The World Café ‘approach’ is built on the assumption that people already have within them the wisdom and creativity to confront even the most difficult challenges. Given the appropriate context and focus, it is possible to access and use this deeper knowledge about what’s important.
As a conversational process, the World Café is an innovative yet simple methodology for hosting conversations about questions that matter. These conversations link and build on each other as people move between groups, cross-pollinate ideas, and discover new insights into the questions or issues that are most important in their work or community. As a process, the World Café can evoke and make visible the collective intelligence of any group, thus increasing people’s capacity for effective action in pursuit of common aims.
The integrated design principles have been distilled over the years as a guide to intentionally harnessing the power of conversation for business (and social) value. When used in combination, they provide useful guidance for anyone seeking creative ways to foster authentic dialogue in which the goal is thinking together and creating momentum for change and action.
As a living network pattern, the World Café refers to a living network of conversations that is continually co-evolving as we explore questions that matter with colleagues. The metaphor of the “World as Café” helps us notice these invisible webs of dialogue and personal relationships that enable us to learn, create shared purpose, and shape life-affirming futures together.