In February 2016, author and self-described “stranger enthusiast” Kio Stark gave a TED Talk in Vancouver, speakint specifically about talking to strangers – the profound intimacy of these fleeting interactions and the odd joy that’s felt when one’s existence has been noticed. Stark has also published “When Strangers Meet“, a wonderful book that expands, expounds and explains her obsession of talking to people she doesn’t know, which will be released on September 13, 2016.
I’m obsessed with talking to strangers. I make eye contact, say hello, I offer help, I listen. I get all kinds of stories. About seven years ago, I started documenting my experiences to try to figure out why. What I found was that something really beautiful was going on. This is almost poetic. These were really profound experiences. They were unexpected pleasures. They were genuine emotional connections. They were liberating moments.
Recently, Stark gave advice to James Hamblin of the Atlantic regarding how to start a conversation with a stranger.