Small conversations are the start of all change

Even the largest changes in human societies arose from a small conversation. Somebody had an idea, they talked about it, and then things happened – social, technological, economic or even environmental. Huge changes often begin with a fleeting thought, a shift in how someone sees things, a passing remark, or simply serendipity.

So A Million Small Conversations asks, what does it take to connect random small sparks of good ideas, to achieve positive and sustainable change? What are the challenges, where are the successes? Your views on these questions are warmly welcomed…..

Small talk is sometimes smart talk

It’s fairly well recognised that some of us have more of a knack than others when it comes to constructive nattering.  But now even graduates can have proper lessons in small talk, to help them in their careers.   The University of Liverpool has been offering graduate bootcamp courses which focus clearly on softer skills such as how to have an informal conversation.

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The key is to move in very small steps…

The Observer today (4 September 2011) asks How do we make our schools fit to face the 21st century? This is a massive question, then broken down into sub-set questions; and once again we learn the expert view is that the answer is, ‘incrementally’.    How, asks Yvonne Roberts, can more schools to be imaginative, and teachers ‘liberated’.   What’s the key to this sort of change?

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Small print can scupper (what should be) small conversations

I use the inter-city rail service often, and generally it’s okay; but there is one snag in the way it operates which many travellers will confirm causes ill-will and chaos. This is that the ticket / receipt of payment to travel, and the required seat reservation which goes with it, are usually printed on separate ‘business card’ sized tickets.

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‘Shall we make a baby?’ – personal choice and public perceptions

There are few more intimate discussions than that about whether to have a child; and few more momentous outcomes for individuals than when this question is not considered, and the baby arrives anyway. So why is this such a difficult issue? Almost half of conceptions are unexpected, or even actively unwanted. Yet knowledge about how to avoid pregnancy is easily available.

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Some topics feel too big to converse about

I recall a comment somewhere once, pre-Geldorf, to the effect that pop stars sing incessantly about lurve, but never about the human condition. Well, now we have been urged to Feed the World, with all the complexities of context and motivation in that musical message. But do we even some while later have real dialogue about what human compassion of a global kind might mean?

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