Creating a fairer Britain
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has held the biggest conversation on human rights Wales has ever seen. Over 200 people of all ages and from all walks of life came together for the event to share their thoughts and opinions on the world around us.
President of The Oxford Muse, and host for the evening, Theodore Zeldin came up with the concept of the Conversation Dinner in an effort to encourage people to talk more deeply about everyday issues.
Each guest was provided with a 'Menu of Conversation' with a range of topics on it that encouraged reflection on human rights. Guests were seated with someone they were meeting for the first time. From the conversations we heard, it's fair to say everyone was learning new and interesting things from their dining companions.
Conversation Dinners have been held throughout the world and have proved hugely successful in bringing together people to discuss key issues of the day. One guest said her conversation was so inspiring it was as if a candle had been lit inside her. The event was so successful we are now looking at ways we can use more conversation events like this to promote good relations throughout Wales.
The event was held at the Cyncoed Campus, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, on Thursday 19 March.
The Commission hosted the event in partnership with the Welsh Assembly Government's Public Service Management Wales (PSMW), which supports and helps deliver the skills required by managers and leaders across the Welsh public service to work collaboratively, across traditional boundaries. PSMW provides a range of opportunities to develop people, organisations and systems - ultimately to contribute to creating better and more joined up public services for the citizens of Wales. www.wales.gov.uk/improvingpublicservices
'Absolutely wonderful! I do not remember when was the last time I had this kind of conversation with anyone'
'I'm amazed at the frankness with which people were saying things to each other within minutes'
'One of the most stimulating conversations I have had in a long time'
'I feel restored and somehow excited'
'Thought provoking and inspiring'
'I felt a bit shy about how this might go. It was actually very easy to relax'
The Oxford Muse is a Foundation to improve professional, personal and inter-cultural relations. It organises conversations and courses, makes written and video portraits and designs projects to make work less boring and frustrating. Initiatives include bringing together people who seldom talk to each other in government departments, business organisations, local communities etc., and developing new forms of collaboration in business and public service.
Theodore Zeldin is an Emeritus Fellow and former Dean of St Antony's College Oxford, an Associate Fellow of the Oxford Said Business School and Honorary Professor, HEC Paris. His books have been translated into 24 languages and include An Intimate History of Humanity and Conversation (based on lectures broadcast on BBC Radio 4). A former member of the BBC Brains Trust, he has advised many top decision makers.www.oxfordmuse.com