Case Studies

Café Humaniste

Back in December 1992 French philosopher Marc Sautet organised in Paris the very first Café philosophique, a grassroots forum for philosophical discussion which has become an established tradition around the world nowadays. With the same idea in mind, Humanists International launched in June 2017 Café Humaniste, an event series meant to bring people together to discuss questions of interest and concern to humanists, wherever they are from. Here is how and why we did it.

  • Date / 1 February 2019
  • By / Giovanni Gaetani

The background

In 2017 Humanists International decided to find new original ways to expand its reach worldwide. Together with the creation of new resources and new grants, Humanists International decided to experiment a new format called "Café Humaniste".

The idea is simple: in collaboration with local Member Organizations, Humanists International organises informal events in countries all over the world with the goal of bringing humanists together to talk about any theme related to humanism.

Humanists International provides financial and media support while our Member Organisations manage the logistics for the event itself.

The launch of the series

The pilot event was organised on 16 June 2017 in Milan (Italy) by Humanists International and the Milan Circle of UAAR, the Italian Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics. The theme of the event was "what we talk about when we talk about vaccination?": the speakers and the public were invited to discuss the importance of the vaccination from a scientific point of view as well as the incontinence and danger of the anti-vaccination conspiracies.

The pilot event being a success, Humanists International decided to continue with the Café Humaniste series, organising since then around 6 events every year, all around the world. Here are some pics.

How to organise a Café Humaniste

Organising a Café Humaniste is simple. At the beginning of every year Humanists International announces the new grants which are reserved to all our Member Organisations, especially those in our three priority regions (Latin America, Asia, Africa).

We have created a guide (available both in English and in Spanish) which will guide everyone interested to organise an event of the series in six clear steps. If you interested in organising one Café Humaniste, don't forget to get in touch first with to verify the availability of the grant.

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