S’MoresCampfire Café Puttingconversations to work
“Its never enough just to tell people about some new insight. Rather, you have to get them to experience it in a way that evokes its power and possibility. Instead of pouring knowledge into peoples heads, you need to help them grind a new set of eyeglasses so they can see the world in a new way.” ˜John Seeley Brown
What is a World Café?• A powerful method for engaging people in conversations that matter?• An approach that grew out of a 1995 rainstorm in California?• A gathering of people who share ideas, insights, and listen to each other actively?• A dynamic activity during which I get to doodle on the tablecloth if I want?
“Since our earliest ancestors gathered in circlesaround the warmth of a fire, talking togetherhas been our primary means for discoveringcommon interests, sharing knowledge,imagining the future, and cooperating to surviveand thrive.” The World Café Foundation http://www.theworldcafe.com/
So let’s gather around our respective campfires at S’Mores Campfire Cafe and talk. Here are the guidelines for your conversations:• Pretend you’re in a local café talking with your group.• Keep the conversation relaxed. You’re not competing here; you’re listening, commenting, building on others’ insights.• Get everyone in your group involved, even if someone’s participation is mostly listening.
• Listen together for patterns and insights that emerge from your discussions.• When you move to another table, take your insights from the first table with you.• Use the opportunity to bring about a meaningful discussion.• Recognize that your group, working as a whole, is likely to come up with insights (“aha moments”) you may not have thought of alone.
• Talk among your tablemates until you are signaled to move to another table.• One of you will stay behind as “table host” at each table, while the rest (“visitors”) move on.• Table host briefly reviews what his first group came up with for the new visitors.• Feel free to doodle or draw on the paper on each table.• Someone serves as recorder for each group to write the top ideas your group comes up with and writes them on the index cards.
Last-Minute Instructions• You’ll have 15 minutes to meet around your first campfire, so get the discussion going right away.• At the 15-minute mark you’ll hear a signal to move to another campfire; your group members go to different campfires.• A signal will be given at the end of the second 15-minute campfire discussion.• The group as a whole will debrief.
WRAP-UP• Discuss themes that emerged from a number of groups.• Identify insights (“aha moments”) anyone gained.• Talk about how this method (World Café) might be useful in your local situations.• Hear about how the group discussions will be shared with participants.