This page to contain the ingredients of a well hosted Pro Action Café.
What you bring to it besides this, is your capacity as a host and to hold the space for an evening.
Basic checklist for a Pro Action Cafe
- set the date
- choose a timeframe according to your city’s habits
- find your special place, according to the date and time
- create a web page for your café
- set a Doodle page for attendance
- design a poster (if the case)
- locate other off/online place you can promote your café (Xing, LinkedIn, Meetup, Facebook, etc.)
- set up a mailing list that you will grow with each cafe
About 10% of the invited people show up. From the Doodle list take the number minus 10%.
For a first time, rework the invitation, explain more the process.
- flipchart paper
- markers, thick or intermediate, so you can draw with them
- talking piece (to mark who’s speaking)
- decorations on the tables (candles, etc. for cosy atmosphere – but make sure they do not interfere with the drawing, keep in mind the ergonomic of the space)
- space for 40-50 people but not to look empty with 10
- it has to be flexible, so you can make a big circle with the chairs or have the tables arranged individually
- central location, well-known, easy to reach
- price around 100-150€ for the evening
- you can have a close space at a café with a lump sum for consummation
- or traiteur to deliver something, tapas style
- price of a dinner in your city – meaningful conversation comes extra
- half-price for the people without salaries
Brief description of the evening
- Arriving time with open reception, warm-up, getting to know the others informally.
- Give an introduction to the evening (i.e. participants have the opportunity to either ask a question and get help from others or to get their own question developed by helping others)
- Check-in is critical for the success of the evening - Have everyone sit in a big circle, then make sure that people 'land' (enjoy the quietness with each other and think about what your own question would be) and connect with others and the space, people to consider in silence (1 minute) a decision for the evening – share your question and have others work on it or just move around and contribute to others' questions.
- After that quiet moment invite people to bring forward their question - with that they are buying/selecting the table (first come first served) - Number of tables needed for the evening - 1 table for every 4 participants (e.g. if 20 people participate - 5 tables are needed)
- After all tables have been chosen by someone sharing a question - invite all other participants to think about which table they want to go to first
3 rounds of the consulting process moving the problem:
No concrete timing given to participants for the individual rounds, but for the complete Pro Action Café (sense the noise level in the room to understand when one round is over - if the noise level goes up after a more quiet time a round might be over; rounds end naturally by people either speaking more noisily or getting off tables taking a break). The overall timing per round might be slightly different for all tables, the overall group timing (between rounds) is managed through breaks.
Participants are invited to join another table for the 2nd round, hosts remain at their table to host the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
1. Help people to shift their question - What is the quest behind the question? (the first version of the question that someone asks might not be the final question), every participant to challenge the table host of what is the deeper meaning or of what the more extract/general question is (e.g. what does the question mean to the host)
2. Explore what is missing - What is missing? A discovery question once the quest has been redefined, what makes the picture more complete. E.g what is a question not asked yet, what are perspectives or options not considered yet? The host first briefs the new participants joining the table briefly (focus on essence not to take up too much time).
Allow for another break (maybe shorter depending on overall timing), hosts to remain at tables to think through what they've learned so far. When new travellers come back to the 3rd round after the break, the host can summarize what was learned in previous rounds and add in own planned actions (share what was learned in the action mode).
3. Consolidate your learnings into action - What did I learn? What next steps will I take?
Think about actions (Pro *Action* Café, from questions to actions)
Outcome of this round is that the host, but also the participants take an action away from that round for themselves.
Feedback in big circle. At least the host of each table share what happened at their table and what they take away from it. If time allows, anyone can share their Café experience.
Another drink, sharing. End of the café.
How to become a host >