World Café

The World Café is a method to discuss a topic in alternating groups and thus come to new insights. In the analogue format, participants rotate around tables at set times; in the digital format, this can be simulated by "topic rooms" each equipped with a DINA project pad to record the discussion allowing the new group to reflect on what was previously discussed.

Room setup and group size

A "topic room" is created for each topic/aspect to be discussed (group room function) and named accordingly. In order to ensure that an equal number of participants ends up in the topic rooms, the maximum number of participants in the rooms should be limited - if a group is full, the person has to look for a new topic room. If a person sometimes stays in the same topic room, he or she will still talk to new group members there!
Currently, BigBlueButton does not allow a technical limit on the number of participants in group rooms (if self-selection of rooms is allowed). You would therefore have to announce this in your moderation.


First, consider which topics or aspects of a topic are to be discussed in order to determine what will be discussed in the respective topic rooms. You can install a moderator in each topic room, although an unmoderated discussion can also be exciting. In each topic room, the discussion should be documented on a DINA project pad - it is always best to find someone to take the minutes beforehand.
The links to the results documentation - either a longer DINA project pad or a separate one for each aspect of the topic - should be sent electronically in advance so that everyone has the link available.
If the discussion is unmoderated, a person should be appointed at the beginning, in addition to a minute taker, to keep track of time, otherwise this is the moderator's task.
Each topic room should be given at least 15 minutes of discussion time, 20 minutes if the schedule allows for it. If each participant is to take part in each topic room, four topic rooms need to be created - in that case the format will last 60-80 minutes. Before the participants go into the topic rooms, they can be introduced briefly so that everyone is aware of which topics/aspects are up for discussion. In order to move the discussion forward - especially if it is to be unmoderated - you can think of a few guiding questions for each topic/aspect beforehand and write them on the prepared pad. The format begins with all participants moving from the main room to a topic room, discussing there, then being brought back to the main room and then moving back to a new topic room. At the end, a moderator can look at the documented results and draw a conclusion and/or write down next steps.