Two brief reports and a question

December 6, 2010 |  by  |  Uncategorized

Two recent Conversare events have provided illumination on where this adventure may be headed.

I invite you to have a look at these brief reports on them and then add a comment on what occurs to you regarding future directions.

One was here in Hong Kong at the venue we have been using for the past few months, the Community Centre in north Discovery Bay. People came from far flung parts of Hong Kong, by ferry from HK Island, from other parts of Lantau and some were local residents.

This event was a ‘first’ in there was a ‘host’ making her debut. Jessica (Jes) Syvones welcomed people warmly, sitting in a circle, and soon has us doing warm up, loosening up exercises. This was followed by inviting everyone to look closely around the circle to notice who was there (the right people) and choose someone who they did not know to have a conversation with that person over dinner.

Several of the participants were present for the first time. One was a local Chinese lady who had seen the advertisement in the BMSE booklet, was intrigued by the possibilities and came along not knowing anybody who had been previously nor anybody in the room. When it came to sharing of experiencing towards the end of the gathering she commented:

“I quickly felt very comfortable and at ease. I live in a building in which there is very little communication between residents, most of whom seem to spend much of their time on their cell phones. To get to work I travel on the ferry, at the same time and with the same people. There is no communication between us. And so I was pleased tonight to have the opportunity to have conversations about interesting topics.”

Others noted:

“Thanks again for your kind welcome to the Conversare. This return to unfettered conversation is a blessing, I hope it will catch on and remind us about the value of communicating soul to soul.”

“We enjoyed meeting some new people last night, thanks to your adventurous ongoing Conversare experiment. Lionel and I were quite absorbed talking about a string of things quite unrelated to the suggested topic.”

The second was held in Padang, West Sumatra on 23 November, 2010, as reported in the previous post. I was in Sumatra to offer several seminar/workshops to do with Open Space Technology (OST) in three cities, viz Padang and nearby Bukittinggi, and in Pekanbaru in Riau province.

And so took the opportunity to introduce Conversare to Indonesia. This also provided illumination on how participants respond to the experiencing.

Dania Pratiwi, the ‘logistics person’ on these presentations, describes her feelings about being a participant in this pioneering event, partly to do with the person with whom she ‘happened’ to have dinner.

As Dania also mentioned, one of the participants reported very dramatically that his learnings from the 1:1 conversation were about himself rather than about his dinner partner. Another made the point that the experience was ‘simple and deep, a spiritual adventure.’

I wonder if you can see from these two brief reports that there are implications for how Conversare may evolve? Anything that comes to your mind …

Just one thought in mine from what people have said about their experiencing is:

Keep it simple and let the depth of learning, connection and adventure which comes from conversing just happen.  How, who and where to do this? *

Alan Stewart

* Two ways of expressing what ‘this’ is:

. . . the great and incalculable grace of love, which says, with Augustine, “I want you to be,” without being able to give any particular reason for such supreme and unsurpassable affirmation.
Hannah Arendt

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