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Pari as a Conference Center: Philosophy

The medieval village of Pari will serve as a center for conferences, seminars and workshops. From within a beautiful and ancient site participants will be able to think and discuss such topics as values, the future of society, the link between art and science, the future of education and the role of psychotherapy. Pari offers a quiet and peaceful environment, surrounded by the wildlife of the Tuscan Hills, from which we can pause and find time for thought and contemplation.

David Peat writes about the meetings: Over the years I have been a participant at many meetings and well know the old maxim that the most important work takes place during dinner and the coffee breaks. When, two years ago, I organized an Art and Science meeting at the October Gallery, London my aim was to generate an informal and relaxed, though focussed atmosphere in which participants could get to know each other and talk freely. This is the same atmosphere I would like to bring to the Pari conferences - the chance for small groups of people to meet for several days to make an in-depth exploration of ideas and themes of which they feel passionate.

These meetings are not designed to exhibit one's intellectual fireworks, but rather to engage in mutual exploration of particular themes, not only simply from the perspective of "new ideas" but also as they related to questions of ethics, values and society. Underlying each meeting will be the sense that this discussion is taking place within an environment that has sustained a strong social meaning for over 800 years.

David Peat writes about Pari: When I first visited Pari, in 1994, I was struck by the rather bizarre reflection that I was somehow living in the future. The village itself was at least 800 years old and, in essential ways the rhythms of life had changed very little over the centuries.

When, in 1996, I returned to live permanently in Pari this intuition persisted: that there was something of great value in this community that could be carried into our common future.

I was also aware of how economic changes, beginning at the end of the 1950s, had impacted the village causing its population to drop from 1500 to 250. I also knew that unemployment in the area presented the young people of Pari with little hope for the future if they were to remain in the area.

It was out of these considerations that the idea of Pari as a conference center was born. The idea that new life and ideas could be brought into Pari - in particular that the young people would be involved as helpers and organizers of meetings - and at the end of the meetings participants would take away something of deep value. I should add that the people of Pari have responded with great enthusiasm to this idea. After all their tradition has always been one of open hospitality.

For those who would like to explore the potential of Pari as a conference center for their own meetings write to info@paricenter.com

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Contact F. David Peat

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