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World Cafe (Introduction)

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Pipi Tinlegs: Hi! Welcome to the World Cafe! I'm Pipi Tinlegs, Community Tech Steward for the World Café, and as Widget said, I'll be leading you through the World Cafe process this evening.

Pipi Tinlegs: The World Cafe is a method for holding conversations in a way that draws out the collective intelligence in a group.

Pipi Tinlegs: The format has been used effectively with very large numbers, in a wide range of contexts.


Pipi Tinlegs: As a method, it's based on seven design principles.

Pipi Tinlegs: Today we'll be experimenting with a modified version of the World Cafe designed for tonight's conversation.

Pipi Tinlegs: But first, I want to just quickly go over a couple of the principles, and point to the conversational guidelines, or 'cafe etiquette'.

Pipi Tinlegs: The principles and guidelines are outlined on the World Cafe wiki page: http://tinyurl.com/ynms6b, so you can refer to them during your conversations, if you like.

Pipi Tinlegs: The World Cafe assumes that the knowledge and wisdom we need is already present and accessible to us on a collective level.

SingingHeart Amat: yes

Pipi Tinlegs: So before we start, I'd like to call attention to a couple of the design principles that help draw on the collective intelligence in the room ...

Pipi Tinlegs: Create Hospitable Space:

Pipi Tinlegs: That's part of what we're doing here with the flowers on the tables, etc., but there is also a psychic 'hospitable space', a sense of freedom and safety that we create together here by the quality of our listening to each other...

Pipi Tinlegs: Encourage Each Person's Contribution:

Pipi Tinlegs: Every person who is here today has something valuable to share, and you never know who that ground-breaking new idea is going to come from. Make sure that everyone at the table has the chance to speak.

Pipi Tinlegs: Cross-Pollinate and Connect Diverse Perspectives:

Pipi Tinlegs: There are a lot of smart people gathered here this evening, and smart people often like to debate.

Pipi Tinlegs: But this is a time to listen in order to understand and integrate diverse ideas & opinions, rather than look for loopholes or an opportunity to make your own argument...

Pipi Tinlegs: Try it - just for an experiment. :-) You won't lose your debating skills, I promise. :-)

Pipi Tinlegs: We'll be doing two 15 minute rounds of conversation in small groups (using the group IM function that your table host will set up) on the question "How can we use virtual reality to further progressive values in real life?".

Pipi Tinlegs: At the end of the first round, either Widget or I will let you know it's time to wrap up and move.

Pipi Tinlegs: At that point, everyone but the table host will get up and move to a new table with new people for a second round of conversation on the same question.

Pipi Tinlegs: Your table host will stay and set up the new group, sharing what happened in the first round.

Pipi Tinlegs: At the end of the second round, we'll 'harvest' the collective wisdom from the group.

Pipi Tinlegs: In a 'real world' World Cafe, we would all be doodling and drawing on the tablecloths in front of us, so I encourage you to do that at your desks if you'd like.

Pipi Tinlegs: Ok, so, let's start: "How can we use virtual reality to further progressive values in real life?"

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