piles of coloured coffee cups

About the Knowledge Café

A knowledge café connects people that may not usually meet to have an open, creative conversation on a topic of mutual interest. It fuels insights and new thinking.

“If only we knew what we know”
David Gurteen

CNC Coventry wants us all to share what we know about working on causes not consequences and cook up something new.

Anyone who wants to host a Knowledge Cafe just needs to find a space and time to do it. We can promote it for you through this site, our ebulletin, facebook or twitter.

On the day welcome people and make sure they can buy or help themselves to a drink.

  • Set an open ended question on a defined topic.
  • Start with a round of introductions then outline the subject or theme of the cafe and pose a single open-ended question.
  • Invite people to discuss the question in small groups (of up to four or five people) for 20-45 minutes. Usually no attempt is made to capture the conversation as doing so tends to destroy the conversation. The value of the Cafe is in the conversation itself and the learning that each individual takes away.
  • After discussion in small groups, exchange ideas as a whole group for 20-45 minutes. Anyone can contribute to this, so avoid appointing spokespeople from the smaller groups. It could be helpful to draw out what people have found out that they know themselves, and what others know.
  • Thank everyone for their contributions.

That’s it. Nothing to write up, simply trust that people will do great things with the knowledge they have shared.

More information is in this great guide from CoLab Dudley CoLab Knowledge Cafe handout.