The first Conversation Café session at the Sequim Branch Library was a success! These discussions were begun to tap into the deep well of thoughts and ideas that people are yearning to find expression for. Meaningful conversation is a rarity these days, or at least it seems so in our fast-paced society.
Each session relies on two springboards to conversation. The first is Margaret Wheatley's book Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future. The second is a short video talk from TED.com.
What is TED? This nonprofit organization started out as a conference to bring together people from the fields of technology, entertainment, and design--hence the name TED. Their mission is to spread ideas. All of their online video talks at www.ted.com are free and cover almost any topic you can think of.
In our January Conversation Café, we watched a TED Talk about Temple Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, who is also known for being autistic. Her autism allows her to experience the world in ways that others do not. She thinks in images as animals do, and this insight has allowed her to understand animal behavior.
After listening to Temple Grandin speak, participants discussed the various ways that people learn. Some learn by seeing, some by hearing, some by doing. People talked about how schools help children with various learning styles. Others mentioned how animals learn. One gentleman had just learned about canine nosework and how dogs interact with the world. Another person spoke about being able to feel what an animal is thinking using intuition.
The next Conversation Café will be February 19. The discussion will begin with Margaret Wheatley’s question, “Do I feel a vocation to be fully human?” – What does it mean to be fully human? What actions does being fully human require? What shifts in attitude? What do others think it means?
Unfortunately, this Conversation Café group cannot take on any more members because it is full. However, starting your own café might be something you would like to do. It is easy and fun. Ground rules for hosting conversations can be found in the Internet resources listed below.
I recommend Margaret Wheatley’s book, and also these other books found in the Library:
The art of conversation a guided tour of a neglected pleasure by Catherine Blyth
The World Café : shaping our futures through conversations that matter by Juanita Brown
Socrates Café: a fresh taste of philosophy by Christopher Phillips
Conversation Café -- http://www.conversationcafe.org/
Can We Talk? Conversation Cafés Show Us How by Vicki Robin -- http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/liberate-your-space/can-we-talk