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Socrates Cafe


“Open societies hinge on the considerate, involved and impassioned participation of an enlightened citizenry, in which everyone matters and counts.” says Christopher Phillips, founder and executive director of the non-profit Democracy Café.

Christopher Phillips PhD is a philosopher and educator who wrote the book Socrates Café: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy. He started the global Socrates Café movement, which now has several kindred versions: Philosophers’ Club (or young people), Constitution Café, Democracy Café, Declaration Project, First Amendment Conversations with Cops, and Design your Democracy.

The goal of the Cafés and related initiatives is “to inspire curiosity and wonder, to nurture self-discovery, and democracy, with a strong emphasis on advancing the equal right to self-determination of our youngest citizens.” They aim to “bring diverse people together to think democracy and do democracy.”

Phillips, who is a specialist in the Socratic Method, told Time magazine. “It’s only in a group setting that people can hash out their ideas about how we should act not just as an individual but as a society… Socratic inquiry recognizes there are no neat divides between the individual self and the societal self, between our inner cosmos and outer cosmos.”

Click here for a list of all the independently-run Socrates Cafes around the world.  You can also view the 70 Socrates Cafes, with 43,000 members, that are listed on Meetup.com. There are currently 13 Socrates Cafés in California.

Interested in starting a Socrates Cafe in Redding? Click here to get started!

Here are other interesting links to other groups working in a similar vein:

  • Student Voice – “Strengthening the student movement by empowering students to take action on issues that most impact their education.”
  • The Back to the Future Campaign – “Champions a new kind of thinking, one that that prioritizes the ideal over the cynically-defined likely, one that believes that to create a wonderful world, we have to imagine it first. We are at a societal crux during which we need to develop creative solutions to the great problems of our world.”
  • YouthBuild – “In the United States and across the globe, low-income young people learn construction skills to help build affordable housing and other community assets such as community centers and schools.”
  • PopVox – “Giving you a Voice in Washington, DC and your state capitol.”
  • Citizen University – “Building a stronger culture of citizenship – working with a national array of partners to help Americans cultivate the values, systems knowledge, and skills of effective citizenship.”
  • The Harry Potter Alliance – “Changing the world since 2005 by making activism accessible through the power of story and through their work for equality, human rights, and literacy.”6
  • Liberty Coalition – “Working to help organize, support, and coordinate trans-partisan public policy activities related to civil liberties and government transparency; working in conjunction with groups of partner organizations that are interested in preserving the Bill of Rights, personal autonomy and individual privacy.”
  • The Family Dinner Project – “Working together to build a lively, growing movement that will be driven by the experience and insights of participating families.”


One Response to Socrates Cafe

  1. R Voice

    January 7, 2018 at

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