Design your Erasmus+ World Cafe

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World Café is an Erasmus+ initiative that helps you to promote your Erasmus+ project and gain more traction surrounding it. Part of successful promotion is identifying your target group. Now everyone promotes their project differently so it’s important to understand that promoting your Erasmus+ project (and its outcomes) will not be conducted in exactly the same way to colleagues at similar institutions to decision makers, the media and project beneficiaries. However, the method of promotion and dissemination should be adapted depending on your selected target group.

The World Café

The World Café is a method for creating a collaborative learning conversation around questions that matter to you and your students. World Café is a great way of sharing knowledge, generating ideas and constructing dialogue with both large and small groups (either students or adults).

World Café Events

World Café events tend to have at least twelve participants, but theoretically, there’s no upper limit. Groups of about four to six participants sit around tables, together with a "table host" and discuss questions that have been agreed upon at the beginning of the event or defined by the organisers in advance. Each table has a different set of questions belonging to a comprehensive theme. After approximately 20 minutes, participants move to the next table where another topic (which ideally is built upon the previous one) is discussed. Discussion results are directly noted down on a makeshift paper table-cloth or a flip-chart situated close by. The "table host" welcomes new participants and informs them about the results of the previous discussion. Finally, the results of all groups are reflected in a common plenum session.

World Café Design Principles

The following seven World Café design principles are an integrated set of ideas and practices that form the basis of the pattern embodied in the World Café process:

  1. Setting the Context

Pay attention to the reason you’re bringing people together and what you want to achieve. Knowing the purpose and parameters of your meeting helps you to consider and choose the most important elements to achieve your goals.

  1. Create a Hospitable Space

Café hosts around the world emphasise the power and importance of creating a hospitable space—one that feels safe and inviting. When people feel comfortable enough to be themselves, they enable their best creative thinking, speaking and listening skills.

  1. Explore Questions that Matter

Knowledge emerges in response to compelling questions! Find questions that are relevant to real-life concerns of the group.

  1. Encourage Everyone’s Contribution

As leaders, we are increasingly aware of the importance of participation, but most people don’t want to merely participate, they want to actively contribute to making a difference.

  1. Connect Diverse Perspectives

The opportunity to move between tables, meet new people, actively contribute your thinking and link the essence of your discoveries to ever-widening circles of thought is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the World Café.

  1. Listen for Patterns and Insights

Listening is a gift we can all give to each other. The quality of our listening is perhaps the most important factor determining the success of a World Café event.

  1. Share Collective Discoveries

The last phase of the World Café (often called the “harvest”) involves creating a pattern of wholeness visible to everyone in a large group conversation. Invite a few minutes of silent reflection on the patterns, themes and deeper questions experienced in the small group conversations and then share these with the larger group.

Hopefully the above has helped you to design your own World Café event. If you need further help with your event, or want to learn more, then don’t hesitate to get in touch here.