Wrap your brain around this

I’ve started reading a book that’s really got me thinking. Authors Juanita Brown and David Isaacs share their “World Cafe” idea. From the website it says, they  “…introduce readers to this simple yet powerful conversational process for thinking together, evoking collective intelligence, and creating actionable results.”

It’s such an interesting concept, and frankly not something I’ve heard much about (have I been living under a rock?). I haven’t got too far into yet, but here’s my take on the basics…

connect diverse perspectives
From the World Cafe Image Bank: connecting diverse perspectives

The idea is to take any problem or issue and deal with it in small conversations. I almost think of speed dating as I imagine what it might look like. You set up cafe tables, and have a conversation leader at each table. The small group begins to think about and discuss the issue. After a time, people move around to a different table and do the same, and the cycle continues. As it works over time, eventually a main string, consensus or idea begins to form. The cool thing is people become engaged IN the issue. They’re talking about it, getting excited, and looking forward to working towards something.

My mind is swirling with the many ways to utilize this concept. At work, in my service organization, at church, in our homeowner’s association…the list is endless!

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