World Café

A co-creation method that promotes the development and sharing of ideas among different stakeholders, guiding discussions in small groups to gain insights and opinions on a specific topic.

About

The World Cafe method is a facilitated workshop technique that encourages open and collaborative dialogue among participants. By rotating through small group discussions and exploring various questions or topics, the World Cafe fosters collective wisdom, community building, and creative thinking. It's valuable in conferences, strategic planning, and community engagement, where inclusive conversations, diverse perspectives, and shared understanding guide collaborative solutions and group learning.

Suitable for

  • exploring the opinions of different people
  • involving different stakeholders in decision-making about the shape of the service
  • bringing together different stakeholders' perspectives.

Deliverables

World Café Invitations

Invitations to participants that briefly explain the purpose of the World Café session, the date and time, and the location where it will be held.


Café Environment Setup

A detailed plan for setting up the space where the World Café session will be held, including table configurations, seating arrangements, and the overall ambiance.


World Café Etiquette Guidelines

A document outlining the expected behavior during the session. This document may include information about the importance of building on each other's ideas, contributing meaningful insights, and focusing on the questions at hand.


Facilitator's Guide

A step-by-step guide for the facilitator detailing the roles and responsibilities before, during, and after the World Café session, and tips for effective time management and creating an engaging participant experience.


Discussion Seed Questions

A collection of thought-provoking questions related to the research topic to be discussed during the session. These questions should be open-ended, relevant to the session's purpose and easily comprehensible to the participants.


Participant Name Tags

Name tags for each participant, ensuring that everyone can easily address their fellow participants during the session.


Visual Aids

Visual aids such as flip charts, whiteboards, or digital boards for participants to write or draw their ideas, thoughts, and insights during the session.


Session Timer

A timer to keep track of the time and manage the various activities planned during the World Café session.


World Café Harvesting Guide

A guide for collecting the insights, thoughts, ideas, and outcomes of the World Café session. This guide should include instructions on documenting the information, organizing the data, and analyzing the results post-session.


World Café Session Report

A comprehensive report detailing the outcomes of the World Café method session, including key findings, insights, recommendations from participants, and an action plan based on those results.

Procedure

1

Preparation

Choose a suitable location with enough space for multiple tables and a comfortable atmosphere. Select a relevant topic or question that needs exploration, improvement or solutions.

2

Setup

Organize the venue with multiple tables, each having seating for 4-6 participants. Ensure each table has writing material and a designated table host. Create a welcoming environment by providing refreshments and background music if appropriate.

3

Introduction

Welcome the participants and explain the World Café method, its purpose, and the topic under discussion. Present any rules, guidelines or expectations for the session.

4

First Round

Participants choose a table and begin discussing the topic. Encourage active listening and open conversations, allowing for diverse perspectives. The table hosts will facilitate the discussion, ensuring a concise summary of key points.

5

Table Transition

After a predetermined time (e.g., 20 minutes), participants move to a different table, except the table hosts who remain at their table. This ensures the mix of ideas and viewpoints from the initial discussions.

6

Subsequent Rounds

Participants share the key points from their previous table and continue the discussion, building upon existing ideas. Repeat the table transition and discussions for a few rounds as needed, allowing for a rich cross-fertilization of ideas.

7

Harvesting

Gather all participants for a collective reflection and sharing session. Table hosts share their table's key points, ideas, and any emerging patterns. Encourage further discussion and clarification if needed.

8

Documentation

Document and consolidate the insights, findings, and ideas generated during the World Café. This can include photographs, charts, written summaries, and any visual representations of the discussions.

9

Follow-up

Share the compiled insights and findings with participants and stakeholders, and consider how the outcomes can inform the project or topic at hand. Encourage continued collaboration and exploration of the topic as needed.

Prerequisites

Time

2 hours or more


Tools

room, tables, chairs, papers, writing tools


People

1 moderator + 1 facilitator for every 4 participants

Resources

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