It was an evening before the Denkfest (thinking festival) in Weinheim mid of September this year (1). And it was dinner together with organizers and artists, who arrived from different places to participate in festival sharing their experiences, providing and also getting impulses for further work, which is in many cases intervention of art in the society for positive change. And it was the phrase I heard and remembered: “Time for small talks is over. Now is the time for big talks”, said by a former Greenpeace activist and current art interventionist Will (2). And it was what I was thinking about very often too, especially after getting to know the philosophy of “Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations that Matter - AoH” (3). That evening in Weinheim we talked about art and its impact on society, about direct and indirect intervention and resulted positive changes for society, about challenges of small communities in remote villages, about ideas and examples of getting-together with people in conversations and action. “Big talks” continued also on the next day, in particular extend facilitated with the methods of AoH.

I am often asking myself: Why do we spend time with small talks about weather, recently bought new bag or celebrity's outfit or something like that? Time (along health) is the most precious resource we people have. Don’t we dare, don’t we trust each other to start and to keep talking about big important topics on the agenda for every human: When do you feel most, that your life is filled with purpose? What are your small steps to support sustainable lifestyle for the sake of the planet’s health? What is your biggest concern now? How each of us can contribute to the peaceful living together? What do you care about? What is your vision for coming 5, 10, 20 years? What future do you wish for your children? What stories, what experiences determined your life most? Do you need support on something? Etc. etc. etc… There are a lot of topics for big talks.

At Thinking & Acting we welcome everyone to participate and to initiate such “big talks”, be it in a form of dedicated event, coffee or dinner with friends or colleagues, phone call or meeting with your loved ones. “Talking with another person, communicating with a mind outside of your own mind, puts you in touch with the part of yourself that is bigger than your mind, larger than your thoughts. That’s because the act of connecting with another pulls you out of your ongoing internal dialogue and into an external one” (4). So leave your digital devices aside and let’s talk.

In the last two weeks we organized some informational events – one on topic of sustainability in everyday life, other - on mental health and depression. In one of the previous events with Chris Thompson we talked about the ambiguous meaning of intelligence. Thank you everyone for joining these conversation cycles, it was so great to sit and to talk together, to exchange ideas and inspirations.

Long live BIG TALKS and CONVERSATIONS THAT MATTER!

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(1) https://www.thinglink.com/scene/706121991815430145 or http://www.m-r-n.com/start/regionalplanung-und-entwicklung/gemeinschaftliche-regionalentwicklung/kultur/denkfest.html

(2) https://willstleger.wordpress.com/

(3) http://www.artofhosting.org/what-is-aoh/

(4) Neale Donald Walsch: „When Everything Changes, Change Everything”