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Updated: Jan 7, 2023

Season 3 of the Discussion Festival begins in January 2023 with the theme of developing connections that build meaningful relationships. The new Fourth Portal Lucia House is totally different from the Airmeet venue from Seasons one and two. Easy-to-navigate furnished rooms allow fun interactions and even more random conversations and connections.

Season 3 Theme

The theme for Discussion Festival Season 3 will be creating connections that lead to lasting relationships.

A selection of the rooms available for hosts to present a topic, hold a discussion or class, sell a product or service, and almost anything else.


Hosts are requested to embed this theme into their chosen topic or activity. The theme does not change what a host intends to do and is not compulsory. In a time of polarisation exasperated by social media, the theme might assist in revealing new avenues to developing meaningful connections through an online setting.

By the end of Season 3, we may understand more about how online connections extend into a real-world environment.

View all our virtual rooms here.






Growing evidence

The previous Discussion Festivals have highlighted the potential for real-world relationships to blossom out of online connections. Relationships here are different to meeting a person through a dating site. On dating sites, the sole intention is to find a meaningful, often romantic, connection. For the Discussion Festival, people were joining for a myriad of reasons, only one possibly being to meet someone romanticly.

Screenshot from Discussion Festival 026, tables had different topics, began at various times and guests moved freely between each table as they pleased.

People do develop relationships through Zoom-type online platforms. However, these connections are generally managed, to some degree, in advance; the Zoom organiser directs proceedings. The Discussion Festivals have been much freer. Visitors wander around without hindrance and drop in on topics that have some appeal. Organic conversations emerge with connections forming.

Random selection of tables from Discussion Festival Season One and Season Two

Building real-world relationships

The evidence to claim firm real-world connections have developed out of the previous Discussion Festival seasons is soft. Season 3 is to gather more concrete examples of new firm relationships forming.

This evidence will feed into the new Fourth Portal real-world location, due to open in 2023. In the meantime, we will continue to develop how visitors to the real-world Fourth Portal and our virtual Lucia House can have a seamless hybrid experience.

Writing the paradigm

The evaluation process of season 3 will draw upon work by Professor. John Wood (Goldsmiths, University of London), particularly his work on mapping paradigms.

We will be looking beyond human-to-human relationships. What factors trigger people to make a connection? How do these connections move on to become a meaningful relationships or not? What role does the relationship between people and pets, people and objects, objects and the environment, environment and mood, mood and decision-making, and decision-making and language all have in forming a meaningful connection?

What people say

Click here to find out what hosts and visitors thought of Discussion Festival seasons one and two by clicking here.

Want to host?

Discussion Festival Season 3 runs throughout January and into February 2023 and is free to host and visit.

We have a new venue, our homegrown Fourth Portal Lucia House, built by John Kozak, Val Wardlaw and the wider Lucia collective. It is very different to the previous Discussion Festival space and will offer more opportunities for random conversations and connections to form. Check out the 28 rooms now available, with more coming soon.

To host a room or find out more


To learn more about the next Fourth Portal


See a full list of all Discussion Festivals here

John M

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