International Masterclass

“The philosophical conversation”


Venice, 1-3 March 2024

Facilitated by Kristof Van Rossem and colleagues

Benedetta Greca is a student from Foscari University. Listen to what she has to say about the conference

Benedetta Greca è una studentessa dell’Università Foscari. Ascolta cosa ha da dire sulla conferenza


Practical aspects


1-3 March 2024


Ca’ Foscari University, CFZ Cultural Flow Zone – Aula Tesa 1

Zattere al Pontelungo, Dorsoduro 1392, Venice

& Istituto Canossiano di San Trovaso, Sala Rossa

Fondamenta de le Romite, Dorsoduro 1323, Venice

How much?

Participation in the conference costs 350€ excl. 21% VAT.

When you enroll before the 20th of February 24, you pay € 275,- excl. 21% vat

Included in the price:

  • The book ‘The Philosophical Conversation. The basics. (JohnHuntPublishers, 2024)
  • The lecture in Foscari University
  • The workshops in Canossiano
  • Coffee, Tea
  • Drinks and snacks
  • A Venezian speciality dinner at Saturday night

If you have for a good reason a lack of money, get in touch

Optional : You can spend the night in the same place as where the conference takes place :

Istituto Canossiano di San Trovaso, Fondamenta de le Romite, Dorsoduro 1323, Venice
T +39 041 240 9711

To book the accommodation, click here.

Don’t wait too long to book. Up to 15 rooms in this centre are available. Otherwise you will have to look for an own hotel.


Minimum: 8 participants
Maximum: 35 participants

What will you learn?

In the seminar, you’ll learn:

  • to practise the maieutic attitude (Socratic midwifery) and to control empathy
  • to set up and to lead a philosophical conversation in small and in larger groups.
  • to be creative using 3 different styles in conducting a philosophical conversation : the ‘standard’ light style of  facilitating described in the book ‘the philosophical conversation’, the Socratic Method, the COPI style.
  • to further develop your own style of facilitation.

We follow the structure and the guidelines from the book, that you will get as course material.

Is it something for you? 

This seminar is ideal for you when

  • you want to know the basics of what constitutes a good philosophical dialogue.
  • you want to practise philosophical dialogues in the presence of experienced people.
  • you want to discuss cases and theories about philosophical dialogues in your own country or context.

What’s the program? 

Friday 1st of March :

Optional :

18.00 : Get-to-know each other dinner

20.00 – 22.00 : Pre-conference gathering and first exchange of exercises

Saturday 2nd of March :

Location morning program (9.00 – 13.00) : CFZ Aula Tesa1, Ca’ Foscari University

9.00 : Coffee and tee

9.15 – 10.00 : Opening and lecture by Dr. Annalisa Rossi, “The art of clarifying, distinguishing and defining. Dialogue with The Philosophical Conversation.” Followed by comments of Kristof and Q&A from the public

10.15 – 11.00 : Lecture by Dr. Anna Pavani, “The “socratic dialogue” and Socrates’ dialogues”. Followed by comments of Kristof and Q&A from the public

11.15 – 12.00 : Lecture (online) by Prof. Livio Rossetti on Plato’s Socrates as a ‘sophist’ and socratic dialogues, followed by comments of Kristof and Q&A from the public

12.00-12.45 : plenary philocafé about the morning sessions led by Kristof

13.00 : Lunch in the city

Location afternoon program (14.30 – 18.00) : Sala Rossa, Istituto Canossiano di San Trovaso

14.30 : Exercises in Socratic questioning and listening

16.00 : Three ways of doing philosophical dialogue: demonstration by Kristof with observations

18.00 : Apero + dinner

Sunday 3rd of March :

Location program (9.00 – 18.00) : Sala Rossa, Istituto Canossiano di San Trovaso

9.00 : The objectives of Socratic questioning : exercises

10.30 : Workshop part 1. How to facilitate philosophical conversation in a group. You can try out three different methods, taking turns in facilitating. You will get direct feedback on your questioning behavior

12.30 : Lunch

14.00 : Workshops part 2. Taking turns in leading variants of philosophical conversations in group or with an individual.

16.00 : Back to everyday life : tips and tricks about special cases in organizations

17.00 : Farewell drink


Kristof Van Rossem is Master in Science of religions and Master in philosophy. He works as an independent trainer in different organisational settings. He is specialized in the art of questioning and in applying variations of Socratic dialogue in reflection- and coaching processes. He is leading an annual training course in Socratic dialogue facilitation at the ISVW (International School for Philosophy – Leusden, the Netherlands). He is teacher in Business Ethics at Odisee University College of Brussels and he is teacher trainer in the department of philosophy of the University of Leuven.

Dr. Annalisa Rossi has a PhD in Philosophy (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice). She is coordinator and teacher at University Master Programmes in Philosophical Counseling at Ca’ Foscari University and the West University of Timisoara, Romania. She also works as a Philosophical practitioner, doing various philosophical counseling projects for schools and companies.

Dr. Anna Pavani works as a researcher at the Chair for Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at the Ruhr
University Bochum. Her post-doc research project is funded by the DFG under the Walter
Benjamin Programme. In 2023, she completed the Master in Philosophical Counseling at the University Ca’ Foscari and works as a philosophical practitioner in Cologne, where she lives.

Em. Prof. Dr. Livio Rossetti, now retired, served for many years as Professor of the History of Ancient Philosophy at the University of Perugia, Italy. This year he is appointed Honorary President of the International Plato Society (IPS), of which he was a founding member.

Background Literature:

How to lead a Socratic Dialogue by Kristof van Rossem in: Detlef Staude & Eckart Ruschmann eds. Understanding the other and oneself (2018)

The Philosophical Conversation. The Basics by Kristof Van Rossem (John Hunt Publishers, 2024)

Socratic Dialogue and Ethics by J.P. Brune & D, Krohn Eds. (2005)


Arrivederci a Venezia!

Phone: +32 473 71 58 35
Kokerijstraat 90
B 9310 Meldert