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A knowledge café is a simple means for a group of people to have an open, creative conversation on a topic of mutual interest to gain a deeper collective understanding of the subject and the issues involved.
Frequently on the topic of knowledge management, knowledge cafes involve a group of people breaking into smaller roundtable groups of 5-6 people, in order to engage in discussion on a specific topic. After a predetermined amount of time, all but one of the participants at each table will move to a new table, and those left at the table will give a summary of the discussion that took place at their table, whilst the new people at that table will likewise provide a summary of what transpired at their respective tables.
By repeating the process several times, it allows attendees to gain information from a range of resources in a more efficient way than having to engage with each person present on an individual basis.
The process is a derivative of The World Cafe, a process developed by Juanita Broan and David Isaacs and a worldwide community of practice.