So, what happened when 20 people speed dated with spectres?

Climate change conversations

Climate change conversations

Well, we had a room full of tables, candles, drinks, nibbles, questions and spectres – characters (together with the odd god, a foetus and death) who were both present and not present as part of our conversations.

Here’s the spectral host lining up in advance of the night….

A cacophony of spectres joining the conversation

A cacophony of silent spectres

And we welcomed 20 warm-blooded bodies with drinks in hand who nevertheless could appear as ethereal as the spectres with whom they shared the tables.

photo 1

Blurred and blurring conversationalists

Every table had a pile of curly questions and some inquisitive fortune cookies – “what does growth mean in a finite world?”, “Do humans make progress or is that a myth?”, What’s the role of the spiritual in climate change?” Has capitalism run its course?”……

42 curly questions about climate change

42 curly questions about climate change

People sat down, picked up curly questions and explored a space of answers with whoever happened to be sitting at the table with them at the time be they human or spectre……

Close encounters

So, Barak, what d’you think?

And after a few minutes, a bell rang and everyone moved tables…..

We learned that the pope and Tracy Emin (who unexpectedly shared a table) talked about what they had in common – revelling in upsetting the establishment apparently….

Sometimes, people (although not, as far as we know, the spectres) drew and wrote their responses on the tables. ….

Responses on the tableAnd through it all, Pip drew the sounds she could hear….

The sound of people & spectres talking about the climate

The sound of people & spectres talking about the climate

And, when the final bell rang, we all retired to the Tobacco Factory bar and drank and ate and chatted until it was time to collect up the spectres and head for home.

What will happen next time? Impossible to know…..


About Alison Kidd

Research Psychologist
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1 Response to So, what happened when 20 people speed dated with spectres?

  1. mary bennett says:

    I enjoyed the evening more than I thought I would do. the curly questions made it so easy to start a conversation.
    in retrospect one of the most interesting things for me was to realise that at least 4 of the people there had farming backgrounds, and from that basis we were able to discuss the change in weather, wind directions, and rainfall over the last 5 years with practical experiences.
    i’ll be totally honest and say I was there mainly because I knew the organisers. I found it difficult to explain and sell the concept to my friends.’ spectres and speed dating’ masked the point of the evening perhaps.
    one change I might make to the format …. instead of random moving to next conversation [which at times left me feeling like the last to be picked for the team] you could have a more circular design where the inner circle keep their seats and the outer circle move.
    do you think it would be worth advertising event to the universities, avon wildlife trust and soil ass who have offices in Bristol.
    the free drink after a difficult journey was much appreciated.
    well done to you all for getting us there and talking.


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