Conversare now evolving in wondrous ways

October 31, 2017 |  by  |  Uncategorized

You may be interested to learn that the Conversare (named from the Latin: con versare – to turn or to dance together) hosted process of engaging with each other is now happening in diverse contexts.

(*See below for more on underpinnings of ‘principles and values‘ and of ‘hosting’Here for background to Conversare in the Adelaide Central Market. And here for underpinning awe of conversing, particularly from 3.37 minutes in)

Among these are:

. As an integral component of a business meeting.

In this case as a way of enabling participation of all present before the main component of the meeting.

Sound intriguing? Would be surprising if it didn’t! For this is likely the first time it has happened, in this way, anywhere.

There’s a story behind this ‘happening’, as in all innovations. <smile>

In essence it arises through the initiative of a local group of Place Makers approaching the Adelaide Central Market to ask ‘Could we have an evening  meeting in your large table space to explore the notion of ‘Markets as Places’?

The chairman of the board of the Market responded “Great idea.  Contact Alan Stewart as he and his colleagues are the group which uses this area on weekday nights after trading hours.”

(The Market is open for business at night only on Fridays. And the ‘large table space’ is used by the public during trading times).


Photo of Conversare in the Market. 12 Jan 2016

A Conversare event under way in the large table space of the Adelaide Central Market

Following this suggestion the organisers of the event met in person with me to explore possibilities.  From which has arisen the running order in which the evening begins with all present having a main course dinner, in pairs of attendees who have not  met previously.

To address questions such as ‘What attracts you to be here’? And ‘Who are you’?

After about 30 minutes the invited speakers will take over, followed by Q&A (Questions and answers) and debate with speakers and audience.

It will be fascinating to note whether the experience of being a participant before the ‘formal’ part of the event produces lively participation after it.

. As a core feature of the entertainment in the Adelaide Fringe 2018.

This is what is on offer early next year:

(Details of which will be published in the  Port Adelaide Enfield ‘Fringe and beyond Guide‘)

“Are you an adventurous spirit who appreciates that connecting with others in the present moment of life is what really matters? And may be both highly entertaining and filled with the unexpected!”

If so coming along to a Conversare event in the enchanting Folklore Café in Port Adelaide will fill you with delight.

For in the hands of a skilled host everyone present engages in lively conversation. In pairs, with someone they don’t know (initially!) over a famously fine dinner. Everybody participates fully. With ample opportunity to meet others too.

OK to come by yourself. You and whoever also joins in will be one of the right people to relish convivial encounters over a delicious meal in a spectacular place. Just right 4U?”

. Just peeking over the horizon

I have applied for a Fund My Neighbourhood grant to establish a multi-site community centre in the area in the western suburbs here called Port Adelaide. For a description of my proposal see here.

If you happen to know of anyone who is resident or has a business in the Port Adelaide area – and so is eligible to vote for this proposal – please encourage them to do so by 20 November.

The procedure to vote:

. Go to
. Register to vote
. Select Port Adelaide area
. Select Port Places, Port Spaces
Add another 2-4 ideas to the shortlist!

If this application receives the necessary number of votes from locally based people there will likely be regular Conversare style events.

For could this be a means by which we ‘hang out’ and get to know more about each other? With the starting premise that ‘Whoever comes are the right people’.  And that more of us, from whatever background, young and older, feel that we wish to contribute to public life here in this delightful part of the world.

What do you sense could be the value of these novel ways of promoting participation in ‘things that matter’?

Bearing in mind this statement of Pete Seeger, famous musician and environmental activist:

“Participation is the key to the future of the human race. Participation in family life, in politics … Participation will save us – if we are saved.”


*On underpinning values and hosting of Conversare events.

Looking forward

Alan Stewart, PhD
Social Artist
Facilitator of conversations that matter and participatory fun

Senior Fulbright Scholar

Blog: Conversare
Multimind Solutions



Member: National Trouble Makers Union

Residence: Adelaide, South Australia, since 1975
With time away in Hong Kong (2005-2011)  


Whenever we treat each other well good things happen”
Al Stewart


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