WOW Talks Celebrates Two Years

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by WOW Talks on 03 August 2011
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“I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language.

Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything.

Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

– Rainer Marie Rilke, 1903 (Letters to a Young Poet)

Live the questions. Are you living the questions in your life and in your work? So often in our society, we force the clean and clear answer, the closed-ended solution, the quick fix.

What is the true value of information imparted by a brilliant speaker if it doesn’t stretch our minds to think outside the box? Are we left with just empty intellectual entertainment?

What was born in a small, trendy West London venue just behind Portobello Road and has gone onto English and American festivals, WOW Talks have been cracking away at this problem, and find the solution is the question, not the answer.

We proudly celebrate two years of incredible questions, brilliant speakers and talented musical performers. Happy Birthday, WOW!

WOW Talks have been inspiring audiences at The Lonsdale with their monthly presentations and performances in an engaging and thoughtful format.

Light, bubbly and entertaining, five speakers are invited to talk on a variety of topics, from Happiness to Sustainability to Brazil. Each speaker ends their talk with a question, getting the juices flowing for audience members to genuinely engage with the content.

All participants take part in introductions, answering a question related to the topic, giving everyone a chance to add their input and really be part of a free flowing dialogue designed to inspire and provoke.

This month, as we celebrate our second birthday, the WOW Talks are like a curious child who happens to be a prodigy (like so many of our speakers they are busy doing a million amazing things), and so we are not only walking and talking and playing the sitar upside down in the bathtub, but the calibre of our speakers has gone from strength to strength.

What is the secret of the WOW Talks success? It’s all in the question …

While many talk formats have a clear agenda in which each speaker imparts an expert opinion on a given topic, the WOW Talks ask to end on a thought-provoking question. The audience is left with the echo of a dialogue that can inspire their own answer, feedback and ultimately pull out their own analysis of the subject.

Beyond the talks themselves, social engagement is encouraged, with a canape and networking break in the middle of the evening that gives speakers and audience members the opportunity to discuss the topic in a casual and personal setting.

A small stage set up in the back of the room allows for a top notch musical concert from international musicians, creating an elegant party atmosphere. People mingle afterwards, get a drink, chat further on the topic and generally have a good time all around.