World Cafe

10-40 people

The World Café technique, created by Juanita Brown, is a straightforward yet effective approach that allows participants to engage in meaningful discussions centered around topics that are relevant and significant to them. The facilitators set up a café-style environment and provide basic guidelines, after which the participants take charge and organize themselves to delve into a range of pertinent topics or questions for discussion.

Workshop steps


Setup: Design a relaxed and inviting atmosphere, similar to a café, by arranging small round tables with paper, colored markers, plants or flowers, and an optional "talking stick" item. Ensure each table has four to six chairs.


Welcome & Introduction: Start by warmly welcoming the participants and introducing them to the World Café process. Set the context, provide guidelines, and ensure everyone feels comfortable. For more information on the background and participant guidelines, visit the World Café website.


Inquiries: Each round revolves around a question or multiple questions tailored to the particular context and intended goal of the session. Every table can discuss the same question or have unique questions. You can use the same questions for multiple rounds or build upon them to concentrate the conversation or steer its course. Ensure the questions are captivating, open-ended, invigorating, and pertinent to the context. Participants typically formulate the questions before the session starts.


Small Group Discussions: Start with the first of at least three 20-minute conversation rounds for small groups at each table. Participants openly discuss the main question, while a chosen "table host" helps maintain the conversation flow without leading it. Assign at least one person to document the discussion on large paper using words and drawings. After each 20-minute round, participants switch tables, leaving one person behind as the "table host" to welcome newcomers and provide a brief summary of the previous round's discussion.


Gather: Invite individuals to share insights or outcomes from their small group discussions with the larger group, either after the sessions or between rounds, as preferred. Visit the World Cafe website for additional resources and guidelines.

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