Writer, Author, and Lecturer in Psychology (University of British Columbia) / Blogger @ The State of Us
Supporting academic and public discourse in the psychological and social sciences. Specializing in (1) educational development and leadership; (2) writing, editing, and content creation; and (3) business and community consulting.

Writer, Author, and Lecturer in Psychology (University of British Columbia)

Psych Cafés /
Cafés Philo

Psych Cafés /
Cafés Philo


What’s a Café-Philo? A café philosophique or philosophy café, often referred to as a ‘café-philo’ for short, is an opportunity for people to come together and engage in friendly conversation about philosophical questions, ideas, and world issues. The café-philo concept was started as a grassroots movement in 1992 by Marc Sautet in Paris, France, in order to support philosophical discussion among philosophers and non-philosophers alike; and by members of academia as well as the community. Most meetings are held in cafés, reflecting the fun and relaxed atmosphere inherent to cafés-philothough some are held in pubs, too. Participants enjoy coffee or tea while they carry on in lively conversations about stimulating topics and questions. You can read more about the café-philo history on Wikipedia here.

Psych Cafés are a little more focused, addressing psychologically relevant topics. Topics may include psychological research, new ideas in the field, or stimulating questions, such as the role of social media in our lives and in our mental health.

I first participated in a café-philo in 2010, moderating a discussion on the notion of spiritual intelligence. In 2017, I began leading and moderating community-based cafés on Bowen Island at the Bowen Island Lodge. Today I also lead Psych Cafés at the University of British Columbia, which involve mainly psychology students, but are open to students and faculty across disciplines. I believe in the importance of enabling conversation and discourse about pressing issues and challenges. To fix any problem, or to overcome any challenge, we first have to talk about it. Conversation fosters awareness and critical thinking; and awareness leads to new ideas and perspectives.

Here are some examples of past Psych Café / Café-Philo topics:

Why Do We Fight? Conflict, aggression, and “destructive personalities” in today’s world.
Will we (as individuals, as a species) ever live in harmony with nature?
Meaning in Practice: What does it really MEAN to find MEANING? How do we make a more meaningful life?
Social Media, Identity, and FOMO: What is it we’re all searching for?
The Rise in Narcissism: Is there really a problem, and what can we do about it?
In today’s climate, how do we continue cultivating a culture of acceptance, diversity, and equality?

Email me at davidking2311@gmail.com to inquire about upcoming cafés, or see Educational Events for any published schedules. I also offer my services as a moderator, if you’re interested in holding a café of your own!

(A write-up in the local newspaper, the Undercurrent, about one of our cafés on Bowen Island.)

(And here we are talking about how to save the world! Not exactly, but sort of…)