WORLD CAFE is an informal discussion method for a topic that is important yet large enough so that different voices can come out. It is suitable in surfacing the collective wisdom of large groups of diverse people- especially in the beginning of a larger process. The Cafe format is flexible and can be adapted to many purposes- information sharing, relationship building, deep reflection, exploration and action planning.
A typical World Cafe session consists of 3-4 rounds of small group conversations about questions related to the main topic. Each conversation round takes about 20 minutes. After the round participants move to another table and start discussing a new question with the new people. This supports creative cross-pollination and allows the collective patterns to emerge.
As a conversation method World Cafe makes collective knowledge visible and helps to identify the action priorities.
Assumptions of World Cafe:
-The knowledge and wisdom is present and accessible
-Collective insight evolves from honoring unique contributions; connecting ideas, listening together, noticing deeper themes and questions
-The intelligence emerges as the system connects itself in diverse and creative ways