In the Spanish meeting we used several techniques to involve everyone on an equal basis in the process. One of the powerful tools to promote collective creativity is the world café.
We used the World Café to work in small groups on the brainstorming and planning of the products we intend to make during the project and for several discussions on content (‘healthy soil’, ‘healthy food’ and ‘the future of food in Asturias’).
What is the World Café
The World Café is a powerful social tool for engaging people in conversations. It offers an effective antidote to the fast-paced fragmentation and lack of connection in today’s world. Because every participant is equally invited to participate, it works as a vehicle for social innovation and positive change.Link: http://www.theworldcafe.com
How does the World Café work?
The World Café can be done with 12 or 1.200 participants. In the room are several tables – like in a café – with on the table a white tablecloth (sheet of paper) and several pens. During several rounds, the guests sit together at the tables and work together on a specific topic or question. Every table has one host, selected from the group of participants. This host stays at the same table during the rounds. The other participants change tables after every round.
The participants share their thoughts on the tablecloth. After several rounds, a mindmap forms, that will become the basis of future steps after the meeting.
At the next rounds, ideas, questions and themes between the tables can be linked and connected. Cross-pollination with insights of prior conversations takes place.
A World Café always starts with an inspiring story of a moderater and ends with presenting and discussing together what has been written.
Because of the informal atmosphere, the creativity, openess and participation of people can be much larger than in formal settings and meetings.
World Café 1: Brainstorm on the products (8 posters, 8 video’s and 1 PDF-book)
Although still work in progress, we came up with some criteria, topics and ideas. Just some impression:
Posters: adresssing subcultures – healthy planet, soil, food and people – community gardens – cycle of food – land use – size: big or pocket size
Video’s: short and sweet – subcultures again – from land to kitchen to plate – short interviews
PDF-book: different dimensions of food – food calender – recipies with stories – transitional food – best practices – beauty – hands/heart/head – poems – recipes
World café 2: ‘Healty Food’, ‘Healthy Soil’ and ‘the Future of Food in Asturias’
We put up three tables to discuss three different topics:
1.- what is the future of food in Asturias?
2.- what is needed to create healthy soils for food production?
3.- How do we grow healthy food?
The presentation was inspiring and partly hilarious..
Impression of some outcomes:
The Future of food in Asturias? Most people live in cities – create community supported agriculture (CSA’s) – localize production&consumption – small scale traditional selfsufficient lifestyle is partly still alive – learn from them..
How to create healthy soils? Soil is an invisible ecosystem – mycelium is web/communication system of the soil – observation is essential – alive – need for soil politics – every soil is different – absence of synthetic chemicals..
What is needed to grow healthy food? Healthy soil – humus – help of animals – political interest – high energetic quality of earth and plants..