Online World Café: come in & make yourself comfortable!

“I find the idea of an online exchange of experiences quite wonderful and motivating! You gave it a lot of thought, did a great job of preparation in advance and inspired me a lot on the topic of World Café in the online world, thank you very much!” Ines Haberl, Program Manager, Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG
Autumn is here and with it an increasing number of meetings, workshops and trainings. Over the summer, the hope of meeting again in the fall for brainstorming, developing concepts and defining strategies has unfortunately been dashed.
At the same time, however, we have all built up an infinite amount of new expertise and learned new skills. And made acquaintance with numerous different tools that make our lives in the online world easier.

Online collaboration with helpful tools

For example miro, a web-based platform for online collaboration (alternatively you might know Concept Board or MURAL). For starting off into autumn we used miro together with the BusinessMind Alumnis and conducted an interactive online exchange of experiences in the World Café setting.
At first we were uncertain whether this could really work. But soon enough we were inspired by the many possibilities that online collaboration tools like miro offer.

The World Café Method online on miro

So we have created a virtual café on miro. There were tables, chairs and even cookies for catering. Our participants* went from table to table via ZOOM Break Out sessions (except the table host, who always stays at the same table), exchanged their experiences with online moderation in 3 rounds and wrote down their thoughts via miro sticky notes.
At the end of the 3 sessions, we summarized the experiences we had gathered on the most important success factors in online moderation. Again with miro Sticky Notes.
And it worked great. And even though we would all still prefer to sit at the same table in person, it showed that there is more to be effectuated online than we initially considered possible.
Are you ready to give it a try? Then here are the 5 success factors for your Online World Café.

5 success factors for your Online World Café

  1. Choose a video conferencing tool that offers the Break Out Rooms feature and additionally work with a collaborative tool like miro
  2. Your participants log in directly via the video conferencing tool – this way you can assign the 1st round break out sessions in advance
  3. Consider activations for the transitions between rounds – while your technical support reassigns the break out rooms, your participants are busy – this is how you create relaxed transitions
  4. Send a training video about the used collaboration tool (e.g. filmed with LOOM) or offer a short technical intro so that all your participants can work with the tool.
  5. Take the time to make your Online World Café appealing: your participants should feel comfortable in the online space as well.
Good luck and enjoy trying it out – let us know how it went! And please contact us if you need support. You can find our online offer here!

Best wishes, Birgit, Ben & Nicole

Laptop mit BusinessMind Online Logo