The World Cafe Community

Hosting Conversations about Questions that Matter

You are invited to develop foundational skills to blend and scale Appreciative Inquiry,
Open Space Technology, World Cafe and Polarity Mapping to engage groups
of 2 to 10,000 in breakthrough thinking, decision-making and
collaborative action.

Please see attached flyer and contact Cliodhna Mulhern at for details.

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Replies to This Conversation

Oh, how tempting this is! However, traveling to the UK is just not in my immediate future. Let us know if you decide to do something like this a little closer to home... Chicago would be more do-able...
I would love to bring this back to Chicago - it's been 5 years. Thanks for the encouragement.
This workshop, and the concept behind it, looks fascinating! It is also very timely for me, as I am in the process of trying to get both a world cafe and an AI engagement incorporated as part the three day gathering of the FOUR YEARS.GO team in SF later this month. I came looking here for ideas on combining or interweaving them and voila! Looks like we should get Open space and Polarity Mapping into the mix too! Many of the participants are experienced facilitators, WC hosts, etc., but many of the planners for this event are (like me) new to these processes, so we could use a bit of help in thinking this through.
Hi Ben. It could be great to incorporate, Open Space and Polarity Mapping into the FOUR YEARS.GO gathering. What is the purpose of the meeting? How many folks will be coming? What are the desired outcomes?

If you decide on Open Space, there are many strong OST facilitators in the SF area. Do you have a budget?

I'm vacationing on Kauai, at the moment :) and will do my best to get back to you since the gathering is later this month.
So honored that you took time away from your vacation to respond to my post! I have a feeling there are some good OS facilitators among our 4YG team. We have no budget at this point, however! The whole movement is barely six months old and this is the first face to face gathering of the 25 or so people who have been stewarding it to date.

I've seen a kind of "meta-agenda" (attached) but I don't know that things have progressed beyond that formally just yet. Our motto is to build the plane while we fly it!

My personal sense (as a relative newcomer to the team) of what is most needed from this event is first and foremost a coalescing/synthesizing of group energy that is currently running very high but is perhaps not as coordinated or harmonious as it might be. Then, out of that I believe we need some fairly concrete near term planning to emerge as well as a longer term road map to go with the overall vision itself. The latter, while incredibly grand, is fairly well understood by all I would say.


Things are starting to take shape for this event. In the current mix, we've got AI, World Cafe and Open Space, plus some Bohmian dialogue. I believe there is also a mention of Future Search, but the committee didn't select that process (perhaps because it was a suggestion rather than an offer from an actual facilitator--or because that is such a long process in and of itself).

I'm not sure how much the agenda committee's thinking was influenced by your workshop framework, which I did forward to them. Right now, they have four group process sessions scheduled: a brief AI engagement (1.5 hrs, but more time if I want it), followed by three longer (2-4 hrs?) sessions that are designated as "WC and/or Open Space." I know that your model would place WC before Open Space, but would finish with Polarity Mapping.

Following your lead, I see us doing AI's discovery phase work in that initial slot, then a WC, then OS. That still leaves a final slot for the Gathering, where I'm wondering if, in the absence of Polarity Mapping, a return to AI might not work to "tie together" the design phase work that comes out of the OS? Or maybe we just do two rounds of OS to really nail down Design? I'm still new to all this, but my sense is that the "Destiny phase" might be something we leave for post-gathering work as we move into actual implementation?

I just learned that Jane Calbraith is working on this with me, by the way, so at least one of us will be an experienced practioner!



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