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Archive for Stepping In

World as Cafe

 

Early Dawn

Awaken to the world-as-café.

Humanity breathing, sounding

Networks of conversations

Vibrating in resonant waves,

Connecting human consciousness,

Greeting a new day.

Here, sit at your table.

We welcome you.

 

Anne Dosher


This is the first in a series of blog posts to honour Anne Dosher, Guardian of the Soul of The World Cafe. Anne has been a wonderful guide and steward since the World Cafe was born in 1995.

To celebrate Anne’s 95th birthday this week, we’d love to collect stories and greetings from the global World Cafe community. Please send your written contribution by email – till Wednesday, November 1. 

 


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.

Conversations among wise Elders

Richard Durning shares about his experiences in hosting “Boomer Cafes”:

“About ten years ago, my wife Lina – an experienced World Cafe practitioner – was about to turn 60.  She, as with many of our circle of family and friends, was frequently in conversation about what this big 6-0 (and beyond) means. These upcoming “golden years” promise to be much different than those of our parents. Our life expectancy is much longer. “How do I spend this bonus time?” “What will our community (ies) look like – certainly not a gated community. And, most of us do not play golf.”
“These conversations beg for a Cafe,” Lina declared.  “We’ll call it a ‘Boomer Cafe’”.

Her invitation was met with a terrific response. We hosted three Boomer Cafe gatherings with over 45 participants. Our questions ranged from post-retirement: “If retirement is not calling you, what are your priorities for your next phase of life?” to our well-being: “How do we take care of ourselves and prepare for inevitable changes in our lives?”and to our future community: “How do we create a community that supports our well-being?”. These questions generated lively exchanges. One participant insisted that she did not want to be “around old people all the time.”

I was fortunate to host a table and witness the elegant simplicity of World Cafe conversations. Within minutes my small groups were in the space of shared inquiry, stories, playfulness and sudden insights. One individual’s comment stood out for me. “Where is ritual?” In the Western world (United States) there is no place for ritual that allows for the celebration, reflection, and acknowledgment of our entering “the third stage.” We can, and should, learn from other cultures that honor their wise elders.

At the end of the third Boomer Cafe, I commented to a fellow host, that I often marvel at the scope of World Cafe – corporations, organizations, governments, and faith communities. Now add another application: Conversations among wise elders.”

Richard Durning

Chicago, IL USA


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.

Hosting Difference

In my career, as a Chief Executive Officer in a large nonprofit organization, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in meetings with my counterparts around the world. Forty cultures all in one place. Forty leaders common in their vision. And forty different worlds to work in realizing those visions. How do you hold a meeting that unites, energizes, and appreciates the nuances of our very real differences despite the ties that bind us in common purpose? I’ve sat through the Board room meetings frustrated by the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the “one person talks at a time” approach, while everyone agrees the real value is during the break, and meals.

When given the opportunity to apply World Café approaches to this group, the outcomes were stunningly different. Relationships were deepened, energy was created. Agreements were forged.  Partnership emerged. Collaborations were ventured. And in the end a standing ovation in response to the peak pleasure of the experience. It’s hard to measure the impact, yet easy to contract the difference of potential from days wasted of formal agenda, preliminary rule and “one at a time” communication compared to the excitement, vitality, and energy present in a World Café.

It was breathtaking to watch people from forty cultures exploring their futures. I’ve wondered a lot over the years how the World Café might serve the United Nations. A dream.

Paul E Borawski
Chief Executive Officer, (ret)
ASQ (American Society for Quality)

 


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.