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Hosting Conversations about Questions that Matter

Has anyone started with say seven tables and seven topics and asked people to rotate after rounds to a new topic/table - still using the same principles, periodic harvests, and at the end of seven rounds all people would visited all topics/tables? 

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Hi Michael.....Actually, you might think of this as a kind of ¨pie¨design, where you have the tables or sections of tables if there are more people, and then either folks can rotate within the tables (i.e. for 3 rounds in an area where they think they have a lot of contribute) -- OR, you can have table hosts who serve as "anchors" for those tables and people can rotate through on each round (however many you have) and add their thoughts to the core question (topic) for that table.

If you have seven topics, I'd  usually ask people to pick out 3 that they'd really like to contribute to and the use your three rounds to cross pollinate perspectives around and include a good harvest(s).   I've never done a cafe with 7 rounds (which would be, at 20 minutes per round, over two hours without any that really depends on the use you are putting the data you are generating toward.

Let me know how it goes!!



Dear Juanita,

That is perfect!  I can totally envision the process.  Thank you for the insight and solution in this situation.  I love this methodology and have used is so successfully for the years!  Kudos to you and all those who are out there engaging in conversations that matter!

Warmest regards,


glad go have been of support.

Juanita, the session is on Monday and I was wondering if you have ever distributed the questions ahead of time?  I have not done that before and thought it could help accelerate the discussion if they bring some thoughts with them.  Downside is that you lose spontaneity and those "pop" insights.

I've found that folks knowing the questions in advance does lose spontaneity and those who have prepared then are more forceful than those who have just contemplated it. If Ihold the assumption that "the wisdom is in the room" -- then among the collective there will be the full range of thoughts that are needed without the "group dynamics" becoming a problem.  

You might also decide you need to change the questions for some reason in advance of or even during the session, and then that can cause confusion--especially with those who may have prepared for something else.

Just thoughts to contemplate.

Warm best wishes for a great event.



You are AWESOME!!!  AND, without saying, brilliant.  I totally agree.  Not until the day of the event!  I love the magic that happens when great minds come together to solve complex problems and the wisdom is ALWAYS there in my experience.



Yep!  And, with what organization, community are you hosting this Cafe?

The gathering is 50 participants from disparate backgrounds - plastic surgeons, dermatologists beauty brand owners, media, scientists, wellness services organizations, TV personalities, big retail, and the public at large that are invited to explore the connections between beauty and wellness. Is it possible to move beyond the current perception of beauty being "superficial" to something meaningful - something that positively impacts physical emotional, social, intellectual, occupational and spiritual well-being. We will also look at the negative side of beauty and how it can be repositioned and messaged to support consumers becoming their best selves versus versus encouraging a "pathology of perfection." These players are part of the $US 99 Billion Beauty and Anti-aging Industry.  Different content for me versus that from my previous life in healthcare.


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