What Conversare could mean for you

March 29, 2012 |  by  |  Uncategorized

The first of these novel events in Australia happened on 26 March 2012. The company was lively and friendly.  The venue, the Whitmore Hotel in Adelaide, was beautifully set up for the occasion and the food was superb. The show ‘downunder’ is well and truly on the road!

The idea of Conversare is simple. It is a social gathering in a public place in which whoever comes is welcome to join in the fun. The core activity is having a meal or other refreshment with someone you don’t know to learn about each other in conversation. By participating in this way could you learn more about yourself too?

How does this and the following resonate with you?  Have a think …

Do any of these apply to you and you wish to change it/them?

.  Lively conversation is dear to your heart but you seldom experience it.

. You want to meet new people and find this very difficult to do.

. You enjoy having rich conversations and don’t know how or where to meet like-minded others.

. You feel fearful about going to gatherings where you may not know anyone.

. More generally you are anxious about meeting new people.

. While you recognise that taking risks is essential to living a fulfilled life (a ‘daring adventure’ Helen Keller) you somehow are not prepared to do this.

. You see yourself as a shy person and you call yourself an introvert.

. Spending a lot of time on facebook and using arms-length tools like texting and email creates a danger that you are becoming uncomfortable with more intimate face-to-face conversations.

. You can identify with the sentiments in this little ditty

There once was a man who said, ‘Damn!
It is borne in upon me I am
An engine that moves
In predestinate grooves
I’m not even a bus, I’m a tram.

“I go to sleep dreaming how I would be a different [person] – if I thought I could – but I come awake the way I am instead.”
Source unknown

Given that you likely know these things:

“The key to greater success and happiness in life is simple – make new friends, help others and let others help you. Without better people skills we all get stuck where we are.”
Peter Murphy

“Watch how a conversation between two strangers can turn into a magnificent sharing of  personal stories that matter.”
Lisa Evans

“I’ve suffered a great many catastrophes in my life. Most of them never happened.”


“Courage is resisting fear, and mastering fear, not absence of fear.”
Mark Twain

 And you have heard there are now places, public spaces you can go to where

. the risk you may feel about meeting new people is minimised as …

.  there is a host who will quickly set you at your ease and outline the ‘light touch’ guidelines for the conduct of the gathering.

Among which are:

— You are one of the right people to be here
— You are most welcome
— You are a worthy person
— There is nothing to do

Meaning that there are no problems to solve or decisions to make. All that is asked of you is that you give of yourself through being curious and listening carefully to ‘The other’ person with whom you will connect most deeply.

. you will be welcomed warmly by all present – not matter who you are – and invited to have a conversation with a person who you may not have met previously.

. everyone present does something similar.

. you have the opportunity to mix informally with others both before and after the  ‘conversing with a stranger’ happens.

. on offer is a ‘one off’ experience. For each of these gatherings will only happen once in human history.

. the ‘topic’ of the event is to explore with your ‘conversing partner’:

— what has attracted you to come today?
— who are you?
— what do you yearn for?

. your role is to ask questions without worrying about whether you are an ‘interesting person’ or whether someone will find your stories ‘dull!’

What could happen for you from coming along to such an event?

Could you:

. gain confidence from stepping out of your usual ‘comfort zone’ into this other one?

. come to appreciate that, having done this, you have taken a ‘giant step’ for yourself – and who knows who else of mankind?  <smile>

. be delighted that you were listened to carefully and respectfully?

. be reminded that face-to-face conversation is the most satisfying way of connecting with others. With no little gadget in your ears, no little screen in front of you, no multitasking going on …?

. have a most memorable and enjoyable experience from talking in greater depth than usual with a stranger as well as with others present?

. feel that you have had the great pleasure of entering ‘a little haven of old fashioned goodwill.’
Alex Miller

. recognise that you have done this not for yourself alone, also for people who are currently in your life and others who may be in the future?

. see that Conversare is an experience of how friendships are born. Knowing that, while it is not designed to do this directly, it illustrates the process of how it can happen.

. feel that people you know – family, friends, colleagues – may benefit from this kind of participating and bring them along to a forthcoming event?

. understand more of why these have been said

“Conversare … I love the sound of the word and everything it evokes.”


In the end, connecting with others in the present moment of life is all that matters.”
Suzanne Daigle

To conclude for now

The fundamental premise of this enterprise is, in the words of a person who I had the wonderful privilege of meeting twice ‘in person’, the second not long before he died:

Take it or leave it.
I don’t want to sell anything to anyone.
I don’t want to persuade any human being.
I only want to draw attention.
The only thing I want is to draw attention.
Heinz von Foerster

If you intuit that what is on offer here is something of value to you then Go to it!


Alan Stewart











  1. Sounds intriguing. Do you have a schedule of events, and how do I book a place at the next one?

    • Hi Anne

      Are you in Adelaide? The next event is a week today, Monday 30th. Details are now on the site under ‘Forthcoming events.’

      You would be very welcome to join the merry throng at the Whitmore pub.

      Go well



Leave a Reply