Online echoes

In the last few weeks I contributed to a German weblog at Carl Auer Verlag about the World Café Gathering. In the next days I am going to translate my reflections into English and to post them here. Until now it was kind of having a monologue. Although there have been around 15.000 visits on that blog each week, there haven’t been any comments, and that was kind of frustrating, as the topic was on dialogue. No echoes. Maybe I was broadcasting on the wrong frequency for the systemic audience at Carl Auer, maybe it is just the way it is with blogging. Anyway I will give it another try here and see what happens.

When I was writing the reflections I realized that I have a very partial view of the gathering. As I was engaged in the different roles of being a host, I followed the dialogue on innovation only part-time as a participant. I was focused more on processes rather than on contents.

One example: On Friday afternoon during the dialogue on innovation,
I was translating an interview with Juanita Brown and David Isaacs. For
both of them it was unusual to be participants and not hosts of a World
Café dialogue. They could report on details of the content of the
discussion that I have not been aware of. Even during the interview I
did not get their sharing because my focus was on the translation part.
Only when reviewing the tape this week I finally could listen to the

So I still am curious of how others experienced the days in Dresden.
I saw many interesting people from the distance without being able to
speak to all of them. I met many people with whom the conversations
were only a beginning.

How can we know about our different experiences and views? What have
been the outcomes for you? What kind of bottom line do you apply to
evaluate the Dresden gathering?

This weblog might be part of staying in contact with each other as a
network. As blogging is a brave new world for me, it is still an open
question: Is a weblog really an opportunity to have meaningful

In the hosting team we just came up with the idea to experiment with
a skype-based world café format to share the experiences in Dresden:
Establishing a series of skype conference calls in groups of four, with
hosts and guests, and different rounds of dialogues with guests
virtually traveling for connecting perspectives and fostering
cross-pollination. We have to think about how to organize such an
online dialogue, how to establish an appropriate way of harvesting and
how to share the results. Well, this is just emerging, with multiple
minds connecting their knowledge. When you would like to be involved in
a test run, just leave a message here or send an email to
*protected email* with your skype name so we can contact
you in time. Anyway we will keep you informed about the progress of
this part of the innovation process.

Greetings from Dresden to all of you,

Ulrich Soeder


  1. This is a fantastic post, Ulrich!

    For me, the echoes of what happen at Dresden continue to reverberate… at the time I was so busy that I couldn’t fully engage in what was happening as a participant. But now, on reflection, I can see from another perspective, and I am so impressed by the scope of what happened. I’m particularly struck with the quality of the interaction with the city of Dresden, but I’m also thrilled with what I see as the emergence of a World Café Europe community… There are so many absolutely beautiful and wonderful people there, many of whom I was meeting for the first time. You and Sabine are perfect examples of this. If just meeting you two were all that happened from my time in Dresden, it would have been an enormous blessing. But so much more did happen, and I am still integrating it and translating it into words.

    I’m very excited about the Skype calls we’ve been discussing, and what might happen there, and I too am intrigued to see what kind of responses and interaction might come through the blog.

    Traditionally the blog format is not as rich in that kind of back and forth interaction as what you’d find in something like a forum, for example, but it can be whatever we want it to be. In any case, it stands as an important report and harvest of what occurred in Dresden and it’s an ongoing place where people can connect and see what continues to develop with World Café Europe.

    There is a space set up for World Café Europe conversations on the World Café online community space, too, which is a forum and would be another great place for conversation to happen among members of World Café Europe. You can post in any language there, and all languages are welcome. At this moment there is nothing yet there, but the link is here, and anyone who has registered can join or start a new conversation.

    The World Café online community space is also a permanent place where conversations between members of World Café Europe and the larger World Café community (people from other regions around the world) are possible.

    I believe that cultivating a rich cross-pollination between these various locations of conversation will give the most benefit to the emerging World Café community all over the world.

  2. Hello Ulrich, I didn’t really met you in Dresden; I was so busy with blogging… But you can count me in for the Skype World Café! At least when there is a real good question in the middle!
    I want to share one of the good practices that goes along with Skyping. In some of the circles that I am in, we always start in silence, and with a check-in, but more important if you want to link it with other conversations is that you can agree between the participants who is taking notes, always in turns. Like A is typing in the chat window when B is speaking, and B is typing when C is speaking… of course it is not the same as doodling, but it could help too. Another thing I’m thinking of is that you can record what was said quiet easily – they told me. I didn’t check it out…
    Love to hear more!

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