Next Meetup

Denver LoDo Socrates Cafe-- No RSVP required, walk-ins are welcome.
This is the group that previously met at the Panera at 13th & Grant. No RSVPs needed, walkins are welcome. You can be absolutely anonymous if you want. The official meeting starts at 6 p.m., but some start gathering as early as 5 p.m. to eat dinner together, you'd be welcome to join us for that too if you'd like after your first meeting. Almost always a very interesting discussion of some interesting topic that is not announced in advance, so bring a topic you'd like to hear discussed if you're willing to listen and are really curious about what others think about it. This was our first Socrates Café in Colorado, we started it here at Capitol Hill Panera Bread the Friday after 9/11 in 2001. We met there until Panera closed that location in December of 2015.

Panera Bread LoDo

1380 16th St. 80202 · Denver, CO

What we're about

Public Group

Join us at any meeting if you enjoy good conversation about meaningful topics.

Whether you are new to town or a long time resident, we are a great way to connect with interesting people and ideas.

Everyone is welcome! Whatever your background, we'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts. We have PhDs who attend regularly along with carpenters, painters, homemakers, barbers, etc etc.

Our first meeting in Denver, Colorado was inspired by Chris Phillips' book called Socrates Café, and Chris has been a continuing source of inspiration for us, he's visited us here in Denver several times.

Generally, we stay away from current news events or politics, but those attending at each meeting can decide to talk about anything they want. Sometimes the facilitator for the evening brings a topic, and suggestions are usually taken from those attending.

What all meetings have in common is that we search for truth by our own lights.

Most of us are interested in reading, but we don't talk about what's said in books unless the thoughts have become incorporated into our own thinking. Same with any religious affiliation. These things inform our thinking, then we share our own thoughts and listen and question others as they share their thoughts.

If you start a new Socrates Café we will list it here for you if you want us to do so, and help is available to get new sessions started if you want it. Contact John Wren or (720)495-4949

"Civil conversation isn’t enough. Formulating the right questions isn’t enough.

"What the world needs now on all sorts of levels is inquiry – methodical, egalitarian, inclusive, impassioned, unsettling, exhilarating.

"Inquiry-driven by curiosity, by a sense that the more perspectives the better.

"Inquiry that leads to the surprising, the novel, the unfamiliar — that opens portals to new possibilities to who we might be as individuals and as a society.

"Inquiry that is based on the premise that people of all ages and walks of life count and that those often left out tend to be the most uncommonly perceptive when given the opportunity.

"Inquiry that emphatically includes and values the wisdom ways of our children and youth, who have a vital and central role to play if our societies are really going to become all they can be, and deserve rights to participation and self-determination.

"Inquiry that taps into our childlike questioning lenses. Inquiry connects us, makes us feel we’re in this together.

"That as a matter of course leads us to discover the glaring gaps and contradictions (when they exist) between what we say and what we do, and what open societies profess and what they actually practice — and that inspires us to bring our promise more and more into practice.

"Inquiry that is the furthest thing from argument and debate — that is all about exploration, about discovering uncommon common ground, that leads us to realize, in a sort of epiphany or series of epiphanies, that we need each other, that whether we have multiple doctorate degrees or have never set foot in the hallowed halls of formal institutions of learning, we each have unique experiences, perspectives, stores of wisdom from which we all could benefit.

"Socratic inquiry. Or to be more precise: A version of Socratic inquiry that recognizes there are no neat divides between the individual self and the societal self, between our inner cosmos and outer cosmos.

"The Greeks of old knew this and tapped into it in a way that led, during their Golden Days, when democracy flourished in the polis, and in the agoras — the public places and spaces of the polis, or city-state.

"Inquiry that challenges the ‘common sense wisdom’ of the day, and scrutinizes whether it’s really all that wise.

"That recognizes that we humans have it within us to cultivate a democratic self — an open and connected self, a childlike self, curious, inquisitive, constructively skeptical, with a keen social conscience, autonomous, a work in progress."

Chris Phillips, author of the book "Socrates Cafe."

As Chris Phillips says, "we seek truth by our own lights." We welcome you in sharing your thoughts with us in this common effort.

Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc. 1881 Buchtel Blvd. #501, Denver, CO 80210 (720)495-4949 SBCC Startup Method-- the Practices of: Recover, Imagine, Think, and Learn; to Start, Grow, and Flourish. Life's Short/ Start Now!

No rsvp required for any public, open meeting. If you have any questions please call John Wren at (720)495-4949


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