Myths and artificial limitations imagined in the subject areas dialogue and deliberations:
When getting into the field of Dialogue I heard strange everybody knows "rules" or dogma. Rules like dialogues only take places between 2 people, rarely between 3 people but never more. Groups beyond the size of 5 (maximum 7) people break apart. No dialog can take place without direct personal (physical) contact of seeing and getting the person with all senses.
I agree this is typically the case - it is hard with larger groups and "distance" dialogue, like distance learning poseses new challenges. Making dialog in the wrong setting, difficult locations and settings, strange time regimes, and weired assumptions and expectations are also difficult to reach the goal "real attentive deep compassionate" dialogue. Specially the need for appropriate time, so you can pitch your issue, but also learn from other, give attention and interest and attention as a present and teaser to really go into a deep exchange.
There is agrowing wave of pitching like in poetry slams, monologues or call them presentations where you have your time-slot to present your thing. But unfortunately after the event there is little exchange, questioning, learning, and comming to action!
I feel the world cafe is a positive version where participants go into sharing exercises, but unfortunately like in Design Thinking, participants are brought into a too rapid exchange/ firework of words, which rarely get connected and the groups are small, so you need to repeat and repeat again and again again and too oftern there is too little time for harvesting. I discussed with David Isaacs, one of the founders of the WorldCafe, in Tällberg, Sweden in 2007 http://www.newciv.org/nl/newslog.php/_v396/__show_article/_a000396-000043.htm why not convene larger groups and give more time for fusion and co-creation and not do the rushed hamster-wheel of running from one group to the next like in the Kindergarten. To be clear, I like the WorldCafe, and if you see how it was developed in the living room with a token stik, you see the original idea. So why not play with "melting" talking sticks, in number enough to give time to breath and cocreate, empower and really have a free space for innovative learning collectively
Well I hope exercises to merge of methods for best adaption to the needs and expectations will continue. But in "original" typical World Cafe setting of having only 10 minutes or sometimes even less for a group there is not enough time for quality harvesting, the accumulation and engendering what we call co-creation. Some exercise have been tried with only 2 or 3 tokens but this means members speak there "thing" and engage with the others more than typical but still undersatisfying, leaving more to be achieved... Please check "TIME CREDITS IN MEETINGS" by Anthony Judge to check-out a little the history of time-management in meetings: http://www.laetusinpraesens.org/docs/time.php and my page with further links: http://open-forum.de/time-credits.html
I will set the stage here with a video we did under the headline and music story-line TALK: COMMUNICATION and later add below some material on distance conversations - also applying the Magic Roundtable method.
Entrepreneurship Summit 2010: Farah Lenser & Heiner Benking from entrepreneurship on Vimeo.
And see the report of a virtual MAGIC ROUND-TABLE exercise done at the Technical University with funding from the German DFG. See more about our virtual time-credit exercise/pilot further down on this page.
The broader context was presented at the GOVERNMENT 2.0 conference were the idea presenting the difference of doing roundtables, magic roundtable STAMMTISCHE in the format 2.0 nfor conventional but deep dialogic exchange and bringing this in the realm of distributed, virtual conferencing applications, called Stammtisch 3.0
Stammtisch 3.0 (Heiner Benking) » Government 2.0 Camp Dokumentation
Ideen, Innovation, Inspiration (I 3) = Stammtisch 2.0 Ein …
2. Stammtisch 2.0 und 3.0. Report zu den 3 Runden Rundgesprächen oder Sessions …Warum Stammtisch 2.0 und 3.0 ? Es geht hier um eine neue Qualität für ein …
Here a Screen-Shot with the conversation time-matrix:
check the video as mentioned already above.