Archive for Education

Ba & World Cafe Hosting Fundamentals

CereusIn a recent Stewardship Council meeting welcoming new members Daisuke Yamaguchi (whose company translated the first World Cafe book into Japanese – see the essay he wrote for the World Cafe’s 20th Anniversary) and Sabine Soeder (whose grace and graphic facilitation so beautifully embodies the spirit of World Cafe), we were talking about “ba”, the Japanese concept (developed beautifully by Professor Ikujiro Nonaka) of the generative relational field that supports knowledge creation.

We were talking about it as part of the “hospitable space” we as World Cafe hosts strive to create as the container for World Cafe “magic” – sometimes known as collective wisdom – to emerge.

As “ba” speaks to both physical space and the more subtle realms, truly creating hospitable space for World Cafe means not only caring for the logistics of the World Cafe process, but it also a real understanding of the design principals that give the form its depth and meaning. This deeper look is the fielding-coursefocus of the World Cafe Hosting Fundamentals course we offer each year in partnership with Fielding Graduate University, and it is what makes it so valuable to World Cafe hosts whether you are just starting out or have years of experience.

This year’s course starts September 10th. Register now & invite the “ba” of World Cafe into your own practice.

Announcing Level Two

Level-Two_adWe are pleased to announce that we are now accepting registrations for Hosting World Cafés: The Fundamentals. Level Two of The World Café Signature Learning Program series, this educational event is collaboratively offered by The World Cafe and Fielding Graduate University and co-presented by Fielding Faculty member Bo Gyllenpalm and Amy Lenzo of the World Café Community Foundation. 

The course will be a robust 4.5 week process delivered online through Fielding’s distance learning technology and 2 2-hour synchronous events on Sunday May 6th and Sunday June 3rd using MaestroConference. Graduates will receive 6 CEUs.
Download a flyer for the course here.

See the Fielding web page for more details – including the complete course schedule – and registration. More information on the Signature Learning Programs is available on the World Café website.

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We are very excited about this partnership with Fielding. There been a close association between the two organizations for a long time, but this projects brings us into new territory. We welcome the opportunity it opens for the entire World Cafe community – to secure continuing educational and professional accreditation for World Café work, research, and learning programs, and to benefit from the experience and academic excellence that working with Fielding brings.

In addition, this course is a rare opportunity to work with two of the leading pioneers who have brought the World Cafe processes and principles into the online environment (see their articles on this subject in World Café Publications). Bo Gyllenpalm pioneered the use of World Café in an asynchronous online environment starting with the Masters course Organizational Development Concepts and Methods he presented at Fielding back in 2000, and Amy Lenzo has been following his lead and evolving “real time”, or synchronous, World Cafés online since 2008 – see the stories on StoryNet.

Here’s a statement from Bo:

I am proud and excited about the cooperation between the World Café Community Foundation and Fielding Graduate University. I have been working on this for the last 5 years and my vision is for Fielding to be the academic home for the World Café like Case Western Reserve University is the home of Appreciative Inquiry.

The World Café has been used a lot at Fielding after Juanita Brown presented her dissertation at Fielding, ”The World Café; Living Knowledge through Conversations that Matter”. Having been on her dissertation committee and working with her for more than 17 years it is my pleasure to present an academic online World Café course at Fielding awarding 6 CEU credits.

This 4.5 week online World Café Signature Learning Level 2 course provides a fundamental understanding of the World Café theory and method, applying the World Café principles to bring forth the creative power of conversations and engage questions that matter. Participants will collaboratively develop the capacity to use the World Café design principles in their own lives and work, and gain a basic understanding of the World Café hosting practices.

Bo Gyllenpalm, PhD
Fielding Adjunct Faculty and Trustee


A Hospitable Space

From World Café steward Donald Proffit, about what the World Café has made possible for him and why he is contributing to the Harvest Fund Drive:

I first met Juanita and David in 2004 at the Marconi Conference Center in Marshall, California on Tomales Bay. Rolling December storms coming across the Pacific triggered a number of power outages, leaving our group in the dark. Hurricane lamps were placed around the room and candles on small tables. In this setting surrounded by "intimate strangers," I was introduced to the World Cafe, which prior to this moment I had thought was a radio show originating on WXPN-FM in Philadelphia. Juanita welcomed us, in a very true sense, "out of the darkness." And Finn was there and Tom and Meg and Peter and so many more…

This one experience changed how I would work with others from then on. A principal at a large New Jersey public high school, I returned with a gift for my community. Faculty meetings shifted to cafe conversations on what students needed to be successful; diverse groups of students gathered to consider ethics and the school's core values. It was transforming, magical.

The World Cafe Community Foundation has provided me with the generosity of tools and skills to transform a school community. It's time to pay it forward.