The term conviviality as used here refers to the art of living together (con-vivere) which values relationship and cooperation. It enables contradictions and differences to co-exist without denigration. It also allows us to live out our concerns for our togetherness and for the world.
In this way, we understand conviviality to mean a pro-social way of being among people which is oriented towards joyful and peaceful cohabitation. A pro-social approach builds solidarity, cooperation and mutual trust.
This way of being encompasses the enabling of collective experiences related to solidarity, sharing, enjoyment and celebration. This leads to the noun convivium denoting a public ‘enabling space’ dedicated to making a specific topic (e.g. a respectful approach to Gaia, our Earth) ‘experience-able’ in a way that equally addresses mind, body and soul.
These enabling spaces can also include global issues where appropriate, if they are relevant and/or implementable at a regional or local level as far as sustainability and future viability is concerned.
One example of this: The issue of food sovereignty and its implementation in the form of Slow Food or Community-Supported Agriculture or other movements where people come together freely and organise themselves in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation.
In recent years, the issues of conviviality and convivialism have reached a broader public, especially through the “convivialist manifesto”, the result of a debate of about 40 French-speaking scientists and intellectuals around Alain Caillé, Marc Humbert, Serge Latouche and Patrick Viveret, and are also increasingly discussed in the context of the “degrowth” movement.