Archive for Gift Economy – Page 2


In the September issue of TableTalk, I spoke about the challenges & uncertainty of the times we’re in now and how it’s in these times that we become even more appreciative of things like the power of conversation and the blessings of community. In the spirit of harvest and thanksgiving, I invited us all to take a moment and think about the things we most appreciate about this work we’re all engaged in.


Note: The remarkable photo above was shared freely under a Creative Commons license. It came from Gregory Smith‘s work on the CARF (Children at Risk Foundation) page on Flickr.

I’ve already started getting some wonderful responses by email and on the online community forum .

Alice McGillivray sent in two photos of a World Café on leadership within park and protected areas, wordlessly voicing what she appreciates, and our friend FireHawk Hulin from Resonance shares this video of David Cooperrider’s thoughts, which he taped in a 1990 interview at his home in Illinois:

From Sharon Joy Kleisch, the World Café regional steward in Florida:

"The World Café opens a world of possibilities. Connecting is easy and leads to the most interesting people, passionate about doing important work in their communities and on this planet. Local cafes offer the gift of meaningful conversations that haven’t happened in quite this way before. Sometimes the local and the larger network interface, creating potentials for sharing and the delight of new insights.

As much as I appreciate these qualities, perhaps even greater is to experience a living system and to be part of a healthy example of how and why such a theory works."

From Juanita Brown, co-founder of the World Café:

"One of the things I’m most appreciative about in relation to the World Café is the truly amazing and beautiful community of heart and spirit that is stewarding this work forward into it’s next generation of life and creativity.  I am truly humbled and blessed to sense the love, commitment, creativity and capability with which so many around the world are co-evolving this beautiful “being” that is the World Café in service to life affirming futures in local communities and regions around the globe.

With my deep appreciation and respect."

You, too, are most warmly invited to use the comment function below to share your own thoughts on what you most appreciation about the World Café work. Thank you!

Making Sense of Change Management

The World Cafe is mentioned in the chapter on "Complex Change"  in Esther Cameron’s new book, Making Sense of Change Management, co-authored with Mike Green.

Gifting the World Café

by Juanita Brown

WorldheartI never thought of myself or David as being especially generous; we just “knew” when the World Café was born in our living room that it was somehow a gift, meant to be used, in our friend Finn Voldtofte’s words, for “world service.” We recognized early on that this innovative gift which we had experienced together, needed to be shared freely. There were several of us from that initial gathering who then began to experiment with offering the gift of the World Cafe in various places
around the globe.

The World Café has now co-evolved beyond our wildest imaginations. Through the website, conferences and events, the
World Café book, and word of mouth, this simple approach to hosting and convening powerful conversations has spread to six continents and to every sector of society. We’re humbled and amazed!

To help nurture and sustain the minimum infrastructure and coordination needed to support this burgeoning global dialogue movement, David and I developed a creative “tithing” approach to resourcing the World Café. We encouraged our own consulting network to contribute 10% of our professional fees (along with so many other people’s gifts of time and in-kind contributions) to keep the work going.

Now others who are hosting World Café’s have joined this “10% club” as well, helping to pass this gift on so others around the globe can continue to benefit from it. A much broader circle of multi-generational friends of the World Café are stepping forward to nurture our next stage of evolution in many creative ways.

So, as David and I begin to discover our own best contribution to the World Cafe at this stage of our lives, we invite you to discover yours. If the World Café has been a gift to your life or work, what gifts (financial or otherwise) might you offer
to nourish and support its life, in turn?

We wish all of you healthy and peaceful 2008.

Fondest regards and best wishes,

Juanita Brown and David Isaacs
Co-Founders, The World Cafe