While some dinner parties are just an excuse for people to get together, eat good food, and have some wine (not a bad reason at all), The Feast wants to add another component to that: changing the world. Or at least, your community.
The Feast hosts an annual conference in New York, which brings together industry leaders to discuss problems around the world, including health care and poverty, and ends with roundtable discussions to solve some of these world issues.
"We asked, how can we open up the model of people around the table and hashing out a problem?" The Feast's executive program director Kevin Huynh told The Daily Meal over the phone. The result: More than 300 dinner parties, organized on The Feast's website, each one tackling a challenge, either self-started or issued by one of The Feast’s speakers.
The dinner parties, which start at 7 p.m. Oct. 5, local time, hope to bring together like-minded thinkers to tackle issues like making a city more sustainable or helping people see health care as a human right (the latter issue is presented by Arcade Fire).
"It’s a roaming dinner party," Huynh explains. "It starts at the international date line, Japan and New Zealand, and travels around, up until it hits New York."
Dinner parties are listed on the website, including where they are and what project each group plans on tackling. And while dinner parties may seem a bit casual for a think-tank-like goal, Huynh says that dinner is actually the best place to get ideas going.
"It can sometimes be sort of intimidating to invite all the people you admire and say I really want to start something," Huynh said. "That nice little model of, 'Let’s do it over dinner,' people sort of understand there’s a tone, an expectation that comes with it. I’m going to be around people, it’s going to be face to face, it’s going to be positive."
Indeed, it’ll be more like gathering up a group of friends to discuss issues you’re passionate about, whether it’s increasing awareness of poverty, or of the way design shapes the world. And each dinner party, Huynh hopes, will lead to a project that will overcome the challenges presented at The Feast.
"It doesn’t always have to be that these sorts of things start at a really special event," Huynh said. "It’s about someone being bold enough to invite people they admire to start a project in their community. There’s something sincere and really powerful about that."
Check out the challenges at the The Feast’s website, and register for a dinner party yourself.