Amandine Viguié & Laetitia Veriter

Paris Edition: Meaningful Philia Conversations (with friends and complete strangers)

23 November 2017 , , Philia

Philia has started to gain a presence in Paris. In November Nicole went to see Amandine and Laetitia. They have been part of the Philia Project for quite some months and it was inspiring to exchange stories on how our lives have truly changed because of our participation in the Philia Journey. Very spontaneously the three of us decided to organise a little get together. Meeting good friends over a glass of wine after work to discuss women’s empowerment at the workplace seemed like a wonderful initiative. Similarly to the Women’s Empowerment Brunches and the Deep Talk Dinners that are regularly organised by Tanja and Nicole in Berlin we took our first dip in Paris.

The evening was a real success. The secret of the Philia gatherings are inclusiveness and openness. In a trusted environment women from all walks of life get together to share their views on various topic such as modes of relaxation, daily inspiration or sharing their views on how to succeed at the work place.

After the successful gathering with friends Amandine and Laetitia went one step further. But read for yourselves of what they have to say:

Imagine bringing together people from various horizons, unknown to one another, with no particular reason other than to have a good chat in an open and friendly setting: That’s the spirit of the Debate Night organised each year in Paris!

Inclusiveness, open-mindedness and conviviality are the key words of this initiative, offering any citizen the possibility to pick a place (café, bar, theatre, cultural centre…) and host a discussion on whatever topic s/he fancies.

Having started the Philia Coaching Programme a few months ago, we’ve been reflecting on the topic of women empowerment and the impact networks and communities can have in supporting a women’s career and personal development. So, when we heard about the Debate Night, we couldn’t let the opportunity of meeting and exchanging on this topic with others go, and decided to host a debate on women empowerment.

Our experience, being part of the Philia Community, feels so empowering to us, that we wanted to understand why it is still quite unusual for women to join networks or communities (lack of time? Male-dominated networking culture?) and how we could change that trend when it is proved to be a fantastic way to boost one’s career, learn from inspiring people, and support one another in reaching personal and professional objectives.

The 23rd of November was the night, and in a cosy co-working café nearby the impressive Centre Pompidou building, we sat at a big table with a cup of tea, a bowl of crisps, and a lot of excitement to meet and chat with whoever was curious to explore the topic with us!

And so they came, strangers who had read about our debate on the event’s dedicated platform, or who were just passing by.

As a starter, we introduced ourselves and the background (=Philia) behind our wish to exchange on women empowerment. The conversation then took a very informal turn, everyone sharing on the challenges they are facing and how they try to overcome these.  

What came out of this inspiring evening is that the work landscape, as we know it is changing very fast, with robots and digital evolutions forcing us to reinvent ourselves and catch the train of the future of work with more and more entrepreneurs and freelancers. In this context, we all felt it is more important than ever to create some safe spaces where to meet like-minded professionals and learn new skills together, reach new objectives.

In an increasingly individualistic world, the need to join forces and share with others is therefore still very high, and while we didn’t find the perfect solution to that need, we certainly agreed that peer coaching is a tremendously useful way to start!