We believe that through talking to strangers we can all help create a better world. Studies have shown that having a simple conversation with a stranger increases well-being and people's sense of belonging to a community. Plus, in our own experience, it's fun!
Yet despite this, in big cities talking to strangers tends to be a taboo and as a result we don't have enough of these conversations. We want to change this, through a movement that gets people talking to strangers.
Over the last few years we've experimented with different ways we can encourage people to talk. A big part of this work has been in creating spaces where people feel freer to talk, through events, stunts and other activities. Through these activities we've been able to build up expertise around the impact talking to strangers can have.
Talk to me Day
‘Talk to me Day’ is one day for people to celebrate the importance of conversation - either through organising events and activities or through talking gto strangers. Talk to me Day 2016 will take place on 16th July - a number of activities will take place throughout London and in other cities around the world. Find out more and get involved here.
Talking based stunts
We’re interested in how people interact with each other in public spaces - and in trying to find ways to make conversations happen. Here are some examples of stunts we’ve done:
-’Talk Stops’ - bus stops can be great places to strike up conversations between strangers as everyone is waiting. We worked with local artists - including Artmongers and SERFs in New Cross to transform bus stops into ‘Talk stops’.
-’Talk Street’ - we transformed Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden into ‘Talk street’ using some nifty signs and with the help of keen volunteers.
-’Talk Bar’ - we teamed up with TimeOut and the Southbank Centre to launch a pop-up bar, where people were served with conversation starters instead of drinks.
One of the key barriers to starting a conversation in public is that people don’t know whether the other person wants to talk. Our badges and other merchandise show you’re open to conversation and let you see who else wants to talk too!
Partnerships and events
We know that we cannot create change alone. We are therefore keen to establish partnerships with organisations that are getting strangers talking, in whatever way, and are keen to promote their events and activities. Sometimes, we work with organisations to bring a 'talking twist' to their activities - for example, we are currently working with FoodCycle Peckham to find fun ways to encourage their guests to talk to each other more.
We have collaborated with researchers from the University of Cambridge and RSA to measure the impact of our activities. We are also creating a research piece combining existing research around the positive effects of talking to others with practical solutions to creating cities where people can talk.
We love talking to people we don't know. Talking to strangers has had a big positive effect on our lives.
One day, we were talking about the fortuitous conversations we’d had with strangers, and how in our home city of London, we didn’t have more of these conversations.There seemed to be an unwritten rule around talking to strangers and so we wanted to create something that broke this rule - something would allow people who wanted to talk to do so. That’s when we created Talk to me.
We believe that through talking to strangers we can all help create a better world. We envision a world in which strangers feel comfortable striking up a conversation.
Our mission is to change people’s attitudes to talking to strangers and bring about more conversations between stranger in cities.
Why should I talk to strangers?
There’s growing evidence that talking to those around us makes us happier, more connected and increases our sense of opportunity among other things. Still in doubt?
How do I get involved?
There are a whole load of ways of getting involved - from organising an event on Talk to me Day to telling us your story (scroll down) or by simply talking to strangers. .
Is this a dating thing?
Dating could be a great outcome of a conversation through Talk to me, but it's not our focus at all-- we just think it's good for people to talk.