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

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