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Full Circle brings ideas to Brussels
Proving that thought-provoking social networking is appreciated in Brussels, Full Circle introduces its new high-profile programme, less than one year after launching the international professional club.
Full Circle’s second season will be unveiled at a reception on Monday September 22 , providing a teaser for the season’s programme with six scheduled speakers taking to the floor. Among the guests are a milliner to the Royals, a philosopher with a radical take on income, a fascinating agricultural engineer turned wine specialist, a visionary and influential urbanist-architect, a photographer with an early morning story, and a prominent business strategist on staying focused.
The evening reception, complete with drinks and canapés, is open to members and non-members. It is an opportunity to meet the group, its members, and discover the variety of events it organises, including dinners, salons and brainstorming sessions. Co-founder and director Louise Hilditch explains: “The philosophy of Full Circle is to invite specialists in their field to talk knowledgably and in some depth on their subject. There are no power points (it’s not a work meeting after all) and the first question is always by someone with some knowledge of the content which then sparks the debate.”
The evening is also structured for social interaction. Louise and co-founder Bridie Nathanson work hard to mix people up. “It’s small and cosy and the evenings are always very jolly.” The pair have responded to members’ request for more and varied events. “Many of our members have busy lives and a busy work schedule, so one event a month was not enough. And while our core interest is rather cerebral, they also wanted lighter topics as well,” says Hilditch.
The 2014-15 season boasts a variety of subject matters, from United Kingdom historian Linda Colley on what’s coming after the Scottish referendum, environmentalist Tristram Stuart on food waste to academic David Crystal sharing his thoughts on the English language and texting.
Full Circle’s membership is equally diverse. Around 60% are international, predominantly from EU countries and North America, while 40% are Belgian. There are few organisation that succeed in combining these two communities. Members are all professional and the majority aged between 35 and 55.
Venues vary from exhibition spaces and art galleries to unusual locations such as shops between tenancy agreements. They are all located in the centre of Brussels. Members are informed about the venue 48 hours in advance. It is this exclusive members-only strategy that is valued by the 500-plus membership.
Annual membership is €300, thinking dinner evenings €55, and there are various membership options for young professionals and interns.