now better appreciate that co-creating contexts in which lively spirits come along specifically for enlightening, enjoyable and energising conversation really matters?

Looking forward

Go well


Alan Stewart, PhD

PS Watch out for a review of my book Time to converse – at the heart of human warmth in the next newsletter (March/April) of Bank of Ideas (Initiatives for the Development of Enterprising Action & Strategies)


** News received today from the office of the Adelaide Central Market

They are happy that these events are held in their premises!! The first will be in a few weeks time. The photo below was taken at a public consultation held late last year about ‘What innovative ideas can you suggest about the future of the Market?’

Mine, written on a piece of paper, was tossed into the mix and then elaborated to the assembled group. And has now been accepted.

Which is wonder-full not least that this is likely a planet first, ie gatherings in a shopping centre after trading hours purely for socialising over a fine meal.

If you wish to know about what develops send an email to













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