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Hosting Conversations about Questions that Matter

[friends, at juanita's suggestion, i'm cross-posting this thread here.]


Hi all!


Thus far, I haven't ever really run a WC on my own, but have co-facilitated 1-2 and participated in 1-2.


But from time to time people ask me how to run one.


Today, I got an email from a dear friend who is looking to use TWC in Ukraine on healing old society/familial pain.


She asked, "I don't have a lot of time to prepare, what should I be paying attention to in running a WC?


My answer--


read the mini-guide and principles (now available in Russian translation)


1. purpose-- be as clear as you can as to the purpose of the cafe, which is clarified once you clarify context.


2. questions-- powerful, open questions


3. personal preparation-- be as healthy as you can be to hold good space


4. preparing the space-- making it hospitable, tea/coffee/snacks flowing freely...


And then I asked her, "What do you think you should pay attention to?" --- emphasizing the importance of developing one's own intuitive capacity in working with the practice...


So, if you had the same question put to you, what would you say?




san diego

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Replies to This Conversation

Hi Raffi,

My answer would be:

  • fully understand the challenge, the problem - what is the real purpose
  • be open, be prepared for surprises - listen carefully - my task is to serve the participants (leadership)
  • to have a clear oicture of the situation after the WC (vision)
  • be as open minded as possible, love the participants (communications)
  • ask open questions that really will touch their hearts; prepare the room, have nice settings, select a room full of light, bring some nature in it and have a smile on your face (management9

I would use the medicine wheel from GC - a wonderful tool for preparation (as you know)


have a great day

Michael from germany

Liebe michael,


thanks much for responding.


As for using the Medicine Wheel tool as elaborated in the Genuine Contact Program, I'd love to hear more how you use it in the preparation for a World Cafe!





Hi Raffi & Michael,

I'm behind the times in connecting here, but very interested in your conversation and for information about the Genuine Contact Program and Medicine Wheel tool used.

Raffi - I'm a volunteer facilitator with the Alternatives to Violence Project in Alberta, Canada and wondering if you are the same Raffi I remember on an AVP discussion list many years ago?


Judy, greetings!

Yes, that same Raffi. Good to see you here!


You can learn more about the Genuine Contact Program (GCP) at the website.

I think GCP, like a lot of approaches/social technologies are hard to describe in words and are better experienced. And the same goes for the Medicine Wheel Tool (MWT). Briefly, MWT is a tool for working with, uncovering wholeness. It has many applications, including in project planning, collaboration, coaching, mentoring, and more.  I  find it a very useful thing before taking on any initiative.


This excerpt (pp.23-27) from the  e-book, Genuine Contact  Way I think gives a  lot of context, history for understanding GCP.

I'd be happy to talk more over skype, if you'd like to learn more re: GCP. 



Thank you so much Raffi, and I'm delighted to reconnect after so many years.  I remember feeling inspired after reading each of your messages...I'll take some time and catch up on reading about GCP.  I've had some exposure to Medicine Wheel teachings, and very interested to see about using it in the ways you mention.  I'm technically not up to speed as haven't used skype before but have friend who can give me some information about how to do that. 

Thank you again so much, what a great day,


Everything is significant. It is our challenge to discover the relevance, all the while being conscious of the relevance paradox. Work on expanding your receptive capabilities, your senses, and your sense of experiencing the experiences of the inexperienced as well as the experienced.



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