The World Cafe Community

Hosting Conversations about Questions that Matter

Barbara Shipka
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • United States
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Please indicate your World Café experience (ONLY IF YOU HAVE ACTUAL WORLD CAFE EXPERIENCE) in one or more of the following roles:
I'm New to the World Cafe
If you are new to the World Cafe, would you please share how you heard about this community?
Have followed and been interested since the beginning... These last years have been very "locally" focused and now, as my son leaves for college, I find myself transitioning as well. A matter of timing and cycles...
What field is the primary focus of your World Café work (ONLY CHECK AREAS WHERE YOU ARE ALREADY ACTIVELY USING WORLD CAFE PLEASE)?
What knowledge, skills or resources would you like to contribute to the World Café community to help it grow and flourish?
Let's see what emerges...

One experience that might contain a seed of possibility: Recently, I developed and facilitated a global dialogue/peer coaching process for 100 corporate global leaders. The series of conversations were held over six months in groups of 4 - 6 (phone and online/3 hours) and were centered around exploring the leaders' "biggest questions" (and building their connections with each other). They asked questions of how to become more self-aware, present, centered, fulfilled; questions of how to lead virtually/remotely and personally simultaneously; questions of how to lead across geography and generations, questions of how to support themselves, each other, and those they lead through change and transition... The experience was a first for all of them and many were skeptical about taking 3 hours to "just talk." The result has been that their experiences far exceeded their expectations. And it was a highlight of my work life. I discovered that I am very skilled at facilitating deep virtual and cross-cultural conversation (audio plus photography/whiteboard for visual focus). I felt so privileged to be able to gain a glimpse (no pun intended) into the vulnerabilities, the sincerity, the commitment to learning and service of these generous souls! I would love to find ways to continue this kind of work...
What would you most like to receive from this community?
A place to explore my "biggest questions." Co-creativity and generative learning. Global community.
Would you like to share a Web or Blog address?

Comment Wall (13 comments)

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At 6:07pm on October 9, 2013, Amy Lenzo said…

Dear Barbara (Hi hon!),

Since you live in or near the twin cities in Minnesota, I want to make sure you know you are specifically and personally invited to join us for the Wiser Together World Cafe "Becoming Wiser Together Across Generations: Transformation in Action" on the 22nd of October.

Juanita Brown, David Isaacs and Amy Lenzo of the World Cafe are partnering with our dear friends Patricia, Craig, and Alec Neal at the Heartland Circle to co-host this event and we'll be gathering at the Minneapolis Humanities Center in St Paul from 7pm through to 9:30.

Wiser Together is about cross-generational collaboration, so come prepared for a rich and rewarding evening of conversation and the opportunity to learn with and from people of every age.

Bring your friends - of any age - everyone is welcome.


At 11:47pm on August 29, 2010, GwenEllyn Anderson said…
Hello, Barbara!

This is GwenEllyn Anderson from EIL days. Happy belated Birthday! I was online trying to find you and I found you here.

I visited several days with Tom Govero a year ago while in Italy to pick olives. And, Bruce Wyatt is now working in McMinnville - about 40 miles from Salem.

I knew you had written books, but now I have to go learn more about what you have been doing. Thanks for taking me this route to find you because I found World Café, too!
At 12:13pm on November 12, 2009, Chris Chopyak said…
Barbara - wonderful to learn a bit more about you via the website and thank you for your comments and conversationin the European Salon - it was so great to have you participate in this amazing opportunity! thank you - Chris
At 7:11am on September 18, 2009, Bill Sowers said…
Hi Barbara;

Anne Dosher, who is the "Elder and guardian of the soul" of the World Cafe, became a good friend in the 1990s. At the time she was an advisor to some work we were doing in community development. Over time, she helped us found a "Circle of Seven" dialgoue group, which included one of her best friends here in the DC area.

I have been a great admirer of Meg Wheatley's work, and she joined forces with Juanita Brown and David Isaacs to spread the concept of "conversations that matter."

Three years ago I met Juanita at the Business for Social Responsibility conference in DC where World Cafe was used to open the conference. I found it to create amazing energy and a great way to start communicating and getting to depth quickly.

How have you developed your consulting? How did you arrange to convene a group of CEOs? What did you learn from the expereince? What do you hope to do next?

Please answer any of these questions or just start fresh in any way you wish!

Warmest regards,
At 12:19pm on September 17, 2009, Bill Sowers said…
I'll get back to you tomorrow.

Warm regards,
At 10:14am on September 17, 2009, Bill Sowers said…
Hi Barbara:

We met at Bretton Woods '94, do you recall? Then I came to Minneapolis to meet with your collegues there about a national meeting on "Spirit in the Workplace," but we never resolved funding issues.

Ah, aging. How is your son? The work of hosting CEOs sounds wonderful. Hope you are well and thriving in these generally hard times.

Please get back in touch--I'll explain my connections to the World cafe.

At 2:01pm on September 16, 2009, Amy Lenzo said…
Yes, of course it is possible for you to attend the European Salon in Vienna - you'll want to register right away to make sure there is "room at the inn" literally :-) but it would be delightful to have you there!! Are you considering it seriously??

There will also be online participation, but of course it's always fabulous to be there and touch each other in person...
At 8:38am on September 16, 2009, william d. hinsch said…
Thanks for that nice comment Barbara—made my day!---Cheers,
At 8:04am on September 16, 2009, Petra-Alexandra Buhl said…
Hello Barbara, it was very nice to have you in the Online Cafè, thanks for your thoughts! Greets from Petra
At 2:16pm on August 28, 2009, Joe Donofrio said…
Thanks for thinking of me.

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