From Rebecca Bryant
I’ve always wanted to go to Vienna. Beautiful city. Legendary music venues. And, of course, there would be the coffee shops!
Several years back I was noodling around on the Internet looking at coffee shops, dreaming of a trip to Vienna and stumbled upon the Vienna Coffeehouse Conversations. I had no idea that Vienna’s coffeehouses were so steeped in a tradition of verbal exchange. One with such great value, that the Vienna Coffeehouse tradition has earned an UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage designation.
Talk about being gob-smacked!!
What motivates Viennese residents to sign up – at their own expense – and come to engage in conversation with travelers? What is it about a one-on-one conversation that can be so powerful that it must be preserved? What elements work to create such substantive and engaging conversation – conversation so profound – that those at the table come away with answers, more questions and the desire to return? And, importantly, what might we as researchers learn from one-on-one conversations that would permit us to step away from our seat at the table and learn from the interaction of two individuals simply engaged in conversation? I had to find out more.
When I shared this with several QRCA friends, interest sparked. (…not surprise, eh, since we are all about conversation!) Long story short, this year’s conference will include a pre-conference Vienna Coffeehouse experience. I always love the conference, but admittedly, I’m particularly intrigued about going this year and finding out more about this Vienna Coffeehouse Conversation.
…Starbucks eat your heart out!