Knowledge Café: Design checklist * Knowledge Cafés should be thoughtfully designed

There are a number of questions that should be considered when designing a Knowledge Café  before actually running it. Not all of them are applicable to every situation and they should be reflected on and refined iteratively, not in strict sequence. What is the purpose of the Café? The place to start is to clearly … Continue reading Knowledge Café: Design checklist * Knowledge Cafés should be thoughtfully designed

Knowledge Café: Purpose Every Knowledge Café should have a clear purpose

Each and every Knowledge Café should be designed for a specific purpose or intent. It’s not just about having learning conversations although this is one of the primary applications. You start with the business purpose and design a Café to fulfill that aim. A Cafe should have a well-defined purpose but no planned, desired or … Continue reading Knowledge Café: Purpose Every Knowledge Café should have a clear purpose

Knowledge Café: Roles There are a number of different Knowledge Café players

There are a number of different roles played by the participants in a Knowledge Café. Not all of these roles are always needed, and some roles can be played by the same person. Theses are the roles: Café Owner The Café Owner is the person who has an issue or a problem and requests or … Continue reading Knowledge Café: Roles There are a number of different Knowledge Café players

Knowledge Café: Naming You don't have to call it a Knowledge Café

I call my Café process the Gurteen Knowledge Café not so much to brand it but to distinguish it from similar processes like the world cafe and other uses of the term knowledge cafe that have very different meanings. All are different conversational methods. For example, some online forums are called knowledge cafes. The world … Continue reading Knowledge Café: Naming You don’t have to call it a Knowledge Café

Knowledge Café: The invitation People should not be coerced to participate in any way

One of the fundamental principles of the Knowledge Café is that no one is made to do anything that they do not want to do, and that includes being there! This principle is important as people need to feel comfortable if they are going to open up and engage in dialogue. Many Cafés are also … Continue reading Knowledge Café: The invitation People should not be coerced to participate in any way

Knowledge Café: Ideal number of participants The ideal number of participants is between 12 and 24

The standard Knowledge Café process is designed to cater for between 12 and 30 people.  For smaller or larger numbers it does not work so well for a number of reasons. For less than 12 people, certainly less than 9 there is not the diversity of thought and energy in the room for the Café … Continue reading Knowledge Café: Ideal number of participants The ideal number of participants is between 12 and 24

Knowledge Café: Triggering the conversation There are a number of ways in which you can trigger the conversation

You may trigger or provoke Knowledge Café conversations in one of a number of ways depending on the purpose of the Café. In general, the process takes two parts: setting the context posing a powerful question. Setting the context A speaker sets the context – maybe two or three speakers each presenting without PowerPoint slides for … Continue reading Knowledge Café: Triggering the conversation There are a number of ways in which you can trigger the conversation

Knowledge Café: Setting the context with video A short video makes a good way to set the context for a Café conversation

A powerful method to set the context for  Café conversations is to use video. This can be done in a variety of ways. The topic/context can be set by showing a short video rather than having a speaker. The host or a speaker can also add some context of their own. Either the host or a speaker … Continue reading Knowledge Café: Setting the context with video A short video makes a good way to set the context for a Café conversation

Knowledge Café: Small group design The ideal small group size is three or four

Over the years, in running my Knowledge Cafés, I have discovered through trial and error and observation that the ideal size of a group for interactive conversation is three or four people. Depending on the number of individuals taking part in a Café and the availability of suitable sized tables it is not always possible … Continue reading Knowledge Café: Small group design The ideal small group size is three or four

Knowledge Café: Large group design The Knowledge Café works best for between twelve to twenty-four people

The Knowledge Café works best for between twelve to twenty-four people though I have run Cafés for as few six people and as many as 80. For my regular public London Knowledge Cafés, I often get 50 to 60 people along. World Cafés are also often held for several hundred people. There are a number of … Continue reading Knowledge Café: Large group design The Knowledge Café works best for between twelve to twenty-four people

Knowledge Café: Required resources You do not need a lot of resources to run a Café

You do not need much in the way of resources to run a Knowledge Café. a venue where people can be comfortable and relaxed, with tables and chairs to seat 4 or 5 people per table, preferably with refreshments a group of people – 16 to 32 people works best a facilitator to introduce and … Continue reading Knowledge Café: Required resources You do not need a lot of resources to run a Café

Knowledge Café: Capturing outcomes Café outcomes are typically what people take away in their heads

The Dilemma The Knowledge Café is fundamentally about conversation, and its value lies in the quality of the conversations that take place. The real outcomes are what people take away in their heads. Capturing stuff is often essential, however, but it clashes with one of the fundamental Café principles that anything that gets in the way of … Continue reading Knowledge Café: Capturing outcomes Café outcomes are typically what people take away in their heads

Knowledge Café: Graphic recording Real-time capture of the Café conversations in pictures, words, and color

Graphic recording is the real-time capture of a conversation by a graphic recorder who listens to a conversation and illustrates what they hear using pictures, words, and color. Graphic recording happens real time so you can see conversations as they evolve, and it lives on as a memorable artifact and valuable summary of an event, … Continue reading Knowledge Café: Graphic recording Real-time capture of the Café conversations in pictures, words, and color

Knowledge Café: Multiple languages Cafe's can be run in multiple languages

Photos from a Café where the participants spoke three languages: English, French, and Russian. Each table was marked with its language. When you changed tables, you made sure you sat at a table that spoke your language. You can see in the background three translation booths that allowed people to understand each other in the … Continue reading Knowledge Café: Multiple languages Cafe’s can be run in multiple languages