The Conversations Essentielles were launched in 2003 by Ghislain d'Alancon from a strong observation : each one wonders about essential questions and is inhabit by a quest of sense, marks and humanity, but has not a lot of places to evoke them, to converse about it, in the public and private circles. The goal of Conversations Essentielles is to arouse, on an open form and respectful of the convictions of everyone, a dialogue about the questions of humanity and society with a multidisciplinary intellectual and artistic approach, They allow people to unify their material and immaterial desires and to confort their envy to act for a more dynamic and human society. Around various topics, young, intellectuals, artists, scientifics, famous actors of the economic world and from NGO, all promising humanity, are meeting with a magnifying enthusiasm.
What is the conversation ?
« In the conversation, the goal is not to convince and to put an rival down. We continue beyond the reasonable, as far as we take pleasure to undertake. We will leave without any benefit but with the happiness of a shared harmony. What is marvelous is these customs, is the fact that it doesn't seem to be dominated by a precise project, the fact that they don't submit to a determined idea and that however they have sense and arouse in ourselves an impression of coherence....a conversation with quality will have weakness, renunciations, and hitch opening and however, it is not uncoordinated, it follows a invisible line, it doesn't bring down Ed Desclée de Brower, 2003 p 26, Pierre Sansot, le taste of conversation
« The one who is not in the conversation and for who such a desire of permanence doesn't say anything, will be surprised by the fact that we can share a common happiness with not a lot of means.
As far I am concerned, I want that a conversation surprises me, that it sends me towards foreign territories, with the risk of getting lost, that it helps me to discover myself and that it reveals the others outside all inquisitiveness and without the exchange does appear like a group therapy which wouldn't dare admit it. Without this plus, without such an alert and such a put in orbit, without a trip on the limit of my usual borders, I am not satisfied.
I find myself in the same state that the previous day. I have learnt nothing. I stayed there. And do I have at least lived?..."
Pierre Sansot, the taste of the conversation Ed Desclée de Brower, 2003 p 26
« Even an alert conversation does know some hollow and get stuck in the gossip... then inexplicably the fire take over, the word sparkles, the cheeks turn pink with pleasure and the women become very pretty. The succeeded conversation mustn't be engaging from end to end. It musn't put out at all and keep some live embers to take back and warm us up."
Pierre Sansot, the taste of the conversation Ed Desclée de Brower, 2003 p 61
The conversation seen by Theodore Zeldin ...
« The french culture dominates the world by its art of the conversation (in particular at the XVIIIe century). If, nowdays, the French culture is in a never known crisis, it is because the art of the conversation concerning essential subjects has been transformed into a dialectic on superficial topics."
Theodore Zeldin, english sociologist historian
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Festivals and Cafés
The festival of the Conversations Essentielles
These are events, meetings organized between young adults and thinkers of the modern world : artist, scientifics, fundamental actors of the economic and cultural world, chosen as being promoter of ideas and humanity. These are every year two Festivals gathering together several thousand of people in Paris
Since 2003, leaded by a professional presenter in a place famous for its openmindness (Bataclan, La Cigale...) every festival constist of three interactive conversations between about ten intervenings and young people.
Ponctuated by artistical interludes, it ends by a concert or a party. Eventually, this same type of event should take place at New York, where a team of volunteer is in process of construction.
The "Cafés essentiel"
Launched in January 2004, these events take place every 3 months and are a declension of the annual festival.
A "Café essentiel" is an event suggesting, during an evening, a conversation about a question in a convivial climate : " Death, a taboo question?", "How to live the look of the others?", "Is my liberty an illusion?", Must we succeed work, family, leisure activities?","Give, earn a living?", "In what does beauty move men closer?", "Dare the adventure!", "What is the talent?", "What harmony between man and firm?", "Give, for you, for me, why?"