Collaborative workshop: running a World Café online, just like in real life

Do you want to organise creative workshops within your company? Are your brainstorming sessions not effective enough? Give a World Café a try!

What is a World Café?

A World Café is an educational game based on collective intelligence. It aims to reproduce the atmosphere of a café, where discussions and debates emerge in small groups at different tables.
At a World Café, each table is allocated a question and led by a facilitator. Groups, ideally of four to five people, sit at different tables to talk about a question for 20 to 30 minutes. They record their ideas by writing or drawing on the materials provided (paper, board, tablecloth…). Each table’s ideas need to remain visible. At the end of each session, the groups change table and the facilitator briefs the next team, presenting the question and the main ideas to make connections easier and restart the thinking process. Following the last period, all the participants come together for a debriefing, like in a community meeting.

Why create a World Café online?

A World Café offers real advantages: 

  • everyone has the chance to express themselves – communication is often easier in a small group, with a greater feeling of belonging and more time for talking.
  • more, and more diverse, ideas are generated and knowledge is shared due to the large number of groups and the fact that they follow each other and respond to each other.

It would be a shame to miss out! With an adapted solution, it’s perfectly possible to organise a remote World Café. Virtual classroom tools lend themselves very well to this creative workshop format.

virtual classroom glowbl

Further reading: Serious games: what are the benefits for business?

How do you organise a remote World Café?

Glowbl’s virtual classrooms are ideal for collaborative work in groups. Each room consists of a main table and eight sub-tables. The participants can move between tables without logging out and work together by sharing and co-creating documents. They can communicate with the other people at the table via webcam and microphone or live chat.

Using collaborative notes, participants can gather their ideas together, writing them down at their sub-table and presenting them to the main table. They can also download them as a new document.

To stimulate discussion and ideas, facilitators can send different types of documents and videos to the sub-tables. These materials will remain accessible on the sub-tables until they are deleted.

The tables are fully personalisable. The organiser can give them a colour, a name and a description. Tables can also be numbered to define the switching order, and the question can be added to the table description.

The World Café organiser can use Presenter announcement to send messages to all the participants at all the tables. This is a way of indicating the end of each session and inviting the groups to switch tables or rejoin the main table at the end of the workshop.

And if you need to repeat the workshop with new people or more participants, that’s no problem – the room is saved. Like a real room, Glowbl’s virtual rooms are permanent – shared documents stay on the tables and the room’s personalisation remains (room name, screen background, table names etc.).

Glowbl offers an innovative virtual classroom solution. To find out more, please contact the Glowbl team.