A brief introduction to the Knowledge Cafe
You will find more information about Knowledge Cafes on other areas of this site. But here is a brief resume.
A Knowledge Cafe typically lasts between one and three hours depending on its format. They can be run for as few as 15 people or as many as 100, possibly more.
Although a basic Cafe can be run in as little as 1 hour, I also run them with a longer than normal introductory talk on the chosen theme and give a fuller description of the Cafe; its philosophy and its benefits. These sessions typically last for 2 - 3 hours.
A Knowledge Cafe is designed to engage people with a subject or theme. I start with a short talk on a theme for maybe as little as ten minutes (though it could be a longer 30-45 minutes talk) and then pose a single open ended question for the participants. They then break into groups to discuss the theme and the question and then reconvene as a large group to finish off with a large group discussion. The Cafe is not about debate or making decisions but about gaining a better understanding of a topic or issue.
Gurteen Community Cafes
I run Gurteen Knowledge Cafes publically for members of my community regularly in London and other cities around the world but I also run them in-house for organizations and at conferences for event organizers.
Organizational Knowledge Cafes
I run private Knowledge Cafes in-house for organizations. This is often as part of an internal conference or workshop - typically where the organization involved is looking to encourage dialogue between cross-functional groups and are working to encourage people to start to think more about collaborating and sharing their knowledge.
I have, for example, run in-house Knowledge Cafes for the British National Health Service, British Telecom, The British Council, National Audit Office (UK), the British Dental Association and Kennedy Van der Laan (a Dutch law firm).
Conference Knowledge Cafes
I run Conference Cafes at public and private conferences for event organizers. These Cafes are normally designed around a relevant theme to the conference.
Knowledge Cafe Workshops
I run Knowledge Cafe Workshops both publically and privately where I teach people how to design and run their own Knowledge Cafes.
Video: Knowledge Cafe at KMAP 2006
Gurteen Knowledge Cafe at KMAP 2006 in Hong Kong, December 2006, facilitated by David Gurteen and Raksha Sukhia. Courtesy of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University Knowledge Management Research Centre.
Video: Knowledge Cafe at KM Egypt 2010
This video was taken at KM Egypt in September 2010 where I was invited to run a Knowledge Cafe.
It is probably one of the best videos that not only describes my Knowledge Cafes but where you also get to see it in action and hear some of the insights from the people taking part.
Note: the room and the tables are not the ideal setting for a Knowledge Cafe nor is the reporting back process but often the Cafe needs to be adapted to fit the room and the number of participants.
I am an avid networker. I naturally love to help people to 'make their knowledge productive'. If you think I could help, I am more then happy to take the occasional phone call or e-mail or meet for lunch though clearly I charge for more substantial consulting, coaching or other support.
If you would like to talk or learn more about any of my services then please contact me.