Endorsements of  Conversare in the Market – and elsewhere

“Simple and deep, a spiritual adventure.”
Firti Rasmita

“The context was one of mutual permission to talk freely, with no agenda,  with people of any age, gender, occupation or background, I found it very refreshing and liberating.
And it has broken the ice for me regarding totally accidental or incidental encounters with people anywhere.
The informality and inclusiveness gave a warmth and positive feeling of well-being.
Free talking without borders!

It feels as if this general concept of free talking, ‘without borders’, can find its way into many and various contexts in our unhappily conflicted world, whether locally or much more widely.

Greater publicity and widening practicing could effectively lead to freer and nicer talk at fixed-purpose conferences, even in the conference proper, as well as outside official sessions; the common stiltedness and carefulness could be alleviated. “
Andrew Booth

“A wonderful and refreshing experience of encounter with others who care deeply about community. It has inspired me to host a similar regular conversation in my own community and share the concept with other community builders across the globe…Thanks Alan for your passion and commitment.”
Peter Kenyon | Director
Bank of I.D.E.A.S.
(Initiatives for the Development of Enterprising Action & Strategies)

“It was great to join in the group on Tuesday evening and to be in the Market with it almost empty.  Thank you for your ongoing enthusiasm for it.  It surprises me that there are not more folks around to enjoy a meal and conversation in the heart of the city in the Conversare format.  So simple, and so rich.
Ruth French

“I find Conversare profound, in the sense that it provides a safe, friendly place to enjoy time and a meal with a stranger, who at the end of the time doesn’t feel like a stranger at all. The ambience is gentle and accepting, leaving conversations to flow .Guided by Alan Stewart it is well worth an hour or two in the Adelaide Central Market at dusk. Thanks for the opportunity”
Jen Westwood

“A most interesting exchange with an inner city resident that I’d be most happy to meet again. We had some things in common, but it was our differences that drew us together I thought.

I really appreciated participating in the enterprise in the prized venue within the culinary heart of our city, and perhaps also the cultural heart.

In any event, I thought it most apt that Conversare offers that extra dimension, so that the market place, the eating place, becomes the meeting and greeting place.  Also felt right that after the shoppers depart and stalls pack up that a few of them provide the food for the finale of the day – conversation between those whose needs are simple – to meet another with the support and blessing of our most trusted purveyors of food and refreshments.”
Tim Walsh

“As my first experience, I found an uncommon willingness amongst those who gathered to engage in deeper conversation.  This quickly generated into-me-see, and for me, a heart opening appreciation of the wonderful life a perfect stranger is living.  Through this, my appreciation for the majesty of Life itself, manifesting in unique human forms, increased yet further.  All this in the atmosphere of good food amidst the night time calm of the Market.  Ahhhh…. isn’t Life good?
Andrew Horwood

“Conversare provides an exceptionally simple approach for the return to glory of community trust and connectivity. For me, I arrived not knowing what to expect and I left feeling connected and supported by good people and great conversation.”
John Hovell: Head of Organisation Development, BAE Systems plc

“I love it that you are looking at opening space in one on one conversations with your Conversare (which I have experienced and enjoyed).  I’m glad others are seeing this as a growing area of study, awareness, and discovery! I look forward to learning and hearing more.”

Harold Shinsanto
Manager of the Open Space list

“Sometimes I ponder deeply about “Conversare” which is re-introducing the sheer joy of just being together to converse, share, to laugh, to eat. No chores, no big problems, no strategy, no planned outcomes — just lots of intimate togetherness from which compassion, friendship, love and community emerge. I sense that in that Alan, you are truly a trailblazer. You persist, you continue and who knows perhaps one day, Open Space will become a Giant Conversare because the problems people will have to solve will seem so small when folks know and care about each other. We will be living the joy of just being together!  A lost art that is screaming to be re-discovered.”
Suzanne Daigle

Feedback from participants in Conversare in Hong Kong, 2009-2010

“great concept indeed … think you just hit it right at bull’s eyes … long wished for in the recess of our minds but not quite realized or voiced!”
Velda Kwan

I sensed a wonderfully positive energy from the moment I entered Cafe Zambra and very much enjoyed the connectivity of the evening. I felt we could have mixed and matched socially in any permutation in such a comfortable atmosphere.
Eileen Reid

 “It’s been really fun. I have never really meet many people outside the bank and finance circle so it’s a real experience for me.”
Gee Gee

 “I enjoyed last night’s Conversare event tremendously.  I love to be amongst people who like to engage in deep conversations and just be …

Going forward, I would love to continue to participate.”
Susie Li

“Friday drinks would usually be with people with very similar ways of thinking which is cozy but doesn’t require any effort to extend myself mentally or emotionally, whereas at this gathering, I came across people with a completely different way of viewing the world – very demanding but very rewarding.”
Andrew Lawson

“Coming to Conversare takes me back to a time when as a boy I experienced the same natural state of communication when friends and strangers came together in the pubs of Ireland. It was a magical time.”
Gerald Winnington-Ingram

 “I must admit I approached conversare with some trepidation as i am not the touchy feely type and I wasn’t sure what or who to expect but i thoroughly enjoyed myself. The ambiance was warm and friendly, totally non threatening. I didn’t feel anything was expected of me other to than to be there and enjoy myself. All the people there were people I wanted to meet and talk to and it was so interesting sitting with someone completely new, who led a totally different life style in Hong Kong.”
Annemarie Bailey

“Thanks for organising it and invite me to come also! ” there is no stranger in this world”–  this phrase come to my mind after the gathering! In the metro and on the street we encounter lots of people who may have interesting to share and Conversare is a bridge for it! ”
Rainbow Hui

“I generally avoid cocktail parties and similar occasions because the conversation is usually so trivial and shallow that I don’t feel motivated to participate. At Conversare functions, my energy and wish to connect with people and to contribute just flowed without effort.”
Ian Robertson

 “What do you get when you put a group of strangers together in a room and give them time to connect?  Oh, don’t forget this happens in a comfortable environment over a great meal. Well for me the experience of Conversare was one of respect and openness as the conversations flowed in all manner of directions across very enlightening landscape.”
Merrin Pearse

 “Why do I come?  In short because the exchange of ideas and sparkle of interaction it creates ensures there are gems aplenty for all who participate – the thoughts and comments are always bright and genuine from all who come and that makes for a very special occasion…not to be missed.”
Vonnie Boston

” I am an urbanite, I love to meet people, am a workaholic, an independent professional living far-far away from my family and country of birth. I crave the closeness of community living and sharing that was so part of my formative growing years, when you didn’t need invitations to visit people and you could ring your neighbors’ doorbell to borrow sugar, tea or pickle for your guests. I believe deep down we all crave effortless connections but somehow our lifestyles don’t allow us that intimacy any longer. Hesitation sets in. But at Conversare, walls crumble, and bonds are created. I could ring any of the participants’ door bell to borrow sugar or tea.”
Mani Goel

“Sometimes I ponder deeply about “Conversare” which is re-introducing the sheer joy of just being together to share, to laugh, to eat, [and perhaps also to sing and to dance].  No chores, no big problems, no strategy, no planned outcomes — just lots of intimate togetherness from which compassion, friendship, love and community emerge.”
Suzanne Daigle