Chris Hope’s quest for connection


In an era where convenience often supersedes authentic human connections, the 100 Coffee Movement emerged as a poignant reminder of the power of genuine interactions. It began as a simple idea and ultimately transformed into a life-altering odyssey for its founder, Chris Hope.

The origins of the 100 Coffee Movement unveils the profound story of how a yearning for meaningful connections led to a project that not only reshaped one man’s life but also stirred inspiration far and wide.

Chris Hope and his quest for connection:

Chris Hope’s Quest for Connection:

From discontent to a quest for meaning

December 2016 marked a significant turning point in Chris Hope’s life. For the first time, he found himself adrift in a sea of discontent. His relationship was faltering, his career appeared promising yet unfulfilling. The emptiness he felt was a stark testament to the absence of genuine human connection.

Chris was no stranger to the value of connecting with others. During his primary school years, he took pride in knowing the names of every one of his classmates. Human connection, understanding people, and extending a helping hand had always been his guiding principles. However, as adulthood settled in, he noticed a disheartening shift in societal priorities. The world seemed to be shifting towards convenience, often at the cost of real connections.

“One of the most significant changes since my youth is the preference for convenience over connection,” Chris observed. “We embrace self-checkout at the supermarket, order our shopping online, and seek doorstep deliveries.”

This realisation rattled Chris to his core. His life had conformed to a comfortable routine, yet comfort was never his true aspiration. He yearned for a shake-up, a new direction. And so, from this soul-searching, the 100 Coffee Project was conceived.

The Birth of the 100 Coffees Project

A bold idea takes shape

The rules were straightforward yet audacious: 100 coffees with 100 strangers, one coffee per week. Could a weekly latte shared with LinkedIn contacts he’d never met help fill the void that had gnawed at him for so long?

“I approached the first few coffees with trepidation,” Chris admitted. “I honestly wasn’t sure how they would unfold. This was uncharted territory for me.”

The Coffee that Changed Everything

Discovering vales at coffee number four

The pivotal moment came during coffee number four. Sitting across from him was Steph, a senior financial professional. Initially, their conversation mirrored those of the preceding three coffees, but then she posed a question that would forever alter Chris’s life trajectory:

“What are your personal values, and how do they align with your actions in life?”

“That was a lightbulb moment that reshaped my entire life,” Chris declared. He rushed home, grabbed a pen and paper, and sketched a table. Across the top, he cataloged the activities comprising his life, while down the side, he listed the values he aspired to embody.

There were eight:

I am kind.
I am making a difference in the world.
I am always learning.
I am inclusive and treat all people with respect.
I challenge myself and eschew my comfort zone.
I cherish friends, family, and positive people.
I am honest.
I savor life.

The table before him unequivocally exposed the misalignment between his actions and values. This revelation imbued the 100 Coffee Project with renewed purpose. Chris embarked on a quest to discover how people navigated their lives guided by their core values.

The 100 Coffees Journey

Exploring lives through 100 lattes

What ensued were 100 lattes sipped in 87 diverse cafes spanning seven countries. With each coffee, Chris delved into the stories of people who confronted their fears, uncovered inspiration, catalysed change, and underwent personal metamorphosis. More importantly, he encountered individuals who steadfastly adhered to their values.

Not every coffee rendezvous proved life-altering. Some stretched beyond three hours, while others scarcely lasted 20 minutes. Chris reminisced, “I recall one coffee where the man opposite me barely paused to catch his breath, passionately narrating his life for 17 and a half minutes. The coffee clocked in at 18 minutes. But as I exited the café, I reflected and pledged to myself that I would always listen more than I talked. In that sense, it was 18 minutes well spent.”

Then there was the memorable encounter with a corporate executive. After making Chris wait for 45 minutes in the lobby of his city office, the executive abruptly canceled their meeting. It was 3:30 pm on a Friday, and Chris hadn’t had the chance to organise another coffee. In a moment of spontaneity, he turned to the receptionist and extended an offer of coffee. Coffee number 80 was shared with James the receptionist.

The impact of the project

Energy, enthusiasm and enduring bonds

As Chris navigated through the 100 Coffees Project, he felt a palpable transformation within himself. “I experienced heightened energy and enthusiasm for my pursuits and aspirations,” he affirmed. “Meeting new people and engaging in meaningful conversations had that effect on me.” This journey wasn’t solely about collecting stories; it was about forging enduring connections. To this day, Chris remains in touch with 30 to 40 individuals he encountered along the way.

Regarding Steph and the pivotal question that quite literally altered the course of his life? Chris recently reunited with her. “I conveyed to her, “you’ll never comprehend the profundity of that question at that moment.’ It transcended career counsel; it reshaped my entire life. I didn’t just apply it to my professional path; I applied it to the broader spectrum of my existence.”

The Enduring Relevance of Genuine Human Connection

The value of authentic human bonds

The 100 Coffee Movement, conceived from a longing for genuine human connection, stands as a testament to the potency of authentic interactions. Chris Hope’s voyage, shared through 100 coffee conversations, serves as an inspiring testament that sincere human connections are not a luxury but a fundamental necessity. In a world that increasingly champions convenience, this movement champions authentic dialogues and aligning our lives with our deeply held values.

The importance of human connection

Human connection is essential for our well-being and happiness. Let’s make a choice to put ourselves out there, to be vulnerable, and to build meaningful relationships with the people around us.