In Europe, we owe a large part of our democracy to the coffeehouse; now the EBN is taking the concept online.
Every other Monday from 15:00 to 16:30 CET you can meet others from the network for informal online conversations over a cup of coffee (or any other favourite beverage of yours, we are very liberal…).
The coffeehouse meetings do not have an agenda per se, but we do want the conversations to start somewhere, so the meetings will always open with a short welcome and a 5-10 minute presentation on a topic. If we are more than six participants, we will probably break up the zoom room into sub-groups after the presentation to keep the conversation lively for all.
Each Coffeehouse will have a host and a presenter; the five first dates and topics are:
October 12th – What can Europe learn from neighborhood parliaments in India? Presenter: Nathaniel Whitestone. Host: Lene Rachel Andersen
October 26th – What is happening in Belarus? Presenter: Galina Veramejchyk. Host: Lene Rachel Andersen
November 9th – The Danish ‘efterskoler’ / bildung schools for the 14-18-year-olds; presenter: Torben Vind Rasmussen. Host: Lene Rachel Andersen
November 23rd – TBA
December 7th – TBA
January 11th – TBA
You do not have to sign up in advance, all members will get an email the day before with the zoom link, and whoever clicks themselves in participates in the conversation. You find the individual online coffeehouses among our events here: https://europeanbildung.net/events/
Coffeehouses became an important place for intellectual debate all over Europe, most notably in the UK but also in Paris and Vienna:
“From 1670 to 1685, the number of London coffeehouses began to increase, and they also began to gain political importance due to their popularity as places of debate. English coffeehouses in the 17th and 18th centuries were significant meeting places, particularly in London. By 1675, there were more than 3,000 coffeehouses in England.”
“The cafés became informal clubs, each with its own distinctive clientele and atmosphere. Purchasing a cup of coffee in any of Vienna’s coffee houses entitled the visitor to remain all day, to read the latest publication or debate with other clients. For some the coffee house became a primary address, somewhere they kept a change of clothes and received their mail.”
Europeans gathered around coffee back then in order to discuss important matters; we can do that again, this time in an online coffeehouse that covers the entire continent.
Photo: Mike Kenneally