World Café at ISK

World Café at ISK
World Café at ISK
Greg James - Director of Teaching and Learning

The World Café is built on the assumption that people already have within them the wisdom and creativity to confront even the most difficult challenges

During the week of August 26, ISK hosted our first World Café conversations. During the four sessions, 176 faculty, staff, parents, and students were able to talk about their ISK experiences and aspirations. We look forward to using the World Café structure for future work, to help strengthen our community and school culture.

What is World Café: The World Café is built on the assumption that people already have within them the wisdom and creativity to confront even the most difficult challenges; that the answers we need are available to us; and that we are wiser together than we are alone.

World Café structure: There are six design principles that set the stage for rich conversation.

  1. Set the Context: Be clear on the purpose and parameters of the questions and eventual conversations.
  2. Create Hospitable Space: Creating a physical space that is comfortable and relaxing is of the utmost importance. This allows participants to stay focused on the purpose.
  3. Explore Questions that Matter: Creating a few focused and compelling questions allows knowledge to emerge through generative conversations.
  4. Encourage Everyone's Participation: Bringing all perspectives and backgrounds into the conversation leads to greater truth and powerful outcomes.
  5. Connect Diverse Perspectives: During the process, it is important to allow participants to move between tables, meet new people, and actively contribute their thinking.
  6. Listen Together for Patterns and Insights: Listening might be the most important aspect of an effective conversation. Through practicing shared listening and paying attention, participants are able to blend ideas for the greater good of the school community.

What were our compelling questions?: During our two hour World Café conversations, participants thought about and discussed these three compelling questions:

  1. What do you really value about our school that you would not want to see change in the future?
  2. What are the personal values and qualities our students will need to be successful in this rapidly changing world?
  3. If we could make a promise to every student, what would that promise be?

After eight hours of conversations and over 800 responses, I invite you to read through the details and themes that emerged. Please click here to view the World Café summary. I also want to extend a huge appreciation to all of the students, faculty, staff, and parents who participated in August.

Greg James

Director of Teaching and Learning