Socrates Cafe (English)


Socrates Cafe is an open discussion format based on democratic principles. The topic is chosen at the meeting. Anyone can participate – we do not require you to have expert knowledge on any subject or great charisma to participate. The goal of the meeting is not to decide who is right, but 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 american philosopher Christophera Phillipsa. 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:

Democracy Cafe / Socrates Cafe NGO

What are the rules?

  • we avoid the use of „smart words” – obscure 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, pronounce we use is „you”

What are the topics?

Topics are proposed and chosen by the participants, so they are very diverse. We pose them in a form of a question and make sure they are not too specific. 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, anyone of the participants 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

Contact: facebook |

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

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