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How to Host a World Cafe Event

In Cartooning, Cool Ideas, facilitation skills, High Touch, How To, World Cafe on May 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Are you tired of holding meetings in the traditional way?  Are you looking to slow down the pace of that next important meeting so as to fully explore all facets of the problem or address the complexity of issues faced by your group or community?

“Yes.”  Well perhaps it may be time to take a coffee break.  Many have said that the real work gets down at the coffee pot.  Some folks go to conferences and conventions with the intent of meeting up with others over coffee and stimulating conversation.

Much has been written about how to design and conduct a World Cafe event.  On May 18, 2012, members of the Mid-Atlantic Facilitators Network gathered to learn a few HOW TOs.  So if you were able to attend this workshop, great.  And if not, here’s a comic strip summary of what you missed.

Relax, slow down, have a cup of joe

Stimulating conversation with others … That’s the key!

Links to additional resources:

Guitar music and a caffeinated slide show

Created on a MacBook in iPhoto as a slideshow and then exported to YouTube to share FREE of charge so long as you say nice stuff about me when you borrow and use this 4-minute video.

The World Cafe OnLine Community

A nice place to gather with friends to discuss techniques, projects, and/or share ideas about caffeinated meetings conducted in the World Cafe format.

– More ABOUT The World Cafe = “the source of the World Cafe method.”

Where you’ll find resources, a tool kit, and store.  Also the ‘owners’ of the World Cafe group on Linked In.

== Mmm, gotta have my coffee in the A.M. ==

One last TIP … This approach to meetings is very powerful.  Folks will intuitively gather and chat over coffee if only you encourage them.  The circulation of “guests” or “ambassadors” who move from table to table is analogous to meeting up with your friends at your favorite coffee house.  Recording small group discoveries and discussions on large sheets of paper used to cover your cafe tables is a fun way to capture and share “meeting minutes.”  And you don’t need too many fancy supplies to pull of a successful event.  At the “Facilitators Body of Knowledge Cafe” held on May 18, 2012, I spent a grand total of $29.00 at the Dollar Tree to equip up to 24 participants in this event.  Reproducing handouts costs a few cents per page but such costs can be off-set when participants are encouraged to create “works of art” that record the work that’s done at the Cafe.

Comment here if you too have had success with this technique -and/or- if you’d like to learn more.   Of course if you need a facilitator to help you with your next event, leave a note and/or send me a e-mail message to John.Lesko@verizon.net.  We’ll of course have to meet over coffee to discuss your needs.  The first cup of java’s on me.

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  1. http://blog.visual.ly/20-infographics-about-coffee/ = cool site recently discovered chock full of coffee-related facts.

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