A successful Peaceful World Conversation consists of
several phases. Here is a breakdown of the conversation
process in eight useful steps. While you may find these
guidelines to be very helpful in hosting your own Peaceful
World Conversation, feel free to adjust and modify your
process to the needs of your participants and location. If
you have any comments or suggestions about this eight-step
process, please let us know!
Getting Settled. Invite guests to the table. Briefly
explain to anyone what is about to happen and help everyone
get situated at the table or tables. Invite participants to
bring their coffee, tea, food, etc. to the table. Encourage
everyone to get settled somewhat quickly so that the
conversation can start on time.
Introductions. Invite each person to take a turn in
introducing themselves to the group. Phrase the introductory
sentence in an unusual way. Rather than just having everyone
say their name and where they come from, ask each person to
say something more specific and personalized about
themselves. For example: "My name is ______ and I live in
______ and the kind of house I live in is made of ______ and
is ______ style and ______ size and when I look out my
window I see ______.”
Getting Started. Have each person read one ingredient
of a good conversation off of the conversation table card.
The host can briefly explain each ingredient as it is read
if he or she wishes.
Choosing a Topic. The topic of the conversation is
carefully chosen to open a world of can-do peace-building
possibilities and insights. Host introduces one or two
possibilities for the topic of conversation. These can be
taken from conversation topic cards on the table, or
improvised. Guests are encouraged to choose from these
options and/or modify them as they wish. This part of the
discussion should only last a few minutes.
The First Round, setting the stage. Host invites each
person in rotation (it is OK to pass and come in later, or
not at all) to give a name, a word, or a phrase associated
with what they will talk about relating to the chosen topic.
For example, if the subject is “Enlightenment experiences in
peaceful travel” a person’s phrase could be: "The time I got
lost and met this person..." or "One of the most important
things I've learned in my life so far..." or a word as brief
as "generosity." It is often convenient if the host goes
first, thus demonstrating an example of focus and time, etc.
These preliminary statements going around the table do not
need to be responded to by the other participants. The
conversation will open up after this first round. As people
give their topics, often the undecided are stimulated to
discover their own. These conversations are not only about
learning about others, but also learning and voicing about
ourselves. The host may want to interject a short pause for
coffee refills and a stretch. The break should be short and
An Open Conversation. Each conversationalist, in
turn, elaborates on his or her initially proposed word or
phrase as it relates to the chosen conversation topic. Each
talks about his/her personal experiences and contributions
to positive, creative peace-building realities in their
lives, which can be passed on to empower other
conversationalists and encourage actual action in the world.
As each person finished his/her contributions, others may
comment if they wish. The conversation then moves around to
the next person. It is perfectly OK for anyone to pass and
wait for later. When all have contributed, the conversation
is open and flows from there. There is plenty to talk about
Wrapping It Up. The host calls "time" about 5 minutes
before the conversation's end, asking if people want to
finish the conversation or continue. If the consensus is to
end, the host asks every one to consider how their own or
others’ conversation contributions can be applied to their
future actions, thoughts, perspectives, travels, and lives.
The conversation does not have to have a clean-cut ending,
but some sort of conclusion is helpful for everyone to feel
satisfied. It often happens that people linger much longer
after the structured part of the conversation. Sometimes
they break up into twos or threes, meet for dinner that
evening or later in their trip. In this short conversation
time, strangers have become new friends to enjoy during
their stay in the B&B or in the city.
Follow-Up. The Host should thank everyone for taking
part in a Peaceful World Conversation and encourage them to
take some information with them to be able to start their
own conversations in their hometowns or travel destinations.
The host gives everyone a follow-up card and invites them to
fill it out at their convenience. Participants can give
their follow-up cards to the host right there or send it in
themselves to Peaceful World Travel Headquarters to keep us
informed of the outcomes of this and other conversation