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Hosting Conversations about Questions that Matter

Methods for Strategic Collaboration


Methods for Strategic Collaboration

Please join the conversation if you are interested in blending The World Cafe with other methods and models such as Open Space Technology, Appreciative Inquiry, Polarity Management, Spiral Dynamics, Theory U, the Enneagram and more.

Members: 243
Latest Activity: Jan 23

20% discount for World Cafe Community ~ Phoenix or Berlin for Methods for Strategic Collaboration Foundations Training

Hi all,

You are cordially invited to Phoenix, April 13-16, or Berlin, June 8-11, for the Methods for Strategic Collaboration Foundations Training.  Since 2003, change leaders from 5 continents have enjoyed collaborating while learning about how to blend and scale Appreciative Inquiry, Open Space Technology, World Cafe, Polarity Mapping.  This year, I'm introducing ROC-Return on Collaboration, which builds on the best of Appreciative Inquiry.  

If you are interested in receiving a 20% discount, as a member of the World Cafe Community, please contact me directly at  

More details can be found here:

Warm wishes from the fragrant desert,



May I enter?

Started by Maria Amélia Martins-Loução. Last reply by Christine Whitney Sanchez Feb 2, 2015. 4 Replies

openmind kfe

Started by Xavier Ginoux. Last reply by Xavier Ginoux Jul 9, 2013. 9 Replies

Mindful Relationships

Started by Christine Whitney Sanchez. Last reply by Susmita Barua Jun 25, 2013. 8 Replies

Help me pitch a World Cafe to my town!

Started by Jarett Sanchez. Last reply by Cheryl Lyon Jan 23, 2012. 9 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Ria Baeck on January 22, 2012 at 2:26am

Good work Cheryl! and if this work continues, I wonder if you have any 'mates' in your neighborhood? In Art of Hosting we use to say 'find your mates', meaning you need a field (more than one person) to host a field... of course I don't know how many participants you have...

Comment by Christine Whitney Sanchez on January 21, 2012 at 11:17am

Congratulations, Cheryl, for being asked back (and may you get paid)!  And thanks for stimulating such a generative conversation.

Comment by Luis Carlos Jacobsen on January 20, 2012 at 12:54pm

"wHO we are, the people that are here, and what is the high topic that would be relevant to us to put in a aconversation?

Taking into account, the people that are together on a conversation, the the fact of the relations among that human system should be present all time, by hosts.

Sometimes the work is not that complicated if necessary information before the event is gathered...

Thanks for sharing!

Comment by Cheryl Lyon on January 20, 2012 at 11:44am

Huge appreciation to Kaj, Ria and Cliodhna! Kaj, the Generative Conversations piece is beautifully complementary to Compassionate Communications training I'm undertaking. Ria, you got me to the right focus on Purpose and that helped things fall into place. Cliodhna, you reminded me to review my AoH knolwedge and experience. This particular effort was a personal initiative (and a bit of a risk!) arising from a need I saw in my community for various groups working on the same thing to come together for more effective work. They liked what I did in the initial gathering (essentially using Circle Process for building relationships and surfacing what's really on people's mind and hearts) so they asked me back again. Maybe I'll get paid this time :). Again, thanks to you all!

Comment by Kaj Voetmann on January 19, 2012 at 4:51am

I think there are four important questions in the pre-design phase:

  1. Who?
  2. Why?
  3. How?
  4. What?

In general I think the Who should include all the people who has to has to support the realization of the solutions. In strategy processes this is mostly about identifying these stakeholders. It is very common to forget important stakeholder like the customers and suppliers.

They are the only ones who can define the Why, but in general it has to be something that unites all the stakeholders, so I use the attached file as inspiration for how to get the Why to be generative.

The How is a series of more or less parallel conversations that can promote the realization of the Why.

What usually refers to the solutions and sgould according to the rules of engangement in generative dialogue suspend assumptions and goal-orientation. So what should not guide the conversations about the future solutions.




Comment by Cliodhna Mulhern on January 19, 2012 at 4:36am

For me the art is to catch the natural flow of the sense what is wanting to emerge...not to force pace, shape or content(especially before you have a sense of where the call to this conversation is coming from) ...from the very first approach by your client, through your exploratory and co-design meetings with your client system, to the WC and well beyond...this is more risky...full of uncertainty...and promise...Check the Art of Hosting website to find out more...

Comment by Ria Baeck on January 19, 2012 at 2:39am

First thought: I think you should engage in a conversation with your client - or a little core group of them - about what is the purpose of the next step/session. From there more will fall into place. It is not yours to decide, in my opinion. I would go with building trust first, deepening the conversations. Schedule a bigger event, with more participants later on. Again, all depends on purpose - what is it that they want? where do they want to go?

Comment by Cheryl Lyon on January 18, 2012 at 2:15pm

Thanks, Ria! The "purpose", as you point out, IS the 'unanswered' about this next session.  The purpose of the 1st session was simply a conversation to get to know one another better and begin to think about working more collaboratively. Must set out the purpose of the 2nd gathering clearly then other things will fall into place.  Some in this neophyte group (who are building trust) want to move to expand to a lot of other groups immediately. Do you thinki this is a good idea or should the originating group get to know each other more first?

Comment by Ria Baeck on January 18, 2012 at 1:55pm

Cheryl, could they invite more of the stakeholders or their network to engage all of them in a conversation around these questions? All depends on what is the purpose of the next step of course. Pro Action café - as the word says - is intented to point more to steps and actions that can be taken; mostly further down the process. Again, all depends, on what is the purpose...

Comment by Cheryl Lyon on January 18, 2012 at 8:47am

Hello all! A group of heads of local organizations working in sustainability/resilience came up with 6 powerful Questions in answer to the Questions: What is the Most Important Question Facing the Local Community in terms of Sustainability/Resilience?  They then imagined what COULD BE in the 'landscape' of their relationships with each other and  some BROAD DIRECTIONS for working together. Finally, they were asked: What do you think can change as a result of today's conversation? I'm wondering what to do now with those  6 Powerful Questions? I'm thinking of a Pro Action Cafe approach but would very much appreciate your thoughts. Thanks!


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