Archive for power

Introduction to Magic in the Middle – Part Four

By Finn Voldtofte, 2005

Transformative Power
To be in a field with magic in the middle transforms those that make up the field. In principle two things are transformed: my ability to be myself, and my ability to be completely present in a meeting with other people. It is always possible to become better at being myself, and it is always possible to become better at meeting with others. Maybe the two are prerequisites for each other.

The transformation takes shape as a gradual degeneration of whatever keeps me from being myself completely, and whatever keeps me from being completely present in a meeting. What that might be for the individual, and how it is gradually degenerated, dissolved and overcome, I do not know – I only claim that it happens.

The power to transform may reach further than to the people that make up the field, if we place the ability to think together for a cause, and something wise results from it. To be able to engage the magic in the middle of people in an organization is a means to transform that organization.

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This is the fourth of six weekly posts taken from an Introduction to Magic in the Middle written by the late Finn Voldtofte in March of 2005 (click the following links to go directly to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 5, or Part 6).

Finn was one of the original co-founders of the World Café. He worked tirelessly with Juanita Brown to distill and articulate the World Café Design Principles that underlie all World Café practice. Finn was an amazing human being who inspired and touched many, many people on a profound level. His articulation of the “Magic in the Middle” is still one of the most evocative descriptions of what makes World Café “work” and we are honored to publish his words here in this crucial time, when they ring as truly & eloquently as ever


World Cafe is “Stepping In” on a new level – increasing our capacity to engage most effectively with the challenging issues of our times. Here’s an overview of what we’re envisioning and some of the priorities we’ve identified to start. Please join us and contribute what you can to support this important work.

This blog post is one response to an open invitation to our global community – to step up & express what the gift of the World Cafe means to YOU. We welcome your posts, as well as your comments and shares on this post.

Power and the Power of Storytelling

This interview of Juanita Brown talking about the challenges of making a real difference within the existing power systems, is one of a series by documentary videographer Martin Rausch.

Juanita’s interview is part of a film Martin is currently working on called The Blindspot – Unleashing the Power of Collective Intelligence.

Power of Story

David Isaacs sent in this quote:

“Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it … and change it as times change, truly are powerless because they cannot think new thoughts.”

-Salman Rushdie