Time for Conversation

Time for Conversation
Practising civic conversation in powerful times.


2:00PM – 3:30PM



We are living in powerful times – times of existential uncertainty, shifting norms and deep societal dis-ease, within and between communities and nations. Ours is an era of deepening cultural fragmentation, widening economic and social inequity, and ever more apparent ecological and environmental destruction. In a world that is more connected, technologically at least, than ever before, we are witnessing, paradoxically, a growing sense of separation, isolation and polarization.

How should we be and what should we be doing in constructive resistance to so much that is wrong with the world whilst also taking heart from hopeful signs and diversely wise initiatives? In what ways can we discern the potential within these powerful times for what Seamus Heaney called ‘moral and imaginative quickening’?

Connecting and being in collaborative relationship with other persons is helpful. And participating in mutually attentive conversation is one wise and potentially transformative response to the challenges we face – a small act of creative transgression. This café-style civic gathering is intended as one such ‘small act’ – an opportunity for those present to participate in open conversation about issues that matter to them. The conversation will be ‘open’ both in that there is no pre-set agenda of issues to be considered and in the sense that there is no expectation that conclusions will be reached or decisions agreed.

As well as focusing on whatever issue/s emerge from among those present in the room, there will be encouragement to reflect together on the power of conversation – personally and politically, practically and poetically.

The gathering will be co-hosted and facilitated by Graham Leicester, founder and former Director of the International Futures Forum (IFF), and Denis Stewart, an IFF member and occasional convenor of conversations in civic spaces. The conversational feast will be flavoured by nourishing personal reflections from members of the IFF community who reside within and beyond the island of Ireland.

NB. Please note this event is being held in Room OG/074, which is in the main Lanyon Building, North area on the ground floor, and not the Peter Froggatt Centre as originally advertised.

Image Credit: Priscilla du Preez


We’ll be in touch.