Conversare – some grounded, some high flying perspectives of a grand experiment

January 29, 2017 |  by  |  Uncategorized


For bookings at events at the Market and in the Fringe at Sarah’s Sisters Sustainable Cafe in Semaphore go to Forthcoming Events.


If you are new to the ideas which underpin this way of coming together to have conversations in public places – a new kind of social gathering – have a look at :

Conversare What it is and Feedback from previous participants.

And this podcast of a Conversare style dinner on the opening night of a conference  in Manila a few weeks ago.

… for an inkling of something that you could find enriching and enjoyable. <smile>



What pleasures could be in store for you if you make an opportunity to participate in a forthcoming event?

At present, in the Adelaide Central Market, on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, in the evening after trading hours, the next being on 21 February.

Easy access, and if you live in the CBD, just a short walk.

For in this wonderful now ‘meeting and greeting’ place you will be in the hands of a host facilitator and encouraged to mix informally with the like minded others present.  Then over dinner find a person who you have not met before to share the meal time. Everybody does this, no one is left wondering what to do.

With the thought in mind that whoever it is you connect with in this way, even though you may have different backgrounds, will likely have much in common. Not least in your shared desire to connect well with new people and learn from each other how you experience life.

In doing this, come to feel and to experience, as stated nicely by a participant in an event in West Sumatra, Indonesia:

‘Conversare is simple and deep, a spiritual adventure.”
Firti Rasmita

If you find the idea of connecting with a stranger ‘unnerving’ you  would do well to bear this bit of wisdom on The Sea of Strangers’ in mind.

And likely enjoy this song Talk to strangers

Also this reminder of the vital significance of conversation in the lives of everyone.

The perfect technology
Michael Leunig

Perhaps at the time and later on subsequent reflection you may also recognise a bigger picture of the significance of engaging in the kind of ‘good talk and enlivening connecting’. ’

High Flying

For a ‘bird’s eye – and above – view of our place as humans:

. Our place in the galaxy

Harrell Graham. 1985

. Our perception of earth taken by astronauts who went to the moon

 ”Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from outside, is available … a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose.
Fred Hoyle, Astronomer. 1948

 One way of interpreting what this ‘new idea’ could be is the observation by Space Station astronaut, Chris Hadfield:

Chris is the author of An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.

“… I was up (on the space station) for five months and it really gave time to think and time to look at the  world, actually to steal 90 minutes at one point and just float  by the window and watch the world, go round the world once with nothing to do but ponder it.

And I think probably the biggest personal change was a loss of the sense of the line between ‘us’ and ‘them’.

It’s really we sort of teach it to our children, you know. Don’t talk to strangers, this is us. This is our whatever – our family, our house, our neighours, our relatives, your school.

It slowly grows where the line between us and them is. I’ve been around the world thousands of times, 2, 593 times – and that line we impose on ourselves of where us ends and them starts, just keeps diminishing and it wasn’t conscious. I noticed maybe a third of the way into my half year stint up there that I just started referring to everybody as ‘us.’ Unconsciously there was some sort of transition in my mind that ‘Hey, we’re all in this together.’

And I think you come across any city in Australia and you see the pattern of the downtown and the suburbs and the surrounding farms and the water and the rail and the communications, just the standard human pattern. And then if you just wait until you cross the Pacific – takes about 25 minutes and then you come across the Americas and there’s that exact same pattern again. And then you wait another 20 minutes and you come across northern Africa – and there’s that exact same pattern again

And we solve the same problems the same way, all over the world. It’s just ‘us’ and everybody just wants some grace and better chances for their children and a chance to laugh, understand it all. And that inclusionary feeling was all pervasive and unavoidable, having seen the world the way I’ve seen it and it was part of my motivations in doing my best to share it when I came back.”

Which can be thought of as expressing:  We were social creatures who depend greatly on each other. Our early ancestors in east Africa could not have survived one night alone. We are shaped, to a greater extent than almost any other species, by contact with others.

And the ways in which we connect to each other make a huge difference to our individual and collective lives.

With such thoughts in mind do you also see that we need to find new ways of coming together, to treat each other with respect – as peers – whatever our backgrounds?

And that Conversare is one such way.

“I look forward to seeing the results of experiments that can only be useful in establishing more sociable and less wasteful ways of our all living together.”
David Malouf

Looking forward

Al – formerly known as Alan


Alan Stewart, PhD
Facilitator of conversations that matter and participatory fun
Senior Fulbright Scholar
Blog: Conversare
Member: National Trouble Makers Union

Book: Time to converse – at the heart of human warmth  


 ‘Whenever we treat each other well good things happen’. 







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