By
The Butter Team

World Café Workshop Template

Foster inclusive and open conversations in a relaxed, informal, and creative atmosphere.

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What is World Café?

The World Café method is an easy way to foster conversation in large groups by splitting participants into smaller groups rounds.

To start, you set an overall discussion topic or problem you want to solve. Then, you’ll formulate 3-5 subtopics or questions for participants to discuss in breakout room. Each topic/question is assigned to one room.

When running the World Café, groups switch from topic-to-topic, spending 10-20 minutes on each topic. Participants capture thoughts on either a Miro board, MURAL, or Google Docs, which stick with the room.

As groups rotate through each topic, they build on each other’s thoughts.

You can either assign a host or facilitator to each room, or you can ask participants to pass on this role as the rounds progress.

After groups have gone through all topics, you come back to the main room to share your findings.

Objectives of a World Café workshop

World Café allows you to:

  • Get authentic dialogues started
  • Explore complex topics
  • Encourage social learning
  • Host a fun community event

When should you run a World Café workshop?

World Café is useful:

  • For breaking complex topics into simpler subtopics
  • To gather collective intelligence or generate new ideas as a group
  • To create social bonds

How to use this template

Here are the time blocks included in this agenda template:

1. Welcome and check-in 🙌

Time: 10 minutes

Tools: Music Playlist, Flashcard Deck, Breakout Groups

First 3 minutes: Start by welcoming the participants with music, and have the Flashcard open.

2 minutes: Introduce yourself and the purpose of the session.

5 minutes: Invite participants to introduce themselves and share "What's your intention for today's session" in groups of three.

2. What's a World Café?

Time: 10 minutes

Tools: PDF Presentation

Introduce the World Café process, setting the context, sharing guidelines, and putting participants at ease. See the World Café website for further background and participant guidelines. Also, make sure to explain what they can expect from the breakout rooms.

You'll need to decide if you'd like the groups to pick a "Table host" before they move to the next room/ questions, OR if they all move and you don't assign table hosts.

Invite participants to ask questions before moving on.

Here’s an example of a simple Miro board you can create for your session.

3. Conversation Rounds 💬

Time: 15 minutes

Tools: Breakouts, Miro Board

Every ten minutes, participants will switch rooms and chat about a different aspect of the topic. After ten minutes, you will get a message broadcasted into your breakout. That's your cue to move to the next room and the next conversation topic.

Take 5 minutes to explain what happens next:

  • The breakout rooms will open for 30 minutes. Every 10 minutes, the groups will move "location"—Room 1 moves to Room 2, Room 2 moves to Room 3, Room 3 moves to Room 1. They will see the time they have in each round on the agenda, and you will also broadcast time-keeping messages to the breakouts.
  • In the breakouts, they will find a whiteboard with three areas and three questions. Room 1 will start with question 1. Room 2 with question 2, and Room 3 with question 3.
  • For each question and each round, they have a space and sticky notes where they can capture their insights. They will need to capture notes, doodles, or any other way to visually represent the conversation.
  • As they move rooms, they will also move to the next question and note-capturing area. They will build on the previous group's ideas.
  • Before the last round ends, each group needs to pick one person to share back.

4. Second Round 2️⃣

Time: 10 minutes

Tools: Miro Board

Ask participants to switch rooms.

5. Third Round 3️⃣

Time: 10 minutes

Tools: Miro Board

Participants switch rooms again and pick a person to share their main insights back with the group.

6. Share-back 🧠

Time: 15 minutes

Tools: Miro Board

Welcome everyone back, then open up the whiteboard the groups have been working on. Each group will have 5 minutes to share back their main ideas. This is where the documentation will play an important role.

7. One idea 👋

Time: 5 minutes

Tools: Poll (open-ended)

To wrap up the workshop, run an open-ended, anonymous poll that asks, “What’s one idea you heard in today’s session that you’d like to apply or experiment with next?” After answering, participants can vote on their favorite responses.

About the creator

Anamaria Dorgo is the Head of Community at Butter. Her mission is to create a space where facilitators, workshoppers, trainers, design thinkers, and innovation and strategy consultants can team up, share best practices, tackle challenges collectively, and accelerate their careers together with like-minded people. 🙌

Duration

60-120 mins

Categories

Community
Skill Building
Team Building
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