How to design powerful questions * Questions open the door to dialogue and discovery

To make better sense of the world and to innovate, we need to convene small groups of people to engage in creative conversations. Creative conversations are triggered by powerful questions. What are powerful questions? Powerful questions are provocative. They spark creative thinking. This leads to new ideas. And new ideas, in turn, lead to innovation. … Continue reading How to design powerful questions * Questions open the door to dialogue and discovery

Knowledge Café Naming

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 processes. For example, some online forums are called knowledge cafes. The world … Continue reading Knowledge Café Naming

The invitation

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 The invitation

Knowledge Café Debate * Debate sharpens up the important aspects of the issue under discussion

The debate part of a Café Debate is clearly about debate but like regular Knowledge Cafés the Café conversation is still about dialogue – not debate. The debate serves to sharpen up and focus on the important aspects of the issue under discussion. Unlike a traditional debate the outcome is not some sort of verdict … Continue reading Knowledge Café Debate * Debate sharpens up the important aspects of the issue under discussion

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