World Café

The World CafeWorld Cafés enable groups of people to participate together in evolving rounds of dialogue while at the same time remaining part of a single, larger, connected conversation.

Small, intimate conversations link and build on each other as people move between groups, cross-pollinate ideas and discover new insights into questions or issues that really matter in their life, work or community. World Café-style conversations are a creative process for leading collaborative dialogue, sharing knowledge and creating possibilities for action in groups of all sizes.

In a World Café, participants sit four or five to a table and have a series of conversational rounds about a question that is personally meaningful to them. After several rounds, each table reports out their themes, insights and learning to the whole group, where it is captured on flip charts or other means for making it visible, allowing everyone to reflect on what is emerging in the room.

Use World Café when: You want to encourage exploration of a topic, exploration of participants’ own views and experiences as well as the experiences of others, and/or to explore and develop innovative ideas and solutions.

Topics suited for this model: A whole range of topics can be adapted to a World Café process. You can explore topics important to your community, such as immigration and community building, religion, as well as planning issues, land use and more.

Why we chose this model: This collaborative dialogue method brings together smaller and larger groups of people in a series of small, conversational rounds. This allows for a larger community to engage at once together, but also in-depth among community members. It can be used for a variety of inquiries, topics or issues.

Visit the World Café website

Learning Sessions



30 - 60 Days: Going into the Community

Resources: World Cafe

World Cafe Method, Metaphor and Community Foundation Overview of the World Cafe process Gives a quick overview of the World Cafe process

Get World Cafe Method, Metaphor and Community Foundation
World Cafe: Cafe to Go! A concise 10-page guide on hosting World Cafes, covering the basics of the process Includes a brief outline of each principle, a description of Cafe Etiquette, an outline of key elements of the World Cafe conversations, and tips for creating Cafe ambiance

Get Cafe to Go!
World Cafe Checklist A checklist of the materials you may need for a World Cafe process Explicit list of materials needed to run a World Cafe with advice for recommended materials

Get the Checklist
World Cafe: Benefits of Graphic Recording A downloadable guide with beautiful visuals about the the benefits of graphic recording Explore how a graphic recorder can make your D&D process more productive by capturing ideas visually as they're being expressed (or before or after the conversation)

Get Benefits of Graphic Recording
World Cafe: Image Bank A variety of graphic support materials created by talented World Cafe reflective visual artists Includes printable graphics, like posters and table cards for World Cafe Etiquette

Get the Image Bank
World Cafe Book In the first comprehensive book on World Cafe, co-founders Juanita Brown and David Isaacs introduce readers to this simple yet powerful conversational process for thinking together, evoking collective intelligence and creating actionable results

Gives in-depth knowledge of the World Cafe dialogue process

Translated into nine languages

Get the World Cafe Book
World Cafe: The Art of Powerful Questions This comprehensive guide, written by Eric Vogt, Juanita Brown and David Isaacs, explores the three dimensions of a powerful question ó construction

Offers sample questions for focusing collection attention, finding deeper insight and creating forward movement

Get The Art of Powerful Questions

These resources are offered as part of Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Models for Change, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) and National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) that seeks to strengthen libraries' roles as core community leaders and agents of change. LTC: Models for Change is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).