Our European Online Coffeehouse

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 dates and topics spring 2021 are:

May 3rd – Woke, wokeism and cancel culture; how do they relate to bildung? Presenter: Lene Rachel Andersen. Host: Sandra Verbruggen.
May 17th – For your eyes only; how secret service 007 paved the way for European Bildung. Presenter: Klaas van Egmond. Host: Lene Rachel Andersen.
May 31st – Four Unethical Men in Bed; from Don Giovani via Indiana Jones and James Bond to Woody Allen. Presenter: Lene Rachel Andersen. Host: TBA.
June 14th – The English Civil War, British Enlightenment and rise of the coffeehouse phenomenon. Presenter: Peter Barden from ForwardDemocracy. Host: Lene Rachel Andersen.

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/

The European Coffeehouse will enjoy the summer off-line and will re-open online on October 4th.

About coffeehouses

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

Previous European Coffeehouses


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 – Host Lene Rachel Andersen; conversation starter: what would be a radical Coffeehouse conversation today?
December 7th – Bildung: best practices. Host: Sandra Verbruggen.


January 11th – Political freedom and bildung. Presenter: Lene Rachel Andersen. Host: Sandra Verbruggen
January 25th – Bildung methodologies: “Warm Data” and transformative learning. Presenter: Nate Whitestone. Host: Lene Rachel Andersen.
February 8th – Intercultural Education. Presenter: Sandra Schindler. Host: Sandra Verbruggen.
February 22th – 20-somethings without dreams. Presenter: Niklas Limacher. Host: Lene Rachel Andersen.
March 8th – Bellezza: Beauty. Presenter: Christian Girardi. Host: Lene Rachel Andersen.
March 22th – “If you have nothing to hide, why would surveillance be a problem?” Presenter: Niklas Limacher. Host: Lene Rachel Andersen.
April 5th – Religious holidays in the 21st century, which are they and why keep them? Presenter: Lene Rachel Andersen. Host: Niklas Limacher.
April 19th – European University of Post Industrial Cities. Presenter: Samira Abbadi. Host: Sandra Verbruggen.