CNY Leaders Meeting, Mon., 8 pm, following “If You Were Mayor…”

Please make every effort to join us for this premier session at our new location, as we forge exciting plans for CNY’s summer and fall initiatives (see below). Your energy and counsel will add to our strength!

IF YOU WERE MAYOR… Socratic Conversation with Ron Gross

Monday, May 11, 6:00 – 7:45 pm & Conversations New York (CNY) Team Meeting 8:00 – 9:30 PM



CNY meetup: 

NEW LOCATION: Adelphi University’s Manhattan Center 75 Varick Street — Room 260-261 on the Second Floor
(75 Varick is between Watts and Grand Streets)

Subways: #1 to Canal, or  A, C. or E to Canal, exit next to the building.
J, N, Q, R, W, Z or #6 to Canal, are about 5 blocks southeast at Broadway and Canal.
Bus: M20 stops at the front door.
Note: This Center is state-of-the-art,
and excellent take-out food can be purchased at The Mill ( which is part of the same building,

and brought to the meeting.

  • What are your ideas for helping all of us New Yorkers to live together more happily, healthfully, safely, and enjoyably?
  • What bugs you about  the City, that you think could be improved?
  • What do you like about other cities you know, that could make New York better?
  • What changes would you like to see in  our cultural activities, streets, parks, schools and colleges, healthcare, local businesses, housing, environment, law enforcement, rules, regulations, and priorities for spending public funds?

Let’s advance our ideas for improving our city, in the run-up to the international Ideas City Festival at the New Museum and throughout the Bowery on May 28-30 ( “If You Were Mayor…” is a month-long, city-wide array of conversations which will complement the Idea City Festival’s wondrous offerings of ideas from throughout the world, with ideas from New Yorkers themselves.We’re inspired by Mayor DeBlasio’s words:

‘If you give people a chance to offer their ideas,
you’ll find an extraordinary number of New Yorkers who have positive, productive ideas.’”
Suggested Readings (optional): If Mayors Ruled the World, by Benjamin Barber; Happy City by Charles Montgomery; Who’s Your City? by Richard Florida; Urban Acupuncture: Celebrating Pinpricks of Change that Enrich City Life, by Jaime Lerner.

Conversations New York (starts at 8:00 PM)

Our exciting Action Agenda will be  highlighted by:

  • planning for our 2nd Annual CONVERSATION DAY in Bryant Park on Sat., July 18th in collaboration with our trans-Atlantic partner Talk to Me London;
  • launching our Conversation-Friendly Restaurants Project to recognize eateries where we can hear each other talk;
  • considering  a Fall symposium on “Reclaiming Conversation” with Sherry Turkel of MIT;
  • impelling new city-wide/month-long gatherings on provocative topics in June and July;
  • expanding our website and presence on the Internet; and
  • honoring outstanding contributors with our prestigious Plato Awards (“…and this month’s award goes to….”)





Joys and Power of Conversation: CNY monthly meeting – Feb 16


How to Enjoy & Benefit from Talking Together

Socratic Conversation with Ron Gross and CNY Conversational Activists


Monday, February 16, 2015

6:00 PM to 9:00 PM


Bread & Butter

419 Park Avenue South, (Corner of 29th St and Park Ave), New York, NY (edit map)


Strictly limited seating.  Please RSVP to Ron Gross at 

and to CNY Meetup  THANKS.


6:00 – 6:30 – Meet-and-Greet and Socializing.
6:30 sharp – 7:30 – Participatory Conversation on “The Joy and Power of Conversation”
7:30 – 7:45 – Break
7:45 – 8:30 — CNY Planning and Team-Building Monthly “Huddle”
8:30 – 9:00 — Skill-Sharing


Talking together in new ways can fill our lives with greater enjoyment, friendship, and learning. Please come to share YOUR experiences and insights – and join our thriving campaign to transform NYC through more and better conversations!


“Conversation is free – but it’s invaluable,” says Ron Gross, founder of Conversations New Yorkwhich last year held the first Conversation Day on 42nd Street, with partners in London, Paris, and Tokyo


Great talk deepens our humanity – and strengthens our communities. Gathering in a circle to make meaning, has empowered our species in every era and culture. We have never needed it more than today!


At this participatory event, you’ll learn how you can join the movement to turn away from our devices and towards each other – for delight, understanding, and social progress.


Ron Gross, founder of CNY, chairs the University Seminar on Innovation at Columbia University. His internationally best-selling books include The Lifelong Learner, Socrates’ WayPeak LearningIndividualism, and The New Professionals.

What Phil O’Brien is Saying About Conversations New York!

Phil O’Brien, a distinguished entrepreneur, catalyst, and “connector” ( who is visiting New York to explore new projects,  joined our Steering Committee on January 4th and shared his characteristically high-spirited responses:

CNY Penn Meetup 5I recently had the pleasure of attending a planning session of a new group,  Conversations New York session, at Penn Station (in a table at the back of TGI Fridays). It was a diverse group (as would be expected from the melting pot of New York) – all committed to getting the art of conversation going in New York. They have a lovely statement that outlines their aims:-
Hundreds of New Yorkers coming together in small groups of neighbors
and fellow citizens to discuss topics of intensive interest…
Hosted at no cost and at convenient locations and times…
Aided by simple guiding principles…
Inspired by the city’s grand tradition of robust conversation…
Our vision is to inspire, organize, publicize, facilitate and celebrate
a renaissance of healthy dialogue in New York City.
At that small table were people dedicated to Socratic Learning, getting fellowship for seniors in the population through conversation, diversifying the conversations of blind people from just always talking about fund raising, simply getting people to “Talk to me”, encouraging the immigrant population of the Upper West Side to start conversations again in the Hungarian Pastry Shops and generally stop technology separating us.
I’m hoping that in my time in New York to help the group with its aims. They are already excellent catalysts for the conversations of New York. On their site – there is a calendar of monthly events, and they track the activities of over 50 groups creating conversations in New York. If you are in New York – please take a look at the calendar and join the conversation!
As I said in my last post “I’d like to help you explore through conversations with strangers your undiscovered genius, maybe add fire to your “mild rage” or give you a whole new perspective. I believe this could change you, the people you meet and maybe the world for better – and help us all rediscover our art!” These guys are doing a great job at this.
The group is truly committed to open, diverse conversations. Ron Gross, the inspiring Chairman of the group, expressed it well: “We work hard at making sure conversations are open to all – we know how easy it is for birds of a feather to flock together. We need different perspectives.”
Watch this space for more words and pictures on the Conversations of New York…
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