On February 3rd, DIALOGUE as a series launched with the first topic: Philanthropy & Charitable Giving. Followed by three more bi-monthly events throughout the year. In April, it was to discuss Ritual & Tradition; In June, Design: being a Maker, an Product Designer and a Craftsman; In August, Education & Building Community. We topped off the year with an intimate dinner for a select few from each of the DIALOGUEs this year.
As I look back on this past year, what resonates the most is that spark which forms when people connect to one another through meaningful and intentional dialogue. I believe it is these shared moments and experiences that have the power to shift perspectives, alter opinions, and forge for new ways of thinking. This powerful way of coming together has not only impacted my personal life, but it has also led to some amazing partnerships and business relationships amongst DIALOGUE guests.
Here are a few thoughts on each of the dialogues from this year:
In February, our first topic, On Philanthropy & Charitable Giving brought together guests ranging from executive directors of large non profit organizations, to young enterprenuers, and philanthropic advisors. We discussed what being a philanthropist means in this economy, as well as what it means to give charitably to organizations you believe in and to have social impact.
In April, a group of individuals who embody a practice of ritual in their every day came together to discuss Ritual & Tradition. From artist to designers to entrepreneurs to chocolate makers, the dialogue made us wonder about how we show up in the world, the materiality and impact of death, and the ritual that surrounds it.
In June, On Design: Being a Maker, an Artisan and a Craftsman brought together makers, interior designers, product designers, architects and craftsmen to discuss elements and context for good design and the future of design in the 21st Century. We came away shifting our perspectives recognizing that design is about the greater community, that it touches both the craftsman and the end user, and we explored how the craft movement fits into contemporary design and modern lives.
In August, On Education & Building Community was the fourth and final dialogue of the year where we brought together passionate educators, policy makers, and parents to discuss the state of Community Schools, engagement within the community, the future of the 21st century school, and the best way to partner to make change.
As October came about, we still wanted to create a way to introduce guests to one another and so, DIALOGUE - a dinner, was born. This soon-to-be annual event brought 3-4 select guests from each dialogue together to break bread over a gorgeous meal by Chef Tina Dang. It was a progressive dinner, served to us in a whimsical old brewery converted house, where owners Jamie & Issac led us through the history of the building before we finally arrived at the top floor to commence for the feast. A limited edition print by artist, Anthony Discenza, was given to all in attendance; a 'Table of Contents' for the meal, inserted into vintage books and selected by him was meant to spark conversation among strangers. It was a magical night!
As I think about 2015, my vision goes beyond the coming together of like minds to influence one another. This year will bring about partnerships with publications, as well as artists and brands. In the spirit of sharing perspectives from each dialogue, this page will serve as a platform for opinion pieces written by select guests on each of the topics discussed throughout the year.