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 just joined Cafe. I am a retired IT professional and ex-Army pilot. I got involved with a project our town is doing with the Barter Theatre, State theatre of Virginia, and CPI - Community Performance International (www.communityperformanceinternational.org). They go into small communities and collect stories of the people who live there or lived there and put them into a play that is performed for the community. With that I have collected numerous stories and with everyone I collect my life is changed and intertwined with that story teller. The directors of CPI met with Juanita Brown and David Issacs, co-founders of the Cafe, and with members of EPIC-International (http://www.epicinternational.org), who works with under-privileged kids, met in Jonesborough,TN. site of a current CPI show, and the home of the National Storytelling Center, and realized that they could take what each does and combine in a training, educational and entertaining session, thurs Staging Change (http://www.historicjonesborough.com/Staging%20Change/). We started with the sessions on Friday morning, after seeing the CPI play on Thursday night. We worked through the tables of four used by the Cafe and then began breaking into groups with similar interests. We met later that afternoon in groups of 8 and told our stories, stories that changed our lives. From that a story was saved. On Sat morn we broke into groups of 2 and told our stories. Then we reversed roles and told the others story, thus that story became mine. We selected one of those stories to tell. We then met with another group of 2 and did the same, again I got a new story. Once all groups had selected a story, we created a play. Practiced, choreographed, wrote music and performed a play Saturday night, before an audience. Sundaywas discussing the experience (tables of 4) , what we learned, etc.
Hi Gary, Greg, Michael, Cat, and Sally...
I've been away for a while and am so excited to see you all here in the World Cafe community. I am so touched by the amazing people who are finding the World Cafe useful in their lives and work....and I look forward as well to many wonderful conversations together.
Happy holidays to all of you and welcome!
So much hope for the future comes through this work.
Hello everyone! My name is Greg Willeford. I am the owner of Willeford Group a consulting organization located in Salem, Oregon. My passion is helping others make positive change in the world through the development of authentic leadership.
I am about to launch a new leadership development project. An important component of my leadership development and educational series is fostering "conversational leadership". Focusing upon questions that really matter using the principles of World Cafe is such an important aspect of conversational leadership.
I also use Appreciative Inquiry and leadership coaching in my practice. The World Cafe is a wonderful adjunct to my work.
In addition to my consulting/educational practice, I am on faculty at a local university researching and teaching on a variety of social science subjects. I have a background in state government (public safety) administration), non-profit, and private business.
Along with the development of a new leadership series, I am wanting to develop a World Cafe involving the topic of "resiliency" for public safety/health care workers. The goal of this conversation is to help public safety/health care workers develop sustainable strategies to build/enhance personal resilience in their lives so they grow and continue good works in a pretty traumatic world. I would be very interested to talk with any other members that are interested in this type of conversation or who have held a similar cafe conversation.
I am excited to be part of this wonderful community!!
My name is Cat Greeenstreet. I live in Sloatsburg in Rockland County New York; I also usually spend about two days a week in New York City. I learned about World Cafe by participating in one in a school where I worked at the time, although I didn't know what the process was called. A few months later, a participant in a Courage & Renewal® retreat I was facilitating told me I should check it out. I am interested in facilitating and participating in social forms that allow everyone to show up, that maximize knowledge of self and community through inclusive, disciplined sharing that has the potential to offer us the experience of being part of a creative, potent, loving, and miraculous wholeness. I am passionate about bringing Spirit into practical life by co-creating trustworthy spaces in which we can experience the invisible reality around us, spaces in which to build inner capacities for living creatively with the dynamic tension between what is and how we know things could be. World Cafe feels like one of those kind of spaces, and I'm eager to learn more and to do more with it.
I am a behavioural change consultant, author and coach, working internationally and living in the South West of the UK, near Bath and in the Auvergne in France. My background is in the corporate and very commercial world and my learning from those experiences has fuelled my passion to help individuals find balance and authenticity in their lives, by living their true values and understanding their preferences and how these impact the world around them. My Doctoral thesis was specifically about identity crises in lawyers. I work with huge international organisations as well as individuals and children and bring creativity and fun to my work which is far more than having a conversation.
I am married to a husband who is an engineer now converted to soft skills, we have three children and three dogs. I am delighted to be part of this community and am looking forward to some scintillating conversation about how the world is and how we can help each other in this challenging yet exciting environment.
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,