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Hosting Conversations about Questions that Matter

Hi all,
I hosted my first world cafe last weekend as part of an intro to the Transition Towns movement. It went very well, overall. I'm looking forward to getting some feedback from the table hosts.

As a beginning cafe host, I have a couple of basic questions after this first experience.
1) what do you do with all those paper tablecloths? it's a bit overwhelming. I rolled them up and brought them home. Seems like I ought to type up all the content and share with the group, but that will be extremely time-consuming. Somebody must have a better way to harvest!

2) Speaking of harvesting, what methods do people typically use? Post-its of each person's key learning on the wall? Other approaches? I realize now that we didn't really allow time for harvesting, beyond a fairly brief group conversation at the end about what was most meaningful to people.

Thanks for any input!

--Jeanne Mackey
Transition Ann Arbor

Tags: harvesting, hosting, tablecloths

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Dear Jeanne:

I used to distribute color small cards so that table host writes the conclusions after each round. He must deliver to cafe host the card product of the last round only, where he/she has summarized the results of deliberations of that specific table upon finalizing the exercise. Thus, we would obtain a single card by table to set in the wall. There is no need to do verbal reporting. The role of paper (as a tablecloth) has a more symbolic sense of group integration.

Thanks for your reference of the on TownTransitions wiki. Very interesting.

Best regards.

Luis Fernando
Thank you, Luis. This is very helpful!

Peace,
Jeanne
Hi Jeanne...

What to do with all the paper table drawings and notes? We recently had a one day World Cafe for the Future Visioning of Urban Landscapes. We took digital photos of various drawings and notes and posted them on a social network explicitly for the event. This helps the community live longer and it extends the sharing of ideas. Here's a link: http://fvul-planet.ning.com/photo/albums/table-top-thoughts

Harvesting - what methods are out there? If there is a budget... find a graphic facilitator to graphically record conversations and harvests. Here's a link: http://fvul-planet.ning.com/photo/photo/slideshow?albumId=4175403:Album:80

Post-its work great too if a graphic facilitator is not in the budget. Try to cluster the notes around macro ideas on a large sheet of paper. Butcher paper can just about handle any size. With large print label your macro ideas on a large sheet of paper and then stick the Post-Its that align or work with the macro ideas.

Hope these help... Cheers! Dd
Dennis,
These are all helpful ideas. I can't get in to the ning site without an invitation, but I get the idea.

Many thanks!
~Jeanne
Hi Jeanne...
I can send you a invitation link through mail if you want to peruse the graphics more.
Cheers,
Dd

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