Conversare – what it is

Conversare is about good talk and good fun. It is a social event in a public place in which people talk well to each other. There is a host who co-creates with those present an ambiance in which everyone feels welcome, included and ready to participate in conversation.

Developed firstly in Hong Kong these new kind of social gatherings are now being held regularly in the Adelaide Central Market after trading hours on weekday nights. See here and here.


At these events people enter into a ‘generous little haven of old fashioned goodwill.’ There they engage in conversations with people they may or may not have met previously.

A central feature is engaging in one to one conversation with a stranger. Not knowing anything about this person means having to be aware of how to question, listen and contribute appropriately. Doing this often leads to the finding that, no matter who the person is, the pair have much in common even though their personal histories may be quite different.

These events can be held in diverse places such as cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels, community centers … Being public places means that anybody is welcome to participate. And it is not necessary to know any of the people present before coming to join in.

People who participate do so in a spirit of generosity or openness, a belief that conversation matters. Nothing is asked of those who show up except that they give of themselves through being curious and interested in the others present.

Everyone is treated with respect. Everyone is listened to and has the opportunity to listen. There is minimal judgment of each other, no ‘them and us.’

There is opportunity to meet others who have different life experiences, life styles and fascinating stories to share; people who know something you don’t know.

Why Conversare? (named from Latin con versare – to turn or to dance together; pronounced conversari)

In our modern, complex, and often quite fragmented lives there is little opportunity to have satisfying conversations other than with people we already know. And many find it very difficult to meet new people in ways which may lead to satisfying friendships.

Conversare has been created for good conversation to happen among people who may not know each other, in situations in which it is quite safe and enjoyable to do so. Participants quickly  appreciate that there can be totally unexpected outcomes – learnings and insights! – from doing this.

The events are for people who yearn to be heard and to listen to stories of lived experience which they could not have imagined. They bring attention to people that there are now places in which these happen.

“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! great going alan … !” Velda Kwan

Except to be nicely surprised!