As part of our asset-based community development (ABCD) work with the Creating Space for Strength project in Calgary, we worked together with the Northern Hills Community Association to host a community consultation. We used the “world café” format and method to ignite a powerful conversation with the community. A few people have written to me asking us how we went about it. Here are some of our favorite “how to” resources that will help you host your own world café conversations:
Here are some of the great web resources we found and shared with our team, the community and the volunteers who are working on the project:
Carson, L. (2011). Designing a public conversation using the World Café method. Social Alternatives, 30(1), 10-14. Available from http://www.bmartin.cc/pubs/11sa/Carson.html
The World Café. (2008). Café to go: A quick reference guide for putting conversations to work. Available from http://www.theworldcafe.com/pdfs/cafetogo.pdf
Brown, J. (n.d.). A resource guide for the world café. Available from http://meadowlark.co/world_cafe_resource_guide.pdf
Brown, J. (n.d.). Speaking our worlds into being: The world café. Available from http://www.swaraj.org/shikshantar/expressions_brown.pdf
Embedding Enterprise at Newcastle University. World café creativity exercise. Available from http://www.ncl.ac.uk/quilt/assets/documents/WorldCafeCreativityExercise.pdf
Slocum, N. (2005). Participatory methods toolkit: A practitioner’s manual: The world café: a joint publication of the King Baudouin Foundation and the Flemish Institute for Science and Technology Assessment (viWTA). Available from http://www.kbs-frb.be/uploadedFiles/KBS-FRB/Files/EN/PUB_1540_Toolkit_13_WorldCafe.pdf
Our two favorite books on how to organize and run a community conversation are:
Brown, J. (2005). The world café: Shaping our futures through conversations that matter. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
With a Foreward by Margaret Wheatley and an Afterword with Peter Senge, this book is my favorite “go to” resource.
Another book to have on your book shelf (and share with others) is:
Born, P. (2008). Community conversations: Mobilizing the ideas, skills and passion of community organizations, governments, businesses and people. Toronto: BPS Books.
Paul Born’s book might be easy to miss, since it does not have the phrase “world café” in its title. It contains great wisdom though and is worth the read.
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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.