The Nature of the World Café

As part of a conversation with World Café stewards in Europe, Ulric Rudebeck from Sweden shared these beautiful insights on the nature of the World Café:

"My friend Ulrich S(oeder) says
This question goes back to four basic semiotic dimensions: How do we relate to the physical world (it), ourselves (I), the others (you) and the medium which enables us to be in contact at all (we). It comes back to pre-personal (it), personal (I/you) and transpersonal (we), or body/soul/spirit.

I like this. So let’s start there. But I like to turn it a bit outside in. You may be familiar with my metaphor of the World Café as a being. So if the (I) is “TWC”. what then?

She, because she is definitely a SHE, was born in a kitchen. She will always be close to food. She will never starve. "It" was in conversation and dialogue so she will always be close to people and conversations. Her first travel was with her parents J(uanita) and D(avid) all over the world so she will always consider the whole world as her arena. J and D gave freely to others because they were proud of their child. So she becomes a free spirit. Soon she started doing things on her own. She explored other places, without J and D. Her true nature and fundamental structure, in fact her DNA, is "the question". No Q(uestion) is too profound, No Q is too deep. The world is there to be explored.

She is by nature a giving person, but not naïve. She has a sense for resources and money. She moves freely  between NGOs, governmental agencies and profit multinational corporations. She understands the language of all kind of business; she speaks all languages and knows all cultures so she will be at home wherever she goes. 

But she also has fears: No company, no people, no curiosity, and no dialogues – these can all make her sad and loneliness is a ghost of horror. Communication is the very ground of nurturance for her.

Now she is growing. She is prepared to take the large questions and the really big issues to heart and start making the jump from relative safety amongst friends to the skeptics and those resistant to change. She is prepared and well so. We can not stop her – no one can. Not by structure, not by rules. This woman is a rule maker not a rule follower, even if she deeply respects her own seven principles.

She relates to (it) by being in constant flow, bound by no physical restrains. Life is a dance and a field, not a structure or a matrix.

She relates to (I) by regarding herself as beautiful giving freely and curious about all, with a spirit that all is well in the end if we talk about it freely. Her purpose is dialogue and she will die when there are no humans left.

She relates to others (you) by trust and curiosity prepared to learn from all and anything.

She relates to the transpersonal (we) by being the container, the contained, and that which transforms the content, all in one.

I have a hunch we, her stewards, try to structure too much and let go too little, but I can be wrong. I have been so before."