Convivial conversation in the Market is off and running and what this could mean for you

November 29, 2015 |  by  |  Uncategorized

Yes, I’m delighted to report that Conversare in the Market ‘happened’ – always the main measure of success in any enterprise in my experience. Everything else such as ‘What we could do differently next time’ is valid but secondary.

The next events are scheduled for 8 December and 12 January 2016. Bookings for these can be made here.

These gatherings are based squarely on one of the main ideas in my book ‘Time to converse – at the heart of human warmth’.

                     We are in this together and to treat each other well.

The book can be ordered from my website Multimind Solutions

There are also other remarkable developments to report. And associated questions for you. See below.

One of the main reasons for setting up these events is to enable participants to  experience, and to be more conscious of, what con versare – to turn or to dance together means and feels like in practice.

What did happen on Tuesday evening, 24 November 2015 at this, the first regular use of the Market premises after trading hours in its nearly 150 year history?

People came, enjoyed being in the midst of friendly company, had a conversation with a stranger (mine with a savvy 15 year old schoolgirl) over a fine meal and went home smiling.

This was likely the first such event in a major shopping centre anywhere. And not just any shopping centre. This is the Adelaide Central Market!

See here  (Number 6) for a colourful description of the ambience of this Market. Could it be that an even more lively and interesting experience of this place will be commented on next time? <smile>

Have your ever heard of a shopping centre setting space aside for people to have hosted conversations over a meal prepared on the premises?

Some of the participants had heard of the idea previously, to others the thought of having meal with a stranger was totally new. Among comments about why they came along were “I like meeting new people and see this as a way doing it.” and “Being a single person I find difficultly in socialising.”

There was a little extra bonus for the pioneers in that the opening was live streamed via an app new to us just a few days previously, Periscope. From seeing this people in the US, UK and Asia sent messages of congratulation.

As have many local people who in the days leading up to the event sent emails and posts on facebook to say:

. “Good luck with this. It’s a wonderful idea and great promotion for the market as well… will send to a few more pals.”

“We should get it to the Tour Guides and Coach captains so that when they are touring visitors they can mention it as a way for visitors to meet locals.”

. “We have a regular commitment on Tuesday nights. Is it possible that you would vary the days of the week in the future?”

. “We are keen to come, have commitments for 24/11 and 8/12 and will register for the one on 12/1/2016.”

Given that this is a busy time of the year in the lead we are thoroughly heartened by such support from people in our networks – and also that from the Market Office.

Among this latter was the entry in Market News November 2015 

This imprimatur of the Board and the Management of the Adelaide Central Market (more  here, see the little video too) indicates recognition that:

. this wholesome and enjoyable kind of connecting on their premises after trading hours is in tune with other activities of the Market.

. whoever chooses to participate in these events is essentially one of our ‘regular’ customers – one of us –  no matter what their background!

. I have the credentials as a facilitator of conversations that matter – and participatory fun! – to do this.

. My colleague is this enterprise, Samone Wear, CEO of Platinum Event Agency is a superb event manager.

. This corner of the Market is a most appropriate venue for our purposes.








If you would wish to know more this new kind of gatherings see Underpinnings of these events and Particular features of Conversare

Also to report:

. We have been awarded a substantial Vibrant City grant to have a video made professionally of a Conversare event and what participants report on their experiencing.

Likely it is that this award is in recognition of our contribution to adding to the vibrancy of Adelaide and its reputation of having a culture of social innovation and agility.

. An interview about Conversare in the Market has been conducted by Ian McNamara (Macca), host of the long running Sunday morning program ‘Australia All Over’. This is reportedly heard widely in Australia and in other countries. My interview will be in the broadcast on Sunday 6 November 2015, all being well.

. We have had enquiries from people in Seattle and in a western suburb of Adelaide about setting up something similar.

My questions for you:

 . Are there contexts that you know of in which inviting people to come along purely to have conversations that may reveal what they have in common could be of benefit to all participants?

What about neighbourhood gatherings, conferences, AA meetings, get togethers with new migrants or overseas students of whatever background… ?

. Do you appreciate that the basic format of social gatherings in which everyone present has meal with a stranger is not difficult to set up?

. Has it dawned on you that hosting such gatherings could become a new career option for people who understand  the necessity of skilled facilitation to people engaging in conversations that matter?
No doubt you would have other contexts in mind.

Looking forward.


Alan Stewart, PhD
Social Artist
Facilitator of conversations that matter and participatory fun
Web: Multimind Solutions
Member of National Trouble Makers Union

 “If there’s dancing count me in”


1 Comment

  1. Hi,

    My experience was positive. I noticed initially that the first Central Market Conversare was adorned by tasteful Christmas decorations overhead, adding ambiance.

    There were interesting people, of all ages. It was easy to connect over a beautiful pasta, crisp salad and then to continue the conversation with a beautiful fruit salad. Lucia’s also supplied coffee and pastries, while Cindy supplied the delicious fruit salad.

    I am looking forward to the next one and am pleased that the venue and food will be the same.

Leave a Reply