World Cafe

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A method for learning and exchanging ideas on a broad bandwith of topics. Participants go around and visit different tables which are dedicated to one topic or key question each.

Goal

A diverse group inspires each other, learns from each other and explores the different facettes of a topic together.

Preparation

Each topic has a separate table with a flipchart on it. (for estimated 4-5 participants in one turn)

Table hosts are selected and prepared for their role.

It should be an relaxing atmosphere , a bit like in a Café: Have tee and biscuits aside and try to arrange it comfortable.

Steps

  • Facilitators introduce the relevant topics or keywords on the tables and explain the next steps.
  • Each topic or key question has a table with a flipchart
  • A table host who will stay at that table for the whole time. The table host should quickly introduce into the topic by referring to the insights and aspects of the group hosted before. They facilitate the discussion.
  • The aspeects of the discussion/exchange are noted on the flipchart
  • The other participants switch any 20 minutes the table to another topic – or all in a closed group, or randomly following their individual interest.

Documentation

The results, findings, inspirations, or questions should be written down on the flipchart paper in each round – and in this way be transferred to the next group joining the table. The flipchart remains on the table.

Reflection

In a big round and putting the (filled out) poster on the wall, the moderator and table host might reminisce about the process and present the key findings in key words.

Inspiration: Planning a Critical Thinking Workshop

The method might be used also for planning a workshop. Leave on each table these tasks:

  • Write down 3 topics you don’t want to discuss with teenagers (15-18 years old).
  • Write down 3 topics which should be included in your critical thinking course.
  • Write a catchy invitation for your critical thinking course (1-2 sentences in your native language).
  • What would be a possible outcome of your course and how would you evaluate that? 5) How will you select information for the group of students in the critical thinking course?

From: Kristina Zaplatina, Yana Golubtsova

Experience: Large Groups

The method allows to cover a broad range of topics, for instance in a conference, and still to give participants an opportunity to choose according to their individual needs. Therefore, it might complete traditional learning or knowledge-exchange settings with a more need-centered or participatory blend.

Inspiration

Wclogo.png

Learn more about the philosophy behind the original method: The seven design principles of WC

Variation

1. There are more topical tables than time slots (for instance 5 different tables but three rounds of discussion/exchange).

2. The groups re-form after each round randomly (more flexibility for the participant and contact with many people)

3. They remain in the same composition (deeper interaction among the small group members)