Inside Banner

Informed Consent

for “World Cafe as Research”

The purpose of this document is to let you know how we would like to work with the individual and collective contributions to this online World Cafe, and get your informed consent (here’s a pdf (127K) if you’d like to download a copy for your records).

Purpose of the Inquiry
We want to hear about your experiences and what you have learned with regard to using World Cafe in the context of research and evaluation.

We are also interested in the collective learning that emerges in the process of this World Café conversation.

The harvest from the Café will be included in an upcoming “field book” for students, researchers, and evaluators who would like to use World Cafe in their work. Some of this will also be of interest to practitioners.

We want to make this inquiry an invitation for further dialogue… to draw people into an on-going learning conversation that includes everyone contributing to this book.

Our Cafe questions will be designed to explore the following, based upon your experiences:

  • What are we learning from using the World Cafe in research, inquiry, or evaluation settings?
  • What are we learning about adapting the World Cafe design and process for use as a research or evaluation method?
  • What are we learning about the ethical commitments we make when using the World Cafe as a research method?

* * * * *

Your Participation and How Information will be Collected
Please plan on staying for the entire Café (2.5 hours).

We will be video recording the plenary harvest at the end of the Café, and also working with a graphic recorder to capture the harvest visually.

We will also be encouraging participants to harvest the conversation in their small groups by taking notes in a “virtual tablecloth” (aka Google Doc), which we will be using as part of our research.

* * * * *

Visibility, Anonymity, and Crediting Your Contributions
Your participation in this World Cafe will be visible to other participants. We plan to acknowledge and thank in print all of those who have participated in the Café, in whatever way you want to be credited (anonymity is always an option.)

By participating in the Café, you are giving us the right to quote your contributions. We will be retaining the right to choose what we include and what we do not include in the book. We also retain the right to edit for length and clarity, and to select specific quotes from longer contributions.

* * * * *

Benefits and Risks to Participation

Participant benefits include the opportunity for personal reflection and learning, including collaborative learning. You will also be contributing to the development of new and more accessible research methodologies.

We have been able to identify only two potential risks for you as a participant in this cafe:

a) the possibility of disappointment if no direct quotes from you are included in the final publication. In any case, you will have contributed to the proceedings of the World Cafe, and your name will be included as a participant. And we are exploring other ways of making participants’ stories, experiences, and insights available, including online on the World Cafe website.

b) In the past the level of enthusiasm in a cafe has been very high, but if you don’t like fun this could be a potential risk, and you could withdraw from the cafe at the end of a cafe round (see below).

Real or Perceived Conflict of Interest
We have not identified any conflicts of interest in this inquiry/book project.

* * * * *

Procedure for Withdrawing
We would hope to benefit from your contributions during the entire café. However, if you need to withdraw earlier, please do so at the end of a café round (not in the middle) and send us a chat message to let us know.

Sharing Results
A copy of the online version of the book will be made available to all research participants and other stakeholders.

Freedom to Participate or Not
There is no obligation to participate in this research project. If you choose to do so, please use the link below to register for the Café and we will send you all the details. By registering and participating in the online World Cafe, you are agreeing to the terms described in this informed consent letter.

Please keep a copy of this informed consent for your records.


Research and Editorial Team:
Niels Agger-Gupta, Amy Lenzo, Fred Steier, and Rosa Zubizarreta.

This project has received ethical approval by the Royal Roads University Research Ethics Board. The Principal Investigator for the purposes of this ethical review, is Niels Agger-Gupta, PhD, an Associate Professor with the School of Leadership Studies at Royal Roads University (RRU). Niels’s credentials at RRU can be verified by contacting Dr. Brigitte Harris, Dean, Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences at RRU: *protected email*

Participating Organizations:
The editorial team represents a partnership among Royal Roads University, Fielding Graduate University, and the World Cafe Community Foundation