Dialogue at the 9th Nordic Conference in Finland

The 9th annual Nordic Conference on Philosophical Practice took place in Helsinki May 4-5. There was a workshop the day before led by Guro Hansen Helskog on the Dialogos approach to pedagogical philosophical practice. I was unable to attend the workshop but heard from others that it was well received. Around 60 participants from all the Nordic countries, plus a number of others, gathered in a beautiful location on the edge of the harbor to the west of the city center. The conference was held in at Lapinlahden Lähde, which was a fantastic venue: a 200-year-old hospital decommissioned in 2007 and now focused on hosting many events connected with well-being.

The theme of the conference was dialogue, which was reflected both in the speeches given and structure of the conference itself. There were four main talks that all focused on the use of dialogue in various forms and then there was a series of parallel workshops and smaller sessions that not only focused on specific methods, case studies, or issues but also gave room for practicing dialogue.

A highlight of the conference was the dinner on Saturday night. This included a lot of dialogues both philosophical and merely social. We had a wonderful time at the officer’s club on Suomenlinna, an island just off of the main port of Helsinki.

One of the upshots from the conference was a recognition for the need for more dialogue and cooperation between the various Nordic societies. In light of this a number of representatives, myself included, have agreed to start working together to look for funding sources to continue and grow activities related to philosophical practice.

Next year the rotation of this conference will land in Denmark. We look forward to that!


Joshua Bronson

Board member of SSFP and Philosophical practitioner