World Café is an emerging global facilitation model for community dialogue utilizing the approach of appreciative inquiry. It Gets Better company members will coordinate a thoughtful dialogue among 12‐36 participants to examine the state of LGBT life in an organizational or local community.
“I’ve never been in a World Café that was boring. People become energized, excited, created, and inspired.”
Participants may include representatives from local LGBT organizations and support services, prominent local LGBT individuals, local elected officials, local school administrators or faculty leaders. Other appropriate participants might include students, members of law enforcement, artists, community organizers and spiritual leaders.
Trained company facilitators will guide small group table discussions through a series of questions designed to examine challenges in the organization or community, a vision for improving conditions, and resources available to implement that vision.
This structured, impartial facilitation model will advance dialogue toward mutual agreements and meaningful plans for the future. A pleasant meeting space with round tables, snacks and beverages, and pleasing lighting enhances these relaxed community conversations. (120‐180 min.)
How can we enhance our capacity to talk and think more deeply about the critical issues facing our communities? World Café is a facilitation model developed in 1995 by Juanita Brown and David Isaacs as a means to take participants through a series of conversations from which emerges a kind of collective intelligence. As Brown explains (2005), “We move away from a confining sense of self and our small certainties and into a spaciousness where new ideas can reveal themselves.”
“People really want to have significant conversations.”
World Café conversations are designed on the assumption that people already possess the wisdom and creativity to confront even the most difficult challenges.
As Brown explains, the process involves brief, casual conversations of evolving rounds among groups of four to five people. Facilitators ask a series of generative questions to spur dialogue, record significant contributions, and help find connections among themes and topics. As the dialogue progresses, the collective wisdom of the group becomes accessible and innovative possibilities for action emerge.
In this model, people often move rapidly from ordinary conversations – which keep most people stuck in the past and are often divisive and superficial, toward conversations in which there is deeper collective understanding or forward movement in relation to a situation that people really care about.
World Café Guidelines:
- clarify the purpose
- create a hospitable space
- explore questions that matter
- encourage everyone´s contribution
- connect diverse perspectives
- listen for insights and share discoveries