Socrates Cafe is an open discussion. It is based on democratic principles. The topic is chosen at the meeting. Anyone can participate – no expert knowledge or charisma required. The goal of the meeting is to explore the topic from different perspectives and leave with more questions than we came with.
The discussion is led by a facilitator. Their role is to maintain the queue of speakers and to make sure the rules are followed.
Where does the idea come from?
The idea was created and popularized by philosopher Christopher Phillips. More information on the founders and the idea behind Socrates Cafe you can find on the website of the Socrates Cafe foundation that holds the right to the name:
What are the rules?
- we avoid the use of „smart words” – difficult terms that might not be understood by everyone,
- we talk from our own perspective — avoiding references to authorities and works of culture
- there’s a queue, if you want to speak, we add you in the queue and you will have your turn
- ad vocem: you can ask a person that’s currently speaking for explanation or elaboration of a fragment of their statement
- during the discussion we are all equal, this is why there are no doctors or professors, we refer to each other by name
What are the topics?
Topics are proposed and chosen by the participants, so they are very diverse. We pose them as questions and make sure they are not too narrow. These are just a few topics we had on meetings in Kraków:
- What is the purpose of stereotypes?
- Do we live in the same reality?
- Emigration – escape, or freedom?
- What does productivity mean nowadays?
How is the topic chosen?
First, any participant can propose a topic. Then there are a couple of choices, we vote in 2 rounds.
- 1st round is plebiscite – everyone can vote for any number of topics.
- We choose 2 topics with the highest number of votes for the 2nd round.
- In the 2nd round everyone has only one vote. The topic with more votes wins.
How to find the meetups?
Place: Kawiarnia Literacka, ul. Krakowska 41
When: every second Monday, g. 18:30
Art Cafe: every 2-3 months, follow our facebook page for up-to-date information
Organize your own
We’ve prepared an agenda of the meeting with some tips to get you started: Meeting agenda