World Cafe Meeting and Conference Process

This solution addresses bad meetings and conferences in the world for meeting participants

  • World cafe logo

Problem Description

In 1995, a small group of business and academic leaders were meeting at the home of Juanita Brown and David Isaacs in Mill Valley, California. With their plan for a morning large-circle dialogue disrupted by rain, the two dozen participants spontaneously formed into small, intimate table conversations about the questions that had drawn them together, recording their insights on makeshift paper “tablecloths.” They periodically interrupted these conversations to switch tables so the insights and ideas that had real power might circulate, deepen, and connect. Harvesting the table conversations enabled them to notice the emerging patterns in their thinking, which then enriched subsequent rounds of conversation. Over the course of the morning, the innovative process they improvised gave birth to an experience of collective intelligence that transformed the depth, scope, and innovative quality of their collaboration.

Building Blocks

Sustainable Development Goals

On September 25th 2015, countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. This solution covers the following goals:

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Photos

  • World cafe logo

Resources

Solution Stage

One of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
STAGE SPECIALIST SKILLS REQUIRED EXAMPLE ACTIVITIES RISK LEVEL AND HANDLING FINANCE REQUIRED KINDS OF EVIDENCE GENERATED GOAL
Growing scaling and spreading6
Strong leadership, management, implementation skills
  • Business or organisational growth
  • Franchising
  • Licensing
  • Legislation
  • Spreading ideas
  • Transferring practice
  • Fidelity assessments may be important
  • Strong capacity needed to ensure transfer of practice
MEDIUM
  • Equity, loans, payment by results, social impact bonds
HIGH
Evidence derived from evaluations in multiple sites, and independently run randomised control trials
Innovation or impact at scale

Key Details

Sustainable Development Goals
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Activity