Besides the smoked cashew nuts and Wasabi pindas on the tables, what I like most about evenings at Full Circle is seeing the world through other people’s eyes. 

Take the last event I went to. The Bulgarian political scientist Ivan Krastev did a terrific job in explaining the Eastern European worldview to a pan-European audience. He used the plots of movies and theatre plays to make us understand why many people do not feel wealthier even though they are. He also drove home the point that going through the motions of what is considered the right thing to do does not make a mindset a shared reality. And most importantly, he reminded us that every country had changed a lot since the Iron Curtain came down. So we are all aiming for a moving target. 

At another evening – We, Myself and AI with Herman Konings – it was rather the people who I shared the table with that made me listen up carefully. It was quite stunning how the views of the generations around the table differed. The discussion ended up not being much on Artificial Intelligence, but rather on what one values in life, what one takes for granted, and what one fears. Don’t they say always say that digitalisation just amplifies the joys and problems that we already have? Certainly true.

To close, I would like to give a big shout-out to Bridie and Louise who have been super welcoming and accommodating every evening, and especially for two events that I organised at the Full Circle house. With those two, such an evening is set up in no time. Even before the event had started, the participants already enjoyed just finding such a gem in an area where many of them spend their daily lives. Afterwards, a speaker begged Bridie to not ever paint the salon’s wall, because it looks perfect as it is. I certainly agree. 

Frauke Hoss