Assumptions People already have within them the wisdom and creativity to deal with current challenges. Exploring issues together encourages new ways of thinking and a shift in perspective creates new possibilities.
Purpose of the World Café Generate input, share knowledge, stimulate innovative thinking, explore action possibilities Create a dense web of connections in a short period of time as threads of conversation reveal new patterns
When to Use TWC The World Café is especially useful when you have: A limited amount of time (as little as 1.5 to 2 hours) A lot of people (we've worked with 1200) Questions that matter to the people gathered, that they either frame themselves or that a representative sub-group has helped to shape (at least initially) The intention is to build community, strengthen relationships and engage everyone's unique contribution and voice using both verbal and visual modalities (even the timid or less verbal ones). You want to access collective intelligence based on discovering patterns of meaning in emergent, unexpected ways that come from the intentional rapid cross-pollination of diverse perspectives and ideas.
Design Principles Set the context Create hospitable space Explore questions that matter Encourage everyones contribution Cross-pollinate & connect diverse perspectives Listen together for patterns, insights, and deeper questions Harvest and share collective discoveries
Instructions Seat 4 per table 2 or 3 rounds, 15-25 minutes each Write, doodle, draw thoughts, ideas and questions on tablecloths. After each round, a host stays, others move to new tables, carrying new ideas and questions to the next conversation. The role of the host is to welcome newcomers, share highlights of the prior conversation and invite people to doodle. After the second or third round, we harvest the learning together.
The Job of the Host Welcome & invite people to their seats Explain purpose and logistics Introduce assumptions and etiquette Pose the first question (posted) Encourage every one to lean in At the end of the first round, ask tables to select a host to stay while everyone else travels Introduce 2nd question Harvest the learning
Café Etiquette Focus on what matters Contribute your thinking Speak your mind and heart Listen to understand Link and connect ideas Listen together for insights and deeper questions Play, doodle, draw
Sample Question 1 What Collaboration Stories can you share about roaring successes or catastrophic failure? What conditions supported or got in the way of you and others doing great work?
Sample Question 2 What are the tensions, dilemmas, challenges you face as you work more collaboratively?
Sample Question 3 What are the core values and leadership practices that help build a stronger culture of collaboration?
Harvesting Purpose: To identify patterns, collective knowledge and new possibilities Sample Questions: –As you listened to the conversations, What stands out to you as most important, what most energizes you? What are the dilemmas/ opportunities we face in our community? What is the next level of thinking or action we have to do as a community? What would it take to create change in the directions weve talked about?
Individual Reflection What has been your major learning or insight? How might you act on this new understanding?
Harvesting the Learning What ideas came up across tables & conversations? What new ideas & possibilities were emerging?
Harvesting the Learning What ahas, BFOs, surprises emerged at your tables? How might we act on this new understanding?
Provocative Questions A pocket of change addresses a specific public concern and builds community.. Where do you see such pockets of change in your community and how can you deepen and spread them? What does it mean to treat people as citizens rather than consumers: What would this mean for how you and others go about your work?
Whats Next? What action are you called to take? What is the best way for people to reach you? Please write LEGIBLY on a Post-it and post it on the Community Bulletin Board.
Café to Go www.theworldcafe.com The World Café: Shaping our Futures through Conversations that Matter
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