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The World Café: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter Paperback – April 10, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1576752586 ISBN-10: 1576752585 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1 edition (April 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576752585
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576752586
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


I urge line leaders to employ this simple, but powerful approach for thinking together which ultimately improves the bottom line. -- Roger Saillant, President and CEO, Plug Power, Inc.

The World Café serves as an inspiration to help make greater mutual understanding across social and cultural differences possible. -- Lic. Esteban Moctezuma Barragan, Mexico’s former Minister of Social Development

This book provides all of us the opportunity to embrace the future and let go of the past. -- Paul Borawski, Executive Director and Chief Strategic Officer, American Society for Quality

Understanding the processes that constitute the World Café’s conversation network is essential for understanding life and leadership in human organizations. -- Fritjof Capra, Author, The Tao of Physics; The Web of Life; and The Hidden Connections

…a simple, brilliant, beautiful process that enables people to build collective knowledge about the issues that are important to them. -- Sandy Heierbacher, Director, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD)

About the Author

Forum adviser Juanita Brown and David Isaacs, president of a communications strategy company, are the co-originators of the World Cafe.

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Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 41 customer reviews
This book and the process of the World Cafe is an easy to use process that almost anyone can learn.
Denise Cooper
The World Cafe shares the wisdom of a very effective large group process that facilitates the exchange of stories, experiences and ideas.
Terrence Gargiulo
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in shaping or creating something new in their world.
Bo Gyllenpalm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Gerry Stern on May 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book can help people break out of the linear, encapsulated world of every-day life, in which most are ensnared and help organizations and networks achieve collective intelligence and formulate future-focused plans.

The book provides a means for engaging with many others in exploring important issues at a variety of levels: group, corporate, community, national, or international. It presents the World Cafe Process (Cafe or WCP), which generally consist of three rounds of progressive conversation, each lasting about 20 or 30 minutes, followed by a dialog among the whole group.

This is the story of the discovery and evolution of the WCP, enabling people to foster constructive dialogue, access collective intelligence, and create innovate possibilities for action.

The process has seven core design principles: set the context; create hospitable space; explore questions that matter; encourage everyone's contribution; cross-pollinate and connect diverse perspectives; listen together for patterns, insights, and deeper questions; and harvest and share collective discoveries. Each chapter begins with a quotation, an illustration, and a question; these give you an overview of the book's themes.

Speaking as a consultant ( I believe that business leaders will find the Cafe a potentially powerful process to increase organizational effectiveness and achieve change. One president of a pharmaceutical company, Yvon Bastien, reports how he successfully used the process to develop the company's long-range business plan. But this story is only one a vast array of successful experiences reported by leaders in all types of organizations.
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63 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 25, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This remarkable book has a foreword from Margaret Wheatley, genius guru and author of Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World who inspired Robert Buckman's tremendous work on Building a Knowledge-Driven Organization and it has a review from Tom Atlee, author of The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All and founder of the Co-Intelligence Institute.

As I finished this book and dealt with my teen-ager who at 16 is quite certain that even the great schools of Fairfax County are largely boring and dysfunctional, still teaching by rote and testing memory rather than the ability to discover, it occurred to me that this book is in fact a handbook for both educating the world, and for reforming education. Instead of the current didactic form of instruction (one-way lectures) we should be teaching, at every level, interactive discovery. It's not what you can remember from the past, but what what you can discover in tandem with others, and apply constructively!
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Tom Atlee on July 12, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Juanita Brown's THE WORLD CAFE is a profoundly insightful and richly practical book, designed for evolutionary times. For me, it is already a classic.

One expects it to be a book about one conversational practice, the World Cafe, written by its co-founder. It is. And it isn't.

What it is -- most of all -- is an exploration of the power of CONVERSATIONS THAT MATTER -- ALL conversations that matter. It is also an exploration of the conditions under which QUESTIONS THAT MATTER can be deeply and productively explored.

The essence of true dialogue is the exploration of questions that are important to us, that shape how we think and what we do next. These questions are central; they are the channel through which our life-passion flows when we are evolving, deepening, and learning. When we do that together -- in rich conversation -- our passions can flow and evolve together, usually going deeper and wider than we tend to go alone.

In THE WORLD CAFÉ, this creative dance of conversations and questions is chronicled by more than 100 practitioners, each more articulate than the last, each leading us to another level of understanding about one more important dimension of the transformational magic of dialogue. Their voices are warm, engaged in the shared exploration, not lecturing.

Juanita includes all these folks quite intentionally and comfortably. She is being more than "author". She is being "host" -- as in a café conversation in her living room -- welcoming all voices, including her own, into a place of common learning and deepening.
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