The World Café was born out of local conversations held with diverse groups from around the world; the ideas behind it tested and adapted until Juanita Brown collected the work during her doctoral studies at Fielding Graduate University, which culminated in her seminal dissertation published in 2001, The World Café: Living Knowledge through Conversations that Matter (available through Pegasus via our store).
There is a long standing collaborative research relationship between The World Café and the Institute for Social Innovation at Fielding Graduate University. Ongoing collaborative conversations continue to provide a focus on The World Café as a practice to be researched and a method for research.
Today there is a growing and thriving World Café research community and we are encouraged to see new researchers emerging to build on the outstanding foundation created by these relationships.
Here are some of the research efforts that we know about currently exploring World Café as part of their focus:
Martin Boerjan, a researcher from the Netherlands is writing his masters thesis on exploring whether both the length and frequency (sequential World Café's) have an effect upon the effectiveness of the intervention.
Molly Barr Cooney and Beth Swedeen, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Waisman Center are working on a research paper that discusses the efficacy of using the World Café model as a community organizing strategy around inclusion issues.
Bo Gyllenpalm, a faculty member at Fielding Graduate University has been doing extensive work with The World Café to deliver courses online. This work is ongoing.
Fred Steier, another faculty member at Fielding Graduate University is using The World Café to deliver educational interventions for Science Museums in the United States. This work is ongoing.
Flavio Mesquita De Silva, a new researcher from Brazil began his doctorate at Fielding Graduate University in 2011 and will be researching the results of using the World Café to bring together 3 concepts: culture of dialogue, culture of design, and culture of peace in a multi-generational context.
Maro Camargo, a new researcher in Brazil is just starting his doctorate and will be focusing his research on The World Café as a tool to help communities involved in metropolitan conflicts to learn how to move forward together.
John Inman is entering the dissertation phase of his doctorate and researching the co-generation of leadership capabilities in organizations using The World Café.