World Café

The World Café format lends itself to compact debate on a specified topic in medium to large groups, which may be heterogeneous. The participants discuss the issues in small groups around small tables, as they would in a café setting. Each round of discussions is devoted to a specified question, the participants writing down their views and suggestions on paper tablecloths. After 20-30 minutes the participants change tables and discuss a new question in a different small group. Typical questions for a three-round discussion might be: Where do we stand on this issue? Where do we want to be? What can we do to help us get there? The participants draw inspiration from one another's contributions. Finally, the results of the individual discussions are summarised in a plenary session, allowing a large number of people to bring in their views and ideas without having to speak in front of a large audience. PlanSinn uses this method in a number of different settings, including e.g. youth participation projects, neighbourhood development projects, in science communication and at specialised conferences and symposia.