A Night of Better Conversation: The Year that Was

We seem to spend much of our lives lamenting the lack of time. We talk almost proudly about how busy we are, as if constant stress is a measure of success. But maybe there's another reason we're happy to be busy — because it stops us having to slow down and reflect. There's no time to process our experiences and learn anything from them. Einstein once said:"The definition of insanity is repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting different results”. Is our very modern aversion towards reflection causing us harm? 

 As 2019 draws to a close, we invite you to take the time to reflect on the year that was and process the hurts, victories, resentments, joys and sorrows. Let's make sure we begin the new year afresh with a fresh perspective and (as much as possible) greet 1 January with a clear head.

A Night of Better Conversation is a chance to get outside our comfort zone and make meaningful connections with people we might otherwise never meet. The night will be broken into theory and practice. You will begin by learning a specific technique for better conversation and then invited to practice the technique with other people. As we explore the art of conversation, we'll consider the emblem of ‘busy’ in our modern lives. Is it really true that we don’t have enough time? Where does our modern aversion to reflection spring from? What might we have to gain from embracing time as a friend rather than treating it as a foe? How could we benefit from greater reflection? After all, as Alain de Botton posited, “Anxiety grows from thoughts we haven’t given ourselves time to have”. 

Whatever your feelings about 2019, join us for an evening of adventurous conversations to help process the year that was.


6.30 pm    Doors Open
7.00 pm    Welcome & Introduction
7.15 pm     Key Idea 1 & conversation
7.45 pm     Key Idea 2 & conversation
8.15 pm     Key Idea 3 & conversation
9.00 pm   Event Concludes & Venue Open for Continued Conversation

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“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
― Søren Kierkegaard


Tim med
Tim Dean is a philosopher and science writer. He has a PhD from the University of New South Wales on evolution and morality, and has an interest in ethics, the philosophy of biology, philosophy of science and moral psychology. He is an Honorary Associate in the Philosophy department at the University of Sydney. In 2015 he won the Australasian Association of Philosophy Media Professionals' Award for his writing on philosophy in New PhilosopherAcuity MagazineCosmos, ABC's The Drum and on Channel 10's The Project

Event Partner

This event is proudly presented in partnership with The Old Clare Hotel.

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The Old Clare Hotel and The School of Life have a commitment to providing enlightened hospitality to its customers. Our shared mission is to create events and environments where meaningful connections can flourish.

About A Night of Better Conversation

Our lives are so often filled with superficial talk, from office chitchat to commentaries on last night's television. How can we have conversations that inspire us to think in new ways, that stimulate our curiosity and that prompt us to say things we've never said before?

A Night of Better Conversation has been designed to help us enjoy rich and memorable conversations about things that really matter in life, inspired by the ideas of great thinkers and philosophers.

This interactive and social evening is split in to equal parts facilitated and presented content and group conversation. Participants will be encouraged to meet and converse with as many different people as they can to explore and interact a diverse range of ideas and ways of thinking.

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A Night of Better Conversation: The Year that Was



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Full price: $45
Concession: $36
+ booking fee 

Health Care Card, Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card and current Student Cards.

Please note that we are unable to offer refunds or transfers with less than 10 days cancellation notice before the original class date. If you require a refund please contact us as per below.

Need More Help?

Email: enquiries@theschooloflife.com.au

For mobility access: please contact us as above to discuss arrangements to ensure your access requirements are supported.