Frequently Asked Questions

WHY THE NAME ESTUARY? The technical definition of estuary is the place where fresh water from a river meets up with the salt water of the sea or ocean, resulting in an ecosystem with brackish water, constantly changing land formations, and unique plant and animal life, that is vulnerable to the wild currents of the river, and crashing waves of the sea, not to mention all sorts of dangerous creatures of the sea who periodically make their appearance.

We use the term metaphorically, to represent a space where different belief systems and world-and-life views come together for conversation, a sometimes wild and crazy place, where nevertheless a new ecosystem may emerge, a new community of listening, or learning, of love and mutual respect.



WHO DREAMED UP THE IDEA OF ESTUARY? Estuary grew out of the ever-fertile mind of Paul Vander Klay, who found himself having many conversations with random people (randos) on his YouTube channel, and who also cultivated the practice in the worldwide Bridges of Meaning chatroom on the discord server. Initially, this was a mostly online converZation community. Only recently have we begun to try to create new face-to-face conversation groups on the ground in various locations.



ARE ALL ESTUARY CONVERSATIONS DONE IN ENGLISH? While most estuary groups, as well as estuary leaders use English as their primary language, there is at least one German speaking estuary group .



WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ESTUARY PROTOCOL AND ESTUARY EXPERIENCE? Paul likes to use protocol, and John prefers experience. Perhaps it is because Paul is clearly a law-and-order kind of guy, and John is more laid back and wired for a more vague and nebulous experience...



SHOULD WE SAY THE ESTUARY, OR ESTUARY?  There is a YouTube video explaining this.