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World Cafe Questions

see also Strategic Questions

from a note from Nancy Margulies

QUESTIONS are a central part of Cafe conversations. Any one of the following list might launch a lengthy process of discovery. The following are the questions that we discovered during Juanita Brown and David Isaac's recent Homestead Cafe:

Who called you to this Cafe? What role did this person play in your

What most attracted you to the idea of participating in this Cafe?

What natural process might emerge, if we let it happen?

If there is a deeper reason for us to be here, what is it?

Can we bring our full essence to this discussion?

What stands in the way of each of us being fully present in this gathering?

What social patterns are common to your culture? Does "Cafe" have meaning?
What other terms work to convey a place where intimate informal conversations
might take place? Around the kitchen table? at the "tavern" or "pub" ?

How do cultural differences impact the way in which bring ourselves fully
to the Cafe?

What are our individual rhythms and ways of learning and knowing?

At what level do we want the conversations to begin?

What is possible here? Can we "listen to the source" and bring in something
greater than ourselves?

Is there an individual, a collective and an over-arching "source?
If so, would it be helpful to tap into individual sources or collective
ones, rather than the ultimate source?

What draws us together?

How much does the first person who speaks set the tone for the ensuing

What is the impact of "initiating conditions" on the Cafe?

Can we by-pass some of the trust issues that normally keep us from opening
up and move more quickly to deep conversations?

If so, what processes might best enable us to do that?

How can Cafe learning contribute to a collective intelligence?

How can we balance the need for design with the desire for emergence?
Where is the "both/and" of these two?

How can we offer hope?

What is the role of storytelling in our Cafe experiences?

What are the most simple, elegant designs that might bring us together?

In what ways are we already connected?

Where is the "magic" in our self organizing, in our collective
"remembering" in our sense of "coming home"?

How can we develop a CULTURE OF COMPASSION?

Our institutions are lagging behind -- what might move them to a shift of

Perhaps we are already moving to a collective consciousness -- if so, how
can we make it more visible?

How can I remain open to grace?

What role does collective grief -- a shedding of tears of joy as well as
sorrow, play in our coming together?

Can we step into the unknown?

What images, symbols, key phrases (such as "I have a dream") might cause a

To what degree might it be possible for me to see the world through your

When in life have you waited until it was too late to have an important
conversation? What is keeping us from the necessary conversations?

How well do I know myself?

What am I hiding?

Is there a way we can decide to FEEL first and only then speak? What might

Do I give myself permission to be fully myself? If so, when does that

What is the relationship between self-knowledge and the ability to
participate in these conversations?

Could I ever take a group to a place that I have not already visited?

To what degree am I being what others expect?

Does our "expertise" distract us from exploring the essence?

Collectively, what are we letting go of?

How comfortable are we with not knowing?

How can the "quality that has no name" be sourced into hope?

Can time and healing flow through us?

How can we share what we are developing through a new model that is not
bound to traditional conventions of rights, authorship and ownership?

How do we carry this "spirit" back to the world?

How can we stay connected?

Are we already connected in ways we have failed to notice?

What is the new collective story that we could live into?

How can we enable/encourage others to move to more fluid relationships?

What is the role of healing in our gatherings? How can we become a healing

Some questions that have occurred to me lately are:

Can we heal the past through our present actions?

Why are so few people willing to look at larger issues such as the potential
for conscious co-creation of our evolution, the need to rethink most of our
major institutions, the danger to human life on earth?

What would engage more people in working toward change?

If the Universe is trying to create something THROUGH us, what is it
up to?

How could this work be more fun?

If I hold clues and intuitive knowing in my body -- can I learn to read the
signs and tap into a different way of knowing?

How might we develop a new language -- made of symbols and signals that
would enable us another form of communication?


9-11 questions

Y2K questions