Mankind is ‘capable of being improved by free and equal discussion’ John Stuart Mill 1806 - 1873

The Zurich Salon advocates freedom of expression and rational discussion in the Enlightenment tradition. It promotes open-ended debate in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

The Zurich Salon’s objective is to push the boundaries of public discussion and to widen our horizons. It exists to create a public space to explore contemporary issues critically and constructively.

At our Salons speakers speak for five to six minutes each to state their core positions. Speakers then exchange views and disagreements between themselves before opening the debate up to the audience for questions and contributions.

Depending on the speakers and topic, discussions and debates take place in either German or English.

Nothing is off-limits from politics and philosophy, to business and the arts. No contentious issue or difference of opinion is brushed under the carpet.

While the Zurich Salon embraces discussion on contentious issues, it trusts the audience to come to its own well-founded and, most likely, conflicted conclusions.

Salon-goers have a right to hold opinions and, arguably, a duty to express and defend them. The Salon’s ethos is that it is only through open debate that we come to know and develop our own opinions and to formulate informed judgments about the views of others.

Our intention is to share ideas and to have fun in the company of a diverse crowd from all walks of life. So drink, food, films, live music and other art forms form a big part of the picture.

The picture picture below shows our pilot Salon in October 2013, entitled ‘What does privacy mean in a connected world?’ when 112 people probed Andrew Keen, Gerd Leonhard and Martyn Perks.