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!
Experience promises to "go beyond Schonbrunn Palace and Wiener Schnitzel to a deeper conversation with a Vienna resident about their perspective on the world."
Clearly, there is an intimacy that forms.