The hosts play an essential role during a World Cafe

A host at a World Cafe is the process manager at each table who facilitates the conversation. At the same time he/she is also one of the participants in the conversation. He/she encourages participants to write down or draw their thoughts and ideas on the  tablecloth, summarizes between the rounds and monitors the process.

The hosts of a World Cafe have the ability to listen, to ask open questions and to support the “good conversation”. As supervisors, they are also involved in the topics of the session. In advance of the World Cafe, and based on their communication skills, hosts are appointed by the organization.

All hosts receive a digital briefing in advance; on the day of the World Cafe, the hosts are informed about their role and receive various tips for ensuring a meaningful dialogue. The host also receives a template that he/she can use to summarize what is written on the tablecloths after the session. Upon request we can organize a separate master class for the hosts.

GETTING STARTED AS A HOST

As host you welcome all the participants at the beginning of each round and help start up the conversation. In the second and third round you summarize the insights the participants have come up with. The insights/ideas can also be read on the tablecloths. At each round the new participants elaborate on the ideas already noted expanding the mindmaps on the tablecloths. There are three different tables, each with their own theme, all themes based on the main theme. A routing for the participants is made beforehand, which is noted on each respective badge and according to which each participant gets to work on all three themes. As host you are assigned to one of the tables, in other words, to one of the themes.

6 TIPS FOR HOSTING A WORLD CAFE

  • Invite participants to actively participate in the conversation

  • Ask open questions

  • Encourage participants to write on the tablecloths

  • Let every idea be welcome

  • Keep on asking to get to the point

  • And have a lot of fun together!

FEEDBACK WORLD CAFE

It is of the utmost importance to provide the participants with the feedback based on the output on the tablecloths. We strongly advise to provide this feedback both in text as well as photos. This can be done digitally, but very often a personalized magazine is made, such as the picture on the right, which each participant receives after the session.
The day after the World Café the hosts fill in a short questionnaire provided by us. In this way we can map and analyze the conversations and bring out an advice on whether a next step is desirable. If necessary we then prepare a proposal for a follow-up session or for a longer follow-up process.

Novella Media BV
Kleterstraat 20
3862 CA Nijkerk
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 85 87 70 170
Email: info@theworldcafe.nl

Jaap Voerman
Tel: +31 6  533 326 51
Email: jaap.voerman@novella.nl

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World Café concept: www.theworldcafe.com

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