Conversare in Hong Kong revisited

January 14, 2014 |  by  |  Uncategorized

My being back on holiday and business in Asia’s World City to reconnect with old friends, colleagues and favourite places was a wonderful opportunity to have a gathering, Conversare style.

This took place in a delightful restaurant called Zaks  in Discovery Bay on Lantau Island. Sadly the place where Conversare was born, Cafe Zambra, in which  we had such fun (See Feedback) in days gone by is no more; converted into offices, such is the way in Hong Kong.

No matter, Zaks turned out to be a most suitable gathering place for the 30+ lively spirits who came to participate by giving of themselves. Which they did wholeheartedly as may be seen in the accompanying photos of the event.

Some even came by ferry from Hong Kong Island, a major seafaring adventure for those not accustomed to travelling offshore. (This is an ‘in joke’ as Discovery Bay is only 25 minutes on a very comfortable ferry from Hong Kong island)  <smile>

By all accounts the get together proved highly enjoyable, partly through catching up with people they had not seen for a while and also meeting others for the first time.

All happening in a context in which participants were free to engage with whoever they happened to encounter in a relaxed and friendly way.

And to go home with a feeling of exhilaration and satisfaction – at least this is what they reported.

This kind of gathering is easy to arrange. The prerequisites are a host and a public place both of which are ‘warm and inviting.’  <smile>

Can you appreciate that these events could happen in diverse public places such as cafe, restaurants, pubs, hotels, community centres in your neighbourhood? And that hosting of such events could readily be a component of the career of people who have skills as hosts/facilitators of conversational processes.

Alan Stewart
Currently in Hong Kong and soon to return to Adelaide

Participants mixing informally prior to having a meal with a stranger






Three friends of longstanding reconnecting






Pairs of lively spirits who had not previously met having a meal together


Two people who had not met previously strangers no more

 Conversing connecting between two New Zealanders who had not met previously

Two French speakers engaging for the first time






Two complete strangers at the start of the gathering



Emily, the youngest participant in a Conversare gathering, to date


  1. Great night at Zaks, right people at the right place. Interesting dialogues, learned a lot and had great fun! Thank you Alan and Carmen.

  2. A wonderful warm evening renewing acquaintances and meeting some new real people. You and Carmen really attract interesting people. Thank you Alan.

  3. I couldn’t help but write a comment when looking at these beautiful photographs with notes on each. It was a harmonious, inclusive gathering. Not everyone knew each other, yet they interwove together very happily. Some said that they would like to get together like this more often. As so many of you are expert at relating well and as you are enthusiastic about gathering in this way as we have done so many times before you will indeed have a great time. Seeing you all was truly enjoyable.

  4. wow.. unexpectedly walking down the memory lane once again with the good old faithfuls, especially with our very own sweet Carmen and magnanimous Alan.. lovely indeed!
    The reciting of Alan’s poem was the time that really twirled my beady head, then it was lovely and interesting dialogues among a friendly heady bunch, flowing throughout the evening like dancers turning and spinning on the dance floor – the conversare style perhaps .. then the finale of being ‘swept off’ was the wildly inspiring exchanges with others en route home!
    thanks Alan-Carmen, for the kind gathering efforts. and yes, do keep us posted with your book sales in HK as it transpires 😉
    from my heart to yours all, V. xo

  5. Dear Alan and Carmen and all the lovely participants of the Conversare,

    What a lovely, warm occasion on a beautiful starlit night overlooking the sea. Alan and Carmen, it was so good to see you again in your element, bringing people together from many walks of life, cultures, and realms of experience. I had at least four great conversations and have already reconnected with two ‘strangers no more’! Thanks for who you are, and for all you do!


  6. Alan’s talent as a host is remarkable and he reminds us that reciting poems is a lost art, one he brings back to life along with stand up comedy and the art of conversation. Would love to see more of Alan on YouTube and can’t wait for his next Conversare, always a most remarkable collection of interesting people. Happy New Year of the Horse

  7. Alan-jan salam!
    I’m so grateful that you are bringing back to the world the importance role of conversation for fellow co-humans.

    I recall taking part in a Conversare event a few years back in San Francisco. I was touched by the warmth, the lightness, the genuineness, the vulnerability, the play, and (as much as I dislike the word) the safety of the gathering.

    And as much as we’ve been talking about such practices and patterns for some time now, I don’t cease to be grateful for the reminder of how conversation can help us cross barriers.

    I’m so looking forward to getting your book! And perhaps I could have a reading group where I live where we explore Conversare (the book) Conversare-style!

    much warmth from this southwest corner of continental Obamastan,
    Russki Czar Spacenik

  8. Alan creates an environment that draws people together, wherever he is in the world. Wonderful to reconnect with people who were regular Conversare attendees and to connect for the first time with some new friends! Thanks Alan and Carmen for returning (you are much loved and missed) and, as ever, for creating the conditions for an instant community for the evening. AP

  9. Dear Alan and Carmen,
    It was lovely meeting you and get to connect with new people! Thank you, I felt whole-hearted and inspired, participating at my first Conversare!Inspiring and generous, connecting human beings…
    Come again soon!
    Be well,

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