the rules

At the beginning of 2016, I set myself a challenge to meet someone new every day. Not just to say hi, but to have a proper conversation and learn something about that person.

I’m a journalist by trade, so I intend to stick as close to the truth as possible in my accounts of these meetings, but this isn’t really about the facts — it’s about talking to people, listening and making a connection, even if it’s only brief.


  • It must be someone I’ve never had a proper conversation with. I might have met them before, but without properly engaging. They can be anything from a friend of a friend or a shopkeeper to a cheeky pub pash or a complete stranger.
  • The conversation has to be face to face. I have to ask their name and give them mine. A handshake is ideal.
  • They can’t be someone I’ve tracked down for a story at work.
  • No notes, no recording — just listening and remembering.
  • No judgement — just what they said and what I learned.