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Coordinator Information

 

The following infomation explains how the Philosophy Dinners events are coordinated by Glen Brauer.

 

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The mission of Philosophy Dinners is to create community through the initiation of meaningful discussions in cities around the world.

The idea behind Philosophy Dinners is pretty simple. It's about creating a safe space for fun and engaging, meaningful discussions among strangers in a local restaurant. So you might be asking, how does Philosophy Dinners incorporate philosophy into these events, and how are these events coordinated? I will start by addressing the first question.

Of course, many people have different ideas on what philosophy is. Socrates is famous for saying: "the unexamined life is not worth living", and so in contrast to some of the more theoretical philosophy groups out there our events are designed to be practical; to encourage the examining of why we do things, how we can use philosophical ideas and concepts to be happier and more wise in our lives because let's face it, life is short. So our events are not about analysing theories; they are about putting them into practice. These events are also about discussing how we can become more self-aware of our thoughts and actions. This is why our events do not require any formal philosophical background since the only prerequisite is being an open-minded human being who is intrigued by the concept of sharing insights with others.

Keeping all of this in mind, our events still involve having a structure, and we have one volunteer discussion facilitator for each table of 6 people (with some events have multiple tables of 6). I also spend a lot of time unpacking the topics from different angles and perspectives which are derived from famous philosophers, and I synthesize these ideas into subtopics and thought-provoking questions for the facilitators. In my experience, thought-provoking questions are one of the key ingredients to sharing insights among strangers.

As a facilitator myself, I enjoy having these questions available to me at the events, which I print off in advance, so I can spend my time enjoying the conversations and being a part of them instead of having to come up with these thought-provoking questions on the spot. So theoretically I can have as many glasses of wine as I like still sound clever. ;)

I coordinate these events in many cities around the world from my home base in Vancouver (I moved to Vancouver on Nov 1st). I book the restaurant reservations, coordinate the volunteers, manage the Meetup sites, create the notes, and answer emails from any one of our thousands of members. (Yes, this is one of the reasons why there is a small fee involved in attending these events). Now, you may find the idea of this unconventional but it actually works really well mainly because the activities at our events are essentially not designed to revolve around me, nor are they designed to revolve around any other single individual with more expertise than anyone else. That's because once again our events are about sharing insights where everyone's input is equally valued, and so with the help of the facilitators and the notes I provide, this has been working out very well.

One of the reasons why I think the sharing of insights works so well at these events is because each of us have pieces of wisdom to share on these topics which are kind of like pieces of a puzzle when fit together help provide us with inspiration and motivation on how we can approach the challenges of our lives from a fresh perspective.

I always encourage people who are interested or curious about this group to check out the feedback from our members, statistics and links to all of the Philosophy Dinners Meetup groups which are located around the world. In these Meetup sites you can also see the actual events which have taken place, the comments and the topics have been discussed. I'm always happy to hear when other new friendships are created in other cities as a result of these events.

Please take a look at my home page if you're interested in seeing some of my other projects of which I'm involved in including Calopia.

Thank you for being part of this ongoing experiment!

Sincerely,
Glen Brauer
Founder, Facilitator, and Event Coordinator
Philosophy Dinners
 
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