When I was in Lisbon for a month in 2019, I leveraged almost every opportunity to meet new people. One of the events I attended was called High Five Friending. It was a variant of a concept known as speed dating but taken out of the dating context to support a broader range of connections. A large group got together in a rooftop bar and had to install a mobile app that would ring every ten minutes to show you the picture of a person you should find as your next conversation partner. It was the first time I had participated in something like this, and I found it very enjoyable, even though it required a lot of energy to have so many conversations in a single night. This event gave me the confidence to participate in an actual speed dating event later that year, but that’s a different story.
Events facilitating one-on-one conversations are perfect, especially if you consider yourself shy or introverted. It may sound counter-intuitive initially, but I’ve noticed that I often tend to go quiet and listen without speaking in group settings. I find it hard to assert dominance and keep up with the speed of the conversation. A few people end up dominating the group. Having the undivided attention of another person, even just for ten minutes, means you can talk more and thus get more out of the encounter. Unsurprisingly, the Effective Altruism (EA) movement emphasizes one-on-one in its community-building strategy.
Local events like “High Five Friending” help find people in your vicinity. What can you do if you want to meet friends worldwide?! Luckily, a speed-dating setup works well with video chat applications like Zoom. For the Interintellect community, mingling salons have always been part of the other, along with the topic-based salons. Community members Brian Ahuja and Katrina Dela Cruz have hosted them a few times, but lately, the events happened at hours optimized for a primarily American audience. Anna Grigoryan and I wanted to attend the last one and voiced our discomfort with the scheduling in Discord. Instead of complaining or swallowing the pill of attending in the middle of the night, we spontaneously decided to team up and host our own mingle salon.
After that long-winded introduction, all that’s left for me to say is that I would love to see you at our salon. It will occur on Sunday, September 18th, at 18:00 CET. You don’t have to be an Interintellect member to come; you can book a ticket directly through their website.