Conversation Encounter



Knowledge Cafe

The idea of "conversation encounters" were inspired by Theodore Zeldin's Conversation Dinners. I first ran one as a form of Knowledge Cafe in London in November 2005. It was a huge success. People loved it! See: Intimate Conversation.

The basic idea is that people are split into pairs and given a "conversation menu" from which they can choose their conversations. The menu could have a knowledge management theme or it could be a generic menu that asked a set of personal questions designed to help people to get to know each other or the questions could have some other purpose.

Conversation Encounters can take the form of
  • meetings
  • walks
  • or meals.
In a "conversation meeting", people hold their one-to-one talks with each other at a secluded table; in a "conversation meal" - at a table for two over lunch or dinner and a "conversation walk" while going for a walk in a park or by a river or wherever.

An example Conversation Menu of ten questions
  1. What are your earliest memories of your childhood?
  2. What brings you greatest happiness when you think back on your life so far?
  3. What would you like to be engraved on your tombstone?
  4. If you could teach your children one thing – what would it be?
  5. What do you think of Theodore Zeldin’s proposition that the greatest change since the agricultural revolution is that for the first time “men and women are talking with each other as equals”?
  6. What motivates you to get up in the morning?
  7. If you could do what ever you wanted – what would that be?
  8. Describe your perfect partner?
  9. Who would you lie for and whom wouldn’t you lie for?
  10. In what way do you plan to leave the world a better place when you die?

Video: Wikis in Plain English

A short explanation of wikis and how they can be used to coordinate a group.

Media Information: Image

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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