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Archive for Fielding Graduate University

World Cafè Hosting Fundamentals – A Participant’s View

World Café Hosting Fundamentals A learning community

Participating in this course was one of the best possible investments of my time, my energy and my financial resources.  It was an immersion into the theory and practice of hosting that is very supportive for both beginning and experienced practitioners. I loved the intensity and the academic rigour of this offering. Being trained as a researcher, I am always keen to learn more about the background and history of a practice. And there were so many opportunities to learn – with and from the highly experienced teachers Amy Lenzo and Bo Gyllenpalm, and with and from my peers, who came from all over the world. The diversity of participants made it a very rich learning experience for me.

Looking at my own blind spots and receiving such kind support from the group and the teachers when I got stuck in designing a World Café process, I have never been in an online course where this mixture of being challenged and being at ease was so present.

The combination of asynchronous learning on an online learning platform with synchronous online study groups and World Café sessions – for me, this was an ideal learning space.

The generous sharing of knowledge and experience was profound.

I also loved the fact that Hosting Fundamentals alumni were invited to the online World Café. That allowed more connections and even more learning.

Whether you are just starting your journey as a host or whether you have been on this path for a while – this is a course you might want to consider. It’s only held once a year… and it is the only one taking place in cooperation with a Graduate University.

Ba & World Cafe Hosting Fundamentals

CereusIn a recent Stewardship Council meeting welcoming new members Daisuke Yamaguchi (whose company translated the first World Cafe book into Japanese – see the essay he wrote for the World Cafe’s 20th Anniversary) and Sabine Soeder (whose grace and graphic facilitation so beautifully embodies the spirit of World Cafe), we were talking about “ba”, the Japanese concept (developed beautifully by Professor Ikujiro Nonaka) of the generative relational field that supports knowledge creation.

We were talking about it as part of the “hospitable space” we as World Cafe hosts strive to create as the container for World Cafe “magic” – sometimes known as collective wisdom – to emerge.

As “ba” speaks to both physical space and the more subtle realms, truly creating hospitable space for World Cafe means not only caring for the logistics of the World Cafe process, but it also a real understanding of the design principals that give the form its depth and meaning. This deeper look is the fielding-coursefocus of the World Cafe Hosting Fundamentals course we offer each year in partnership with Fielding Graduate University, and it is what makes it so valuable to World Cafe hosts whether you are just starting out or have years of experience.

This year’s course starts September 10th. Register now & invite the “ba” of World Cafe into your own practice.

Alex Bretas

I was having a Skype conversation the other day with David Isaacs, co-founder of the World Cafe, and a young World Café host named Alex Bretas Vasconcelos from Sao Pablo, Brazil.  

Alex had called us together to talk about an educational initiative he's just finished crowd-sourcing funds for called "Education Outside the Box" (check out his video – it has English subtitles – and scroll down to hear a video message of support from Juanita Brown, co-founder of the World Café).

During our conversation, Alex started talking about his experience as a participant in one of the first Hosting World Café: The Fundamentals courses we hosted at Fielding. It was exciting to me to hear how strong its impact had been on him. Here's an excerpt from what he said:

 

After giving permission for me to pull out this piece of our conversation, he asked me if I wanted him to write something about his experience, so of course I said yes. Here's what he wrote:

It was a wonderful time taking the World Cafe Signature Learning Program, since it was both a challenge and an opportunity to me to get in touch with people from all around the world and practice my English. Beyond that, I was deeply curious to take a better look at the World Cafe, and at that time I was beginning my personal journey of discovery when it comes to host conversations that matter.

It was also an opportunity for me to read Juanita Brown's dissertation, a masterpiece which is always coming back at me in diverse forms. Now, I have a deeper knowledge about hosting practices both in a theoretical-reflexive level and in a experiential level, and the Signature Learning Program was co-responsible for that.