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.
My name is Donna Wise and I live with my family in Atlanta, GA. I was referred to your site by a dear friend, Lesley Grady, whose opinion I greatly respect. There is much to learn while we are on this earth and little time to do it. I am a dedicated student of all things positive and life affirming with a thirst for insights and shared experiences that can broaden the mind and enrich our capabilities to help one another. Though I make a living through research-based marketing consultation, I most enjoy writing non-fiction human interest stories.
I look forward to learning more about this community, all that it has to offer and and what useful contributions I might be able to lend.
First I have to say that I am astounded by the diversity of stories and experiences from around the world described in the introductions. To say the least, I am very excited to contribute and be part of this wonderful community!
So here it goes…I graduated university in 2009 with a degree in International Entrepreneurship. At the time I knew I was interested in promoting healthy organizations and the well being of those involved; however, although that was wonderful, I was still lacking a direction, cause or pursuit that I felt truly passionate about. So, I saved up some money, stuffed a pack and headed to South America for an open ended six months to two-year journey.
The past two years took me on a whirlwind of adventure where enough experiences had been soaked up that could span a lifetime. After about three months in Colombia and Ecuador I found myself involved with a non-profit and soon thereafter coordinating its conservation and community development program. After about eight months I left the organization to work with local organizations in pursuit of clean water solutions for indigenous communities.
To briefly voice some of the cherished moments and experiences from the journey in South America: Embarked on a life changing 10 day trek in the Cordillera Blancas of Peru with a friend who will always hold a place in my heart and future endeavors; Lived amongst indigenous people of the Amazon jungle who revealed to me the wonders of their culture and also demonstrated that any dedicated person or group can preserver given the opportunity; Became versed in the art of facilitation and witnessed the empowering effects of a well planned facilitated session; Attempted to climb a volcano and learned in the process that there are more important aspects to life than reaching the top; The jokes and laughs shared at the Mingas (another name for government/community sponsored work party in Ecuador) with children, mothers, fathers and directors at two rural school gardens…
Like most of us when we become entranced and wrapped up in the times that infused us with joy I can go on for ages reminiscing and becoming absorbed in the moments passed. So, I will up wrap my reminiscence by saying that I’m forever grateful for the people and places that the winds of South America brought into my life and the place they have allowed me to settle now.
NOW, I’m in the Bay Area of California. It’s completely new to me, but already feels right. I briefly learned of The World Café while researching facilitative methods and sustainable community building for projects in Ecuador. It stuck with me and the people that are a part of it seem to share a vision that resonates strongly with me.
I am very happy to be here and look forward to learning from and sharing with you all!
How wonderful to hear your story and your journey to Latin America. As a teenager (17 at the time) I went to live in Mexico and then lived in Southern Mexico and worked in the Lacandon jungle (the Amazonas of Mexico)--also lived in Colombia for a year....and for the last 30 years or so have gone back and forth a lot....so I know the feeling that touches the soul from being there and loving that part of the world.
There is a very active World Cafe Latino group throughout the region and several Spanish speaking groups on this site as well (see the Groups section).
We're just moving from the Bay Area to Western North Carolina near Asheville.... ..a long way from our living room in Marin County where the World Cafe was born with just 24 people!
With warm regards and best wishes for your journey,
Good afternoon, Benjamin, and thanks for the welcome.
As I type this comment, heavy rainfall darkens Portland's sky and turns roads into rivers. I imagine others sun-bathing on beaches or shoveling snow. It's all about place. Place and camaraderie. Brain research shows that the brain longs for friends; it needs to belong. In fact, specific areas of the brain generate pain when a person does not belong. The inclusiveness of World Cafe is one of its great strengths.
I'm a former university professor who for years has been applying the findings of brain research to daily life. The remarkable discoveries of neuroscience show us, for instance, that listening, being open, mindful, attentive, and reflective changes the brain's structure. These findings explain, in other words, why World Cafe dialogue works so beautifully.
I look forward to learning about World Cafe members and events.
Hi dear Elaine...
How WONDERFUL to see you here contributing to this community....I feel really blessed and honored to have your depth of experience and vision as part of these conversations.....and hope you will join those groups that interest you.
With deep appreciation,
Welcome Gina! Glad to see you here.
I'm Lan, facilitator and trainer and most of all I see myself as a catalyst of exchanges. I'm Vietnamese, living in Paris. I'm in the middle of different cultures: Asian in ways of living, American in working and French in ...I don't know yet (I'm learning :-) ).
I was trained in facilitation in 2003 in Technology of Participation (ToP) to do different development projects in Vietnam. I used mostly The Focused Conversation and Consensus workshop as my based methodology. I've been working in different sectors: ONG, association, business and public.
I first heard about World Café in 2009, from a friend who is part of Art of Hosting network. I then participated in some workshops and get really interested in learning more and use it. World Café now is used like one part of my training and facilitating, depending on the context, number of people in the groupe... What I really like in WC is: a simple process which is really engaging and creative.
I've initiated a community of practices in Paris. I'm thinking of introducing the method to others in the group. I am very happy to be part of this group and get connected with others. Thank you very much for your initiative.
All the best,
ravi de te retrouver au détour de ce blog..
Welcome Lan....is your community of practice focused on World Cafe or a borader set of practices as well?
With warm regards and best wishes,
Thank you very much. Our community of practices doesn't focused only on World Café. We practise and introduce different methods of facilitation and coaching. We gather once a month and each time, 2 persons facilitate. We learn a lot from each other and have lots of fun.
Hello to my New Friends in the World Cafe Community! I am writing from just north of Colorado Springs and have just experienced the first of our 3 conversations in Learning Program #1. Immediately signed on for Program #2. I am a non-recovering shameless idealist. Have been since the 70's -- tried "recovery" in the 80's -- failed miserably... I have loved reading about the World Cafe and Conversational Leadership for a long time, but was given the Gift of an "excuse" to learn more when I was invited to host a WC at the annual conference for the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership this June. I am SO THRILLED to have the opportunity to learn from the Master Conversation-Conveners!!! I've been working internationally for the past 20-ish years doing leadership development -- especially in the arena of technology -- working with "Girl Geeks" (to quote Amy & Juanita) and "Guy Geeks" who have accidentally stumbled into leadership positions. It's been such a fabulous learning opportunity to work in so many different cultures all over this good planet -- I have learned infinitely more than I "taught"! Now my heart's desire is to help develop the next generation of Conversational Leaders and Servant Leaders, so I am fascinated to hear about what the World Cafe Community is doing in the area of inter-generational conversation. What I'm learning in Program ! will help me do a bit of risk-taking with a workshop I'll be presenting next week at the regional conference for a national business fraternity. I wonder what kind of Necessary Revolution might happen if the next generation of leaders began asking meaningful questions and really listening to each other? I wonder what Magical Transformation might occur if we all became genuinely interested in diverse perspectives? I wonder what it would take for the next generation of leaders to learn to draw out the best in others and use that Collective Wisdom to resolve differences? I wonder how we can be helpful to those that will follow us so our children's children might live the Miracle of Peace? (See? I warned you that I'm a shameless idealist!!!)
Blessings and Warmest Regards to All of You!!!