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Iker Atxa sent this story and photograph of a World Cafe that showcases a successful way of involving a whole society in positive change.


Woka Euskadi, a process of social mobilization, organized by Innobasque.

On May 18th 2009 Innobasque, the Basque Innovation Agency - Berrikuntzaren Euskal Agentzia, sponsored Woka Euskadi, a large social gathering for reflection and citizen participation aimed at generating proposals and concrete actions from Basque society on a question that really mattered – “What should the Basque country do about the financial crisis?”

Inspired by the World Café European Gathering held in Bilbao in June of 2008, Innobasque decided to engage as many citizens in as short a time as possible using a World Café design as the cornerstone of the initiative.

119 organizations from all sectors of society took part in the WOKA (the name given to World Café in the Basque language). They sponsored a World Café at their own facilities supported by their own staff, clients, suppliers, etc. Over 5000 people took part in a World Café throughout the Basque country. Each organization selected five top recommendations which were fed back to Innobasque.

A clear message has come from this initiative. The participants in the WOKA indicated that one of the main items that needs to change are the values in relationship to the culture and the economy. Any given solution will have to come through this change of values as a first step towards a more sustainable society. Both Education Institutions and the Media will have a very important role in this transformation.

The results of the WOKA were publicly presented at the Innobasque Assembly in Bilbao on June 18th. The Managing Director of Innobasque, José María Villate said “Through this initiative we are creating an open collaborative channel for social participation which will enable us as a society to enhance our contribution to the future of Euskadi (the Basque country). It provides society and public opinion with a graphic representation of the alliance between entities of all types, companies, institutions, science and technology stakeholders and individuals.”

For more information:

Iker Atxa, Carlos Peña

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Find attached the article regarding our experience.

All the best,
Iker atxa

Awesome work, Iker!



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