World Café: collaborative ideation with several subgroups


World café

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When you want to involve a large number of people in a brainstorming session, and avoid being overwhelmed and getting duplicates, you need to form subgroups. With the World Café creativity workshop the various groups sit around tables to discuss a given topic and share their ideas as a team. Then, they take it in turns to expand on the different topics. It’s dynamic, multifaceted and inspiring!

Mobilize collective intelligence in business to generate ideas using World Café

The brainstorming method used through the World Café is ideal for ideation sessions in large groups, to generate as many ideas as possible without getting any duplicates. With this workshop, you can have a group discussion as if you were in a café, sitting around a real table, or a virtual one if you’re working remotely. Then, the groups change tables to think about another topic based on the material generated by their predecessors.

With Board’s features such as Live and Column View, the entire team can quickly see the best ideas emerge from the hundreds generated. With the World Café creativity workshop, an effective large-scale brainstorming session is now possible!

In only a few minutes, all the ideas are centralized in a single place, and with no duplicates!

Why use the World Café method?

A key feature of the World Café is creating a friendly environment. This brainstorming method recreates the energy and atmosphere of a relaxed but in-depth discussion, like when you’re putting the world to rights over coffee with your friends! What's more, having to switch tables after a certain time increases both the physical and mental energy, which encourages new creative ideas to emerge.

This example of a design thinking workshop also shows how a simple brainstorming meeting on one or more topics benefits from being split into several sections and several groups. Participating in a discussion based on the thread of ideas already put forward by the previous group makes it easier to bounce off them, and avoids the inevitable duplicates when a group of dozens of participants is asked the same question. In this way, you get more different ideas.

Finally, this tool fosters collective intelligence as it enables your team to structure the outcomes of a large-scale brainstorming session. Which is exactly what Klaxoon’s whiteboard lets you do. You can conduct this creativity workshop in person, remotely or in a hybrid group with no problem, and visually organize all the ideas so that everything is clear and easily understood by everyone!

How to facilitate a World Café with Klaxoon

The facilitator starts by filling in the date and topic of the workshop and then adapts the number of tables to suit the size of the group. We recommend creating subgroups of no more than 5 to 10 people

Select one topic per table, and one person who will be the table facilitator for the duration of this World Café workshop. Feel free to give the same topic to several tables if there are lots of them, and then invite the participants.

Once connected, the participants split into balanced groups of 5 to 10, and send their photo to the dedicated areas. Remember to add the meeting room name or video link if applicable. The facilitator for each table sends their photo next to the topic to identify themselves, and stays in the same place for the whole session.

Now it's time for brainstorming! Set a timer for 10 minutes, during which members of each group are invited to discuss and agree on ideas to be posted at the center of the table. The facilitator is there to moderate the discussion if need be.

At the end of this time, all the participants except the facilitators switch tables by moving clockwise, and then you restart the timer for 8 minutes. Facilitators welcome the new members to their table by quickly presenting the topic and the ideas generated previously. Everyone has to like the ideas they think are the best, and then the group reopens the discussion to try to expand the table with new ideas (without repeating the previous ones!).

After this phase, everyone changes tables and off you go for a third identical round, but this time only 5 minutes long.

At the end of this one, repeat another round for only 4 minutes. When it comes to the Like phase, each table looks at the favorite ideas by switching to Column view and selecting Sort from "most liked to least liked". To see the ideas from only one table, select "Filter by category". Then, each table realizes a summary that will be reported by the facilitator.

Finally, the facilitators take turns presenting their summaries to the whole group. Use the Synchro Board tool so everyone can use screen sharing to follow the ideas presented at the same time. The entire workshop can be accessed on the whiteboard so that the whole team can come back to it whenever needed.

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