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Archive for Stories & Reports

What Juanita’s Up To!

More from Juanita Brown, co-founder of the World Café, including some highlights from her recent email on behalf of the World Café Community Foundation’s Harvest Fund Drive:

“I continue to be excited and delighted by the potential of this work at the leading edge of conversational leadership around the globe. I’m hopeful that with your support we’ll be able to expand our Wiser Together initiative which is empowering the collaboration of people across generations with the capacities to co-create communities and organizations that embody the wisdom of all generations. Here’s an interview from our own personal efforts in this regard on our ¨family farm¨ in North Carolina in collaboration with next generation leaders.

Juanita goes on to say:

I’m also very intrigued by the pioneering collaboration we’re exploring with the International Storytelling Center that is demonstrating the power of connecting individual and collective storytelling with catalytic conversations, community-building and committed action. We’re collaborating with their Staging Change Institute on Nov 3-6, and would be delighted to see others of you there!

In addition, the World Café is joining with others in nurturing inter-generational gatherings of leaders across modalities of conversational work, helping to catalyze a global effort to bring many of the doorways to collective intelligence into the “jardîn central¨—the central garden—of our human experience—and to use these on behalf of movements for positive futures across the planet.

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As David and I transition from our role as direct coordinators of our global work into the role of ambassadors for the ¨World as Café,¨ we are deeply grateful to Amy Lenzo, Deborah Goldblatt, Barbara Krohn and the core team who is continuing to nurture the life of the  World Café. We hope you, too, will continue to fuel this incredible movement with your time, your skills, your financial support, and your love.

With gratitude for all that you’ve helped to happen,

Juanita

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Our immediate goal is to raise $25,000.00 by November 4, 2011.

Thank you to all of you who have already joined us in making this Harvest Fund Drive a great success. Please make your valuable contribution to the World Café Community Foundation now.

You’ll be helping to catalyze the most critical conversations of our time.

 

World Café Services: An Update from Deborah Goldblatt

With the launch of our new website on June 1st, World Café Services moved into high gear with a flurry of inquiries from all directions!

During the month of June and July, I enjoyed many conversations with people from a variety of public and private sectors:  education, energy, forestry, sustainability, entrepreneurship, immigration, climate change and health.  

World-cafe-services-logo What is so encouraging for me about World Café Services is being on the frontlines of the World Café world hearing about the diverse communities and businesses who are curious about The World Café – not just as a method or process but as a practice and way of being in all our communications – and are wanting or are already implementing an approach of “learning together through inquiry” in life and work today.

World Café Services, through our professional network, is serving community and business clients everywhere– whether that’s by having a half hour conversation with myself and others looking at the possibilities of convening very small or very large groups in a new way or exploring ways to renew or deepen the conversations they’ve been hosting internally within their organizations.

One of my favorite stories from this month’s World Café Services work is helping an organizing team for a conference in Arusha, Tanzania to find some guidance and support to co-create their World Café design.

The other day I checked in to see how the team’s needs and aims had been met through our consulting services.  This is the response I received:  “She was delightful to work with and gave just enough input.  I have been saying that the World Café is not rocket science, but we needed to have a rocket scientist come and reassure us that that was the case!”  Our service provider had this to say: “I hosted a mini café with 9 participants (10 with me!) and they just loved it!!  We spent a good chunk of time working through the harvest method, table set up, talking piece etc., followed by an hour working through the questions. We agreed on the gist of the questions and a smaller team of 2-3 will refine the design with me between now and October. They are a really open, smart, thoughtful, committed, fun and deeply experienced group – it was an honor and pleasure to work with them.”

On the corporate side of The World Café Services (WCS) work, a successful half day Café was recently convened by a group of transportation and logistics contractors for an energy company who have been engaging The World Café process and methodology for some time now.  Our WCS’ host had this to say: “I think the folks who experienced the café (yesterday) really liked what it can do and now can begin to see possibilities.  I received a lot of positive feedback from both the contractors and the folks who attended.  They love being able to participate and apparently they are the only energy company who invites them in like this.”

Immediately following the Café, the graphic recorder Mike Fleisch shared what he captured, to the amazement of everyone in the room:

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A couple of interesting snippets from my communications came from one of our service providers:

“What I have found with some HR/OD folks is a perspective that this is just another tool to have in the toolkit.  They seek a "cookie cutter" approach – a step-by-step process for how to do this, without wanting to really learn what lies beneath.  What does it really mean to host a cafe vs. facilitate?  How do I host through emergence vs. push through an agenda?  How do I really listen for what is bubbling up from the ideas/conversations/lists of things that are emerging?  How does hosting well help emergence/innovation/creativity to come through?”

Another on another topic…

“I work with many organizations who now have incorporated World Cafe into their board meetings – looking for boards to become more engaged as board members.  The questions are around strategic business decisions that have to be made and they love the process and they love being engaged.  Our community has really found itself wanting to be connected and engaged more through their experiences with World Café.”

My gratitude to everyone who helped seed, grow, develop and implement World Café Services long before I came on the scene.  It is wonderful to have the opportunity to share some of the learning, questions, appreciation and challenges that accompany this work with you.

Thanks,

Deborah Goldblatt

Community for the 21st Century

We finally have the story of weDialogue's first session of the "Conversations for the 21st Century" series up in StoryNet! Here's an added enhancement you will only see here: an audio recording of the round table of conversation starters with Peter Block, Sarah Whiteley and Maria Scordialos, and Nancy White:

Just to get you to want to see more, here's a sneak peak of Susan Kelly's graphic recording of the conversation starters (click to see it full size):

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