A world café is a method of conducting a meeting in a very informal, relaxed format. Participants are invited to a café style setting (either an actual café or a room set up to resemble one). More relaxed and open conversations are able to take place in these types of settings. Sometimes participants are invited to draw their thoughts and conversations on the paper tablecloths to capture the free flow of ideas.
Meeting members move from table to table to discuss the issue in hand, whilst the host of each table remains behind. Conversations are cross-fertilised by this method and at the end the main ideas are summarised to all and follow up possibilities are discussed.
This follows on from the our research on how technologies disrupt the way we work and what we can do about it.
For more information please see People and Participation or The World Cafe.
(Sketch of an example of a "world cafe" from World Cafe) Can coffee and notes on paper tablecloths liven up meetings?