Hosting Conversations about Questions that Matter
There are people gathering here in the World Cafe community from literally all over the world, and it is so exciting!!! I really want to meet everyone, and I know I'm not alone. Would you please tell us a little about yourself here, just as an introduction, so we can start to learn about each other? Where do you live? How did you learn about the World Cafe? What are your interests and passions?
NOTE: The convention on this part of the site is that the responses are in chronological order, so you have to click forward to the last page (at the bottom of this page) to see the latest introductions.
I'll start! :-)
I'm blessed to live in northern California, right across the bay from San Francisco. I can see the city skyline and the extraordinary Golden Gate bridge whenever I walk along the bay, or drive over one of the many bridges in this area. I came here in 1999 from Brighton, a wonderful town on the south coast of England, where I had lived (and loved) for 13 years.
I've been working intensively with the World Cafe for almost 4 years now. I knew about it before, and had worked with Juanita and Ken Homer on the logistics of bringing the World Cafe to a conference I was co-organizing in 2003, and I knew several people in the community personally, but I didn't really start working formally with the World Cafe until they brought me in as a web designer and online communications consultant in late 2005, early 2006.
In learning about what needed to go on a World Cafe website I was of necessity learning about everything at once and I found myself falling in love with the people and the spirit of what was happening here. Around the same time, Juanita called a meeting of "Girl Geeks" in early 2006. The Girl Geeks were a group of women that Juanita brought together to help the World Cafe "enter the digital age", a direction she intuitively knew was important but felt unequipped to lead. That meeting marked the beginning of not only a fabulous period of fun and professional development in my own life but also a beautiful circle of friendships that have only grown and strengthened through time.
I learned more and more and soon my work became clear - to help make this incredible community and the work you are all doing in the world visible - to the world and to each other. So the virtual communications constellation was born to begin doing that - this constellation includes the World Cafe website, the newsletters, the translation of the book into new languages, the StoryNet, the blogs, our grass-roots resourcing program, our videos, our presence and participation in various social media, and now this new online community space!
As you can imagine, it is an enormous pleasure to me and the rest of the World Cafe Community Foundation team to see all of you coming together here!
My passion for spreading the spirit of World Cafe has continue to unfold and now besides my work in caring for our global communications, I have been developing our capacity to host World Cafes using the internet. My intent is to create truly hospitable space in the online environment and bring the magic and connection of the face to face World Cafe experience into the online sphere. The online world can never replace the face to face experience, nor is it meant to, but there are advantages to virtual World Cafes that are not available otherwise, as well, including the ability to connect across great geographic distances.
I think I'll stop here and leave some space for others to introduce themselves! I look forward to meeting you.
P.S. Since this initial introduction, I want to add that the World Café's online engagements have grown exponentially in number and quality, and they now include a whole suite of World Cafe Signature Learning Programs which are offered both online and face-to-face throughout the year. We hope to see you at one of them and/or the Online World Cafés.
I live in New Harmony, Indiana, a Utopian community still, and am slowly moving to Louisville, KY to be with the man I love. It is a time of transition for me in many ways. I am an artist who teaches art and Humanities both in the classroom and online. I have done this for about 15 years now and am slowly retiring. Things are changing in the world of education and though I love the students and the technology, I am finding that the financial situation has made universities compete and therefore cater more to the students, which creates problems for professors.
However, I am also an artist and paint and exhibit my paintings throughout the United States and the world to people who like landscapes and water and surrealism. These themes have run through my paintings throughout my long career and it is about time that I paid more attention to my real work, rather than trying to support this occupation with jobs. A 9-5 job-job takes a lot of time and energy which now can go into my real job of painting and, of course, promotion.
Unfortunately, today one of the responsibilities of an artist is to "get out there" and promote one's work. I have never liked to do that, being rather modest about my work, no matter what people said about it.
I also am a writer and publisher. I have published three books and hope to publish more (poetry, travel journals and prose). I love editing and talking with people who love words. My interests lie in history (thus I love teaching Humanities), art and literature. I look forward to having discussions on any subject!
Thanks for letting me introduce myself! (You can see my work at http://jillbaker.com/.)
Welcome! It's great to have you here. How did you learn about the World Cafe?
You might also want to peruse the various groups to see if there are areas you are interested in participating in. I think there is one related to the arts and the World Cafe if I recall.
With warm regards,
Your work is fantastic, such diversity in styles and I really love your surrealism, I think that is what it is called. From what I can see in some of your paintings you use a great deal of texture, I really like that. I'm not an artist but when I see paintings I like to take in the brushwork.
I hope you can do more and more.