It’s Time to Talk 2017: The World Cafe, Part 1

ywca-itt-world-cafe-1This year at It’s Time to Talk, we wanted to move from creating safe space and awareness to action. We decided to use a process called The World Cafe. Using seven design principles and a simple method, the World Cafe is a powerful social technology for engaging people in conversations that matter, offering an effective antidote to the fast-paced fragmentation and lack of connection in today’s world. Based on the understanding that conversation is the core process that drives personal, business, and organizational life, the World Cafe is more than a method, a process, or technique — it’s a way of thinking and being together sourced in a philosophy of conversational leadership.ywca-itt-circle-convos-1

For more information on this model visit:

The Process:

  • Welcome and Introduction: The facilitator begins with a warm welcome and an introduction to the World Cafe process.
  • Small Group Conversations: The process begins with the first of three twenty-minute rounds of conversation for the small groups. At the end of the twenty minutes, each member of the group moves to a different new table. A table host remains at the table for the next round, and welcomes the next group and briefly fills them in on what happened in the previous round.
  • Questions: Each round is prefaced with a question specially crafted for the specific context and desired purpose of the World Cafe.
    • Question 1: What needs with regard to race are not being met in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.
    • Question 2: What are the barriers to these needs being met?
    • Question 3: What are some concrete solutions that address these needs while acknowledging the barriers?
  • Share Results: After the small groups (and/or in between rounds, as needed), individuals are invited to share insights or other results from their conversations with the rest of the large group.
  • A PDF of the raw data of what we learned and collected can be found here

In the next few weeks, we will be taking a deeper dive into this material and providing a report and some resources to help you get involved in the work of eliminating racism.

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