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The Gurteen Knowledge Caf Masterclass

The Knowledge Caf

in Switzerland
June 18, 2015
From 10:00 17:00 Hrs
Bern University of Applied Sciences
Department of Social Work
Hallerstr. 10
3012 Bern
Room 301 (third floor)

Register now!

Gurteen Knowledge Caf Masterclass

The Gurteen Knowledge Caf Masterclass

The Knowledge Caf
The Gurteen Knowledge Cafe is a simple but flexible, group conversational process that almost
anyone can host. It is most frequently used to gather a group of people together to have a
conversation to better understand a topic of mutual interest but can be adapted for a variety of other
These aims include the surfacing of the group's collective knowledge; learning from each other;
sharing ideas and insights; gaining a deeper understanding of a topic and the issues involved and
exploring possibilities.
It can also be used to help connect people, improve inter-personal relationships, break down
organizational silos and improve engagement.
What is different about the Knowledge Cafe compared to similar methodologies is that no attempt is
made to make decisions or reach consensus.
Anything that gets in the way of the free flow the conversation is considered a bad thing.
The outcomes are what people take away in their heads and the relationships that are developed.
At its best, a Knowledge Cafe adheres to a number of design principles that help create a relaxed,
informal environment conducive to dialogue and to learning. An environment where:
Dialogue is encouraged
Nothing is allowed to get in the way of the conversation
Everyone is equal
There is freedom from fear
No one is forced to do anything
The outcomes evolve as result of the conversation
Capturing things does not distort the conversation
People attend because they are interested in participating in fruitful conversations
The host plays a low key role

Why is conversation important?

The words we choose, the questions we ask, and the metaphors we use to explain ourselves, are what determine our
success in creating new knowledge as well as sharing that knowledge with each other.
Nancy Dixon
The most widespread and pervasive learning in your organization may not be happening in training rooms, conference
rooms or board rooms but in the cafeteria, the hallways and the cafe across the street.
Juanita Brown and David Isaacs
Encouraging open, honest conversation through work space design, setting ground rules for conversing productively
and baking conversation into the corporate culture spread intellectual capital, improve cooperation, and strengthen
personal relationships.
Jay Cross, Informal Learning
Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits.
Theodore Zeldin, Conversation

Gurteen Knowledge Caf Masterclass

Applications of the Knowledge Cafe

Knowledge Cafes can be used for many different purposes
turn a traditional chalk and talk, death by PowerPoint presentation or meeting into an engaging

learning event
transform traditional management training courses where younger managers learn from more

experienced ones
as a powerful sales tool to engage customers in conversation and thus better understand their needs

for and them to better understand your product or service

surface hidden problems and opportunities that exist in the organization, in a department or project
help break down organizational silos
encourage knowledge sharing and the creation of a knowledge sharing culture
give people a voice so that they feel heard and are thus less cynical and more engaged in their work
bring managers and technologists together after a merger to build relationships, surface new

opportunities and address cultural issues

build and improve relationships
improve business networking and make new connections
solicit input and obtain buy-in for a new project or initiative
as a stimulus to innovation: Knowledge Cafes connect people to people; people to ideas and ideas to

ideas; they challenge people to reflect on their thinking; surface new ideas and make new connections

Learning Outcomes
These are some of the key learning outcomes from the day
Understand the background and motivation behind the Knowledge Cafe
Understand the fundamental principles that underpin the Knowledge Caf
Understand the principles of dialogue
Learn how to design and run a Gurteen Knowledge Caf
Learn how to pose powerful questions to trigger Caf conversations
Learn alternative methods of triggering the Caf conversation
Learn how to effectively facilitate the small group and whole group conversations
Learn how to capture outcomes without unduly interfering with the flow of conversation
Understand the differences between the Gurteen Knowledge Caf and the World Caf
Understand how to adapt the Knowledge Caf for different purposes
Learn tips and techniques for better facilitating the Caf
Better understand and overcome some of the language and cultural barriers that can arise during

a Knowledge Caf
Experience an actual Knowledge Caf

Gurteen Knowledge Caf Masterclass

About the Workshop

In the Masterclass you will be taught the fundamental principles and benefits of the Knowledge Caf
You will go on to participate in a Knowledge Caf; to experience the benefits first hand and to reflect
on and discuss the experience within the session.
You will leave the workshop understanding the power of the Knowledge Caf and with sufficient
knowledge to run one yourself.

Time and Place

The Masterclass will be held from 10:00 17:00
Bern University of Applied Sciences
Department of Social Work (5 min from train station)
Hallerstr. 10
3012 Bern
Room 301 (third floor)
How to get there:

Who should attend

The Masterclass is intended for almost anyone. Most people will benefit from it. It will be of particular
interest to anyone looking to encourage and facilitate more purposeful, constructive and creative
conversation in their teams or organisations.
These include:
Project and Team Leaders
Community of Practice Leaders

And professionals in
Change Management
Human Resources
Knowledge Management
Learning and Development
Organization Development

The workshop will be held

in English

Gurteen Knowledge Caf Masterclass

This is a guide to the days schedule. It is adapted in real time on the day to focus on the elements
that the participants have most interest/need.
The Masterclass will start at 10:00 and will close at 17:00

Registration and refreshments


The Role of Conversation in Business
The importance of dialogue
Principles of dialogue

The Knowledge Caf Process

Background, rationale, principles and outcomes
The process itself

11:00 11:30

Morning refreshment break

Run an actual Knowledge Caf
Set the theme and question
Small group conversations, followed by a whole group conversation

12:45 13:45

LUNCH break
Review of the morning
Tips and Techniques
The process in more depth
Language and cultural issues
Capturing outcomes

Adapting the Knowledge Cafe

Applications of the Caf
World Caf, Open Space Technology and other formats

15:30 16:00

Afternoon refreshment break

Caf Style Review of the Day


Close of workshop

Gurteen Knowledge Caf Masterclass

David Gurteen
David Gurteen is an international consultant, speaker and
facilitator in the fields of Knowledge Management,
Organisational Learning and Organisational Conversation.
His trademark is his knowledge cafes which he has developed
and run around the world for the past 12 years.
He is the founder of the Gurteen Knowledge Community - a
global network of 21,000 people in over 160 countries and his
monthly Knowledge Letter is now in its 13th year.
He maintains an extensive resource website
In June 2010, David won the Ark Groups lifetime achievement
award for services to Knowledge Management.
It sounds such a simple idea, but until you have experienced a knowledge cafe
you won't understand just how powerful they can be in connecting people,
generating new ideas and tackling issues. David in particular brings a special
kind of energy to the room that really helps, but when you stop and think about
it, we are given very little time in our working lives to engage honestly and
authentically with one another in that uniquely human activity, that fundamental
building block of trust and understanding; conversation."
James Brown
Head of Performance and Knowledge Management
Surrey County Council

To register please follow the link:
The deadline for registration is May 15, 2015.The number of places is limited.
In case of questions, please contact: or 071 228 5456
The cost of the course is 80 CHF and includes course fee and lunch. This price includes VAT.
Upon registration, Skat
Foundation will be sending you a
Paying Slip, so that you can pay
the fee by depositing in Skat
Foundations Bank account. Fees
should be pay, at least one week
before the starting of the course.