The ‘borderless Cultural Café’ is Lost in a Cup’s signature event which consists of creating the right atmosphere for a discussion on current affairs or the big questions in life inspired by academic research.
Coffee has been used as a tool to increase efficiency, bring people together and have conversations for as long as we can remember. In every country and culture it inserted itself in the context and served as a facilitator for business deals, mediations, philosophical thinking, information sharing and even started revolutions.
Today coffee is a well known commodity which most Westerners make abundant use of on a daily basis but the ritual element and the magic is often taken away by monotonous routines. However, in Sweden one still sees ‘fika’ as an institution popular both in workplaces and social circles.
We aim to use ‘Fika’ as a mediator to bring important conversations to the table and find that space for learning, understanding each other and discussing ideas with people different from us that modern society makes ever more hard to find.
History teaches us of the many great things mankind has achieved but can also show us the big mistakes made over and over again in time.
Depending on how you were taught it in school you most likely either love it or hate it and that has a lot to do with how it was presented and what way you engage with the past. This video by ‘The School of Life‘ gives a good intro to ‘History’ as a subject and the problems in the way it is taught.
Through time many things change including consensus over certain topics and behaviours which brought us to discussing if moral behaviours committed by people in the past should be judged by today’s standards. We listened to some extracts of BBC Radio 4’s programme ‘The Philosopher’s Arms’, originally aired in 2013 and available online via BBC Sound.
During the discussions, the participants shared a lot of interesting suggestions on things to read about connected to the topic. We listed some of them here:
“Enlightenment Now” by Steven Pinker
“Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral.” by Bertolt Brecht
”Årstafruns dagbok” a dairy by Mrs Märta Helena Renstierna
“The World of Yesterday” by Stefan Zweig
Originally the event was scheduled to last approximately an hour but ended up lasting almost two hours. We sent out a survey to all the participants to get their feedback and see what can be done to improve the format before our next event which we expect will take place towards the end of July / beginning of August. More info coming soon!
Our first digital cultural café was presented by Alexander Maxia and Tove Ljung from Base10 startup hub in Uppsala. It took place on Thursday, July 2nd and people joined from four different countries. More events will follow, keep following us on social media and sign up to our mailing list here!
Big thanks to Jason Dainter, CEO of Base10 for kindly lending us the space to broadcast; Joakim Fichtel from Almi Uppsala for the support and advice leading up to the event and James Maxia for additional research into the topic presented.
As most of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work and after halting our operation in planning events for several months we decided to go digital.
This will be our first ‘cultural café’ event in digital format (our second ever!) and even though we will not be physically in the same coffee house we will do our best to re-create that atmosphere via Zoom.
Yeah I know what you are thinking.. You have had enough lectures, seminars and meetings over the internet and the only thought might give you shudders. But fear not, we’ve got you covered! This will be different from your average Zoom event as we will combine parts in which we are all together – to smaller, more cozy discussions with groups of 4 to 5 people, just as if you were sitting with them at the same table in a café!
The key questions for this event’s topic:
Are historical sins ever to be forgiven?
Do we give focus to the right figures in history?
How do we re-evaluate actions and behaviours from the recent past within today’s society?
This Thursday, the 2:nd of July, we are going to discuss how we learn from history and how we reflect on historical events in today’s climate. We are going to question how actions and behaviors from the recent past fit within today’s society and whether we give focus to the right figures in history. Are historical sins ever to be forgiven? Let’s discuss!
The Cultural café is going to be held like this:
You sign-up via the form (link below) and we will then email you a zoom-link so you can access.
At the event – our hosts will welcome you and guide you through the topic
At a later stage they will split you into smaller groups where you will get the chance to share your thoughts about given questions with 3 or 4 others.
Towards the end of the event, we gather together once again and open to a floor discussion where we can share our thoughts with all the other participants.
We are not here to debate. We are here to have discussions and challenge our mindset. No answers are right or wrong, and the point of the events isn’t to come up with the right answers or test your knowledge. We are just here to discuss in a friendly atmosphere and question our assumptions.
Lost in a Cup was proud collaborator at ‘Career Day 2019’, a yearly fair organised by five different student organisations who focus on creating events for students who study degrees in the political science / diplomatic sphere at Uppsala University.
The event was held at V-Dala Nation and counted over 400 participants who had the chance of speaking to recruiters and explore career paths in the various stands.
Lost in a Cup had its own stand, providing Italian style coffee to energise the participants with espressos and the occasional cappuccinos.
It was a fantastic experience, many coffees were made and interesting conversations took place with the many who stopped-by. Special thanks to the team of volunteers who organised such a successful event and all who took part!
The first PopUp Cultural Café by Lost in a Cup will take place in Base10, right in the heart of Uppsala’s Tech Startup scene.
During the evening there will be a series of interesting talks, open debate and ample opportunity to mingle with people who share similar interests on the topic.
As the Cultural Café will Pop-Up in a StartUp hub, the topic is technology in modern society and the impact its having on our lives. Whilst the advantages of innovation are uncountable and in the StartUp world we often praise their glory, is there also a down side to this? Is our use of technology increasing the sense of alienation for us and the people around us?
Isabelle Edlund – Founder of ‘YouViaMe’
Claes Thorén – Senior Lecturer at Uppsala University
Text: Alexander Maxia – Photos: Marcus Sätherström
Last November ‘Italienskkulturinstitutet‘ or the ‘Italian Cultural institute in Stockholm’ celebrated their 60th birthday. On this occasion ‘Lost in a Cup‘ was there with our Pop-up Café to contribute by bringing quality Italian coffee to the party.
The participants to the event included many Italian expats who have made Sweden their home but also many locals that for one reason or another fell in love with Italian culture and took any opportunity to practice their Italian.
We designed the stand so that the coffee machines were facing the public and not the baristas. Our idea was to teach people to make Italian espresso themselves – for each other! After all, our hashtag is #EspressøYourself so what better way to promote the company ethos than by encouraging people to get a hands-on experience in espresso making and interact with others around them?
Luckily Ismaele Rombi, La Tazza d’Oro’s coffee expert, was on hand to supervise the many amateur baristas who were keen on learning how to make good coffee like in an ‘Italian Bar’. Italian espresso nowadays can be enjoyed across the world as long as the ingredients are of good quality and you have the right tools to make it. For the occasion we collaborated with the Italian household brand ‘DeLonghi’ who lent us their grinder and espresso machines that together with our own ‘Adesso Espresso’ capsule machine delivered fantastic espressos to the many enthusiasts.
A few hours and 200 coffees later, the party ended. It was a great evening and the team at the Institute really did a phenomenal job in organising such a popular event. Driving back to Uppsala we reflected on the many interesting conversations we engaged in, the many stories of people who love ‘il Bel Paese’, the feedback and encouragement many gave us. We felt a sense of satisfaction. On a cold and dark winter evening we brought the taste and atmosphere of a ‘bar della piazza‘ to a location so very far from Italy, yet so strongly connected to it.
Thanks to the team at the Italian Cultural Institute, Ismaele Rombi and DeLonghi Nordics for making this PopUp Café such a success. See you next time?