Reflective time is scarce and hard to take, yet it is from reflection that we spring forward re-invigorated. As a bit of grit in an oyster provokes the pearl, good company combined with a pinch of paradox and discussion provokes insight. Z/Yen seeks to create situations for clients and friends, as well as ourselves, where insights can be found.
Z/Yen values the support of clients and friends. Many of our clients and friends enjoy opportunities to share experiences with each other. We enjoy creating these "networking" opportunities and hold many events during the year - seminars, cocktail parties, lectures, exhibitions for struggling artists, workshops, boat trips. We also hold a few events, our Reflective Repasts, where we hope our guests experience a high degree of interaction, some in-depth conversation on an interesting subject and intellectual stimulation. These events are by special invitation to a small number of people, typically to those people whose ideas and thoughts we feel will shape the nature of our economy and society, whether they are well-known or behind-the-scenes.
Reflective Repasts centre around the guests of honour’s favourite puzzle, koan, conundrum or paradox – "you know, there’s been one thing that always bugs me…". The guests of honour are not called upon for a presentation, nor a humorous after-dinner speech, nor an assembly address, rather an observation or two combined with two or three thought-provoking questions which our guests can get their teeth into (particularly if the entrée is a bit bland) – we call this the Koan Kourse or Muse Course. Guest numbers are sometimes limited to 12 (apparently this is a traditional number for dinners). Obviously, all remarks are off the record, the "Chatham House Rule", and any press presence is there on a personal level only. We try, with modest success, to have three clear contributions to discuss, about four to five minutes each:
“I have a dream!”
“I have a theory!”
“I have a problem!”
followed by … “I have a train to catch!”.
We have held Reflective Repasts in the evening at a large number of locations around London, from Thames sailing barges to livery halls, Guildhall, the Gherkin, the BT Tower, Spencer House, and other places. Since 2008 we’ve also held some Reflective Repasts at the Farmer’s Club, rethemed as A-Musing and B-Musing Dinners in cooperation with Culliford Edmunds Associates, specialists in global wealth management recruitment. Since 2014 we've also had some Reflective Repasts of polymaths from the Hyperions.
Some past puzzle posers include:
We welcome ideas and themes that are genuinely thought-provoking and are happy to change the format or venue to suit particular circumstances or requirements.