Archive for World Cafe – Page 2

In a Place Called Home

Poem & photograph offered by David Isaacs, co-founder of the World Café


In a far away place that seems a lot like a place called Home,

there lives a small voice who speaks softly and calmly.

It says:  Awaken and Stand Up and Listen!!!

Listen to the breath of the surf lapping at the shore of your soul.

Notice its’ continuous ebb and flow….

Reflect your attention on it in the same way that the moon and sun touch its surface.

Allow it to wash over you, caress you, provide nourishment and courage

to breathe, to walk, to embrace its’ patterns of being.

In this place called Home look around again and listen again with the surf’s rhythm in the background of your awareness.  The voice speaks again:

Go forth and seek other beings who have questions
and invite them to sit with you by your hearth
Then breathe all of your questions into the fire
Allowing those few with deepest meaning to emerge
and honor them as sacred words
and allow them to enter your collective heart
and let them be there in Peace and Quiet.

Until again a new question emerges in your midst
which you may trust is one that is shared in other places
all over the Earth.
In this manner your question is mirrored by other listeners
and you may now remember into the consciousness
that these sacred questions have brought to light
in this place called Home.

This place called Home is like a cafe
where the community comes together to share
their ideas, insights, challenges, opportunities
and, of necessity, their deepest questions.

This Home Cafe has brothers & sisters coming together in countless spaces & places
The communities of Home Cafes are a World Cafe
where all conversations and questions are united
in common cause to common creativity.

In this way humanity is awakening to the nature of Home
and seeks its way forward to that memory of the future
in which we remember our connection to life
to coming Home to our community of Peace.

Interviewed in Collaborative Services

Amy Lenzo was interviewed by the folks at Collaborative Services about World Café – what makes us unique, how the seven design principles work, why the World Café approach resonates across such a wide diversity of cultures, and what we can all do to become better communicators.

Read the interview!

Learning From Each Other: 10 Tips for Maximizing Hosting World Café: The Fundamentals

10 Key Tips, gleaned from wisdom generated during the Hosting World Café: The Fundamentals courses at Fielding:

1) Complete the Reading Before the Course Starts
This is probably the most valuable advice we heard, and the one most often repeated. The course is fast-paced and once it starts you'll want to immerse yourself fully in the assignments and peer conversation. Having done the required pre-reading will give you confidence, valuable knowledge, & a solid basis for fruitful participation.

2) Post Your Weekly Assignments Early in the Week
You'll be doing the bulk of your coursework in rotating World Cafe "tables"; each week you'll join a new table and get a new assignment. Each assignment has two parts: 1) responding to a question, and 2) building on each other's responses.

This is a team process, so by posting your response right away on Monday you give not only yourself but your whole table the best chance of receiving maximum benefit from the week's knowledge-building process.

3) Devote Regular Times to Your Coursework
This course has a regular rhythm and finding your own beat within it will help you keep up and get the most from the assignments and your World Cafe conversations. You'll find your own pace, but most participants find that devoting an hour or so, at least two or three times a week, is a good rhythm.

4) Fill in Your Profile & Read Each Other's
One of the challenges of working online is getting to know your fellow participants without being able to see each other or get visual cues. One of the simplest and most useful ways to learn about each other is by utilizing participant profiles.

Upload a photo of yourself and share personal details in your profile that will give others an idea of who you are beyond your role or position. Give links to websites that will reveal more about you if you have them. When you join a new table, start out by reading the profiles of the people you are with. Refer back to people's profile often to get perspective on who you are working with and gain insight into their thinking.

5) Participate, Participate, Participate
Given the largely peer-learning format of this course, the key to receiving the most value and best quality of learning from it is, quite simply, participation. If ever there was a case to prove the old maxim "you get out what you put in", this is it. What's most interesting here is that in this course, as in life, you're not in it alone. The quality of your participation automatically raises the bar for everyone else, as theirs does for you. Your active contribution can help stimulate a culture of learning and collaboration that yields exceptional results for everyone, not only during the course but also extending far beyond it. 

6) Attend the Optional Study Groups
One of the most popular improvements we've made to this course over time has been to extend opportunities for personal engagement through additioal optional "real time" sessions. These synchronous sessions are highlights for many participants and they are highly recommended. Use this time to learn from senior World Cafe hosts who will join us for occasional session, engage each other and utilize "real time" conversation to understand your weekly assignments, and get support for anything you need help with.

7) Frequent the Watercooler
While the ongoing discourse of the curriculum will be happening at the Café tables, we also have a "watercolor" or forum where informal or over-arching conversation can take place. Many participants in the course have said they wished they would have made more use of it, and asked that we put more focus on it when offering new courses. This is also the place where you can ask general questions of the group or request help from the presenters, as well as explore other topics you find valuable.

8) Take Advantage of the Senior World Cafe Hosts Presenting Your Course
This is a rare opportunity to be mentored by Bo Gyllenpalm, one of the early European contributors in the development of the World Cafe process and a pioneer in applying the World Café principles and method in an asynchronous environment. Bo was on the committee for Juanita Brown's dissertation (which is one of the core reading texts for this course) and an extraordinary resource. We don't know long Bo will be a presenter, so work with him while you can.

Bo's co-presenter Amy Lenzo pioneered the World Café process in a synchronous online environment, and has been a key member of the World Cafe Community Foundation since 2005, guiding the development of the World Café Signature Learning Programs since its launch. Working with her offers excellent opportunities for deepening your grasp of this work, understanding the new modalities for presenting it, and engaging the larger world of World Cafe practitioners.

9) Come Prepared for an Adventure
Although it is offered through an accredited graduate university and can be quite academically rigorous, this course is perhaps a little different than classes you may have encountered in the past. It calls for opening your mind to new possibilities and suspending reliance on old beliefs and assumptions that may be limiting you. It asks you to embrace the idea that the wisdom you seek may be standing right before you in the hearts & minds of people who were strangers before the course started. Embrace this spirit of adventure to really receive the treasure waiting for you on the journey.

10)  Claim your Credits
The course offers 6 CEUs (continuing education units) and 19 CCEUs (coaching continuing education units), which you can claim with Fielding's help to support your ongoing professional requirements and/or extend your academic or professional credentials.