Friday, June 1, 2007

World Cafe questions

Questions for all seasons

Here are generative questions that we and other colleagues have found usefull to stimulate new knowledge and creative thinking in a wide variety of situations around the World. Look at these questions to jump-start your own creative thinking about the most appropriate ones for your specific situation.

Questions for focusing collective attention:
What question, if answered, could make the greatest difference to the future of the
situation we're exploring here?
What's important to you about this situation and why do you care?
What draws you / us to this inquiry?
What's our intention here? What's the deeper purpose - the "big why" - that is worthy of our best effort?
What opportunities can we see in this situation?
What do we know so far / still need to learn about this situation?
What are the dilemmas / opportunities in this situation?
What assumptions do we need to test or challenge in thinking about this situation?
What would someone who had a very different set of beliefs than we do say about this situation?

Questions for connecting ideas and finding deeper insight:
What's taking shape here? What are we hearing underneath the variety of opinions being expressed? What is in the center of our listening?
What's emerging that is new for you? What connections are you making?
What have you heard that had real meaning for you? What surprised you? What puzzled or challenged you? What question would you like to ask now?
What is missing from the picture so far? What are we not seeing? Where do we need more clarity?
What has been your major learning or insight so far?
What's the next level of thinking we need to address?
If there was one thing that hasn't yet been said but is needed in order to reach a deeper level of understanding / clarity, what would that be?

Questions that create forward movement:
What would it take to create change on this issue?
What could happen that would enable you / us to feel fully engaged and energized in this situation?
What's possible here and who cares about it?
What needs our immediate attention going forward?
If our success was completely guaranteed, what bold steps might we choose?
How can we support each other in taking the next steps? What unique contribution can we each make?
What challenges might corne our way and how might we meet them?
What conversation if begun today, could ripple out in a way that created new possibilities for the future of [ our situation. . . ]?
What seed might we plant together today that could make the most difference to the future of [ our situation. . . ]?

Juanita Brown, David Isaacs, World Cafe Community
Pg 173
ISBN: 9781576752586

1 comment:

Abbas Husain said...

Thank you...this was most helpful for the WC I am planning on hosting next week! Abbas Husain Karachi Pakistan