Conversation Café Festival Series 2015-16

Conversation Café Festival Series 2015-16

Think BIG this year

The Conversation Café Festival Series is a spontaneous gathering of people interested in the world and in community-based learning. The Series features one month of big questions held three times per year. This year’s Festival Series will be held in downtown St. Catharines organized by Community Learning, Brock University. 

Each Café is centered around an interesting question and is launched with a guest, led by a moderator, and intended to spark the exchange of ideas. Cafés are open to audiences and participants of all ages and all backgrounds. No formal training in philosophy (or anything else) is required. Come with your own real-life experience and a sense of curiosity.

Free. No registration is required.

Each conversation cafe takes place from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Mahtay Cafe - 241 St Paul St, St. Catharines


What is the meaning of risk taking?- November 3

How do you define a risk? Is there a difference between risk-takers and thrill-seekers? Where will you, and won’t you, take risks? Do you think people take risks where it matters most?

What is the meaning of freedom? - November 10

Do you make your own decisions, or let others make them for you? How much control do you have over your life? To be free must you also be responsible, or does responsibility kill freedom?

What is the meaning of “growing up “? - November 17

What is the meaning, process, characteristics, and purpose of growing up? Can a person be young-at-heart but still be grown up? Has the process of growing up changed over the decades?

What is the meaning of imagination? - November 24

What is imagination? How does it develop? Does the ability to imagine decrease as we grow older? What role does imagination play in your real life?




How do we survive overload and clutter in a time of abundance?

Information overload, multi-tasking, too many possessions…how much is enough and how do we keep from drowning in too many choices and “things”? 

How do we slow down in an era of speed?

In a time addicted to speed every moment of the day feels like a race against the clock. What has sped us up, and what can be gained from slowing down?

What do we want to see in the future of work?

While technology is lessening the burden of work, it is also changing the forms of employment as we know them. Given this change how do we strike a balance between utility, survival, and satisfaction going forward? 

How do we form an identity when bombarded with ideas of what we should be?

Do you have the right clothes, house, car, goals, career, family or marital status? How can you form an identity that remains true to yourself when surrounded by media, and others, who share opinions on what you should be?




What is the relationship between love and fear?

Can love and fear co-exist? Or does perfect love cast out all fear? Is there more in the world to be loved or to be feared? Is love scary? Is fear necessary in order to be safe?

What is the relationship between art and science?

Some feel that art and science both push the boundaries of what we know and how we know it, others feel that art and science are polar opposites; one is data-driven while the other is driven by emotion. How, if at all, are art and science related?

What is the relationship between money, success and happiness?

Does money buy, or detract from, happiness? What level of income is necessary to meet basic needs? Is success more closely related to money or to happiness?

What is the relationship between conflict and change?

Do you prefer change or stability? Is conflict necessary for change? Does change always create conflict? If change is inevitable will we always be in a state of conflict?