The World Cafe at Common Ground

The World Cafe

Food, Tea, and Conversations that Matter

Facebook Group - check here for upcoming Cafe dates and times

The World Cafe is a weekly potluck of both food and ideas. We aim to bring a diversity of people together to explore whatever topics matter to them. Each night is focused on a different theme, often proposed by a student club or passionate individual wanting to develop their conversational leadership. We savor the inquiry as we savor the food and tea, connect deeply with one another, form friendships, move projects forward, and create actionable knowledge. The World Cafe is a process used around the globe to surface the collective intelligence of groups of all sizes.

Check out some of the World Cafe topics we have had in the past:

  • Who is The Other? (ft. @gendersauce)
  • Alienation
  • The Self and the Social Identity
  • Stigmas of Mental Health on Cultural/Social Contexts (ft. UCSB Mental Health Conference)
  • Mental Health Education and Accessibility (ft. UCSC CAPS)
  • Mental Health Issues in This Era (ft. UCSC CAPS)
  • De-stress and Hug It Out
  • Adaptability and Resilience (ft. Dr. James Buthman)
  • Gratitude
  • Farm Workers: Underpaid and Overworked
  • Post Election Concerns/Anxiety
  • E-University

The University Cafe

We also host University Cafes, where we seek to engage as many people as possible in topics that effect the entire campus. Students practice conversational leadership skills and convene important town hall style gatherings to solicit input from a broad range of campus stakeholders. Often, "actionable knowledge" is generated, and people are inspired to enact solutions to commonly held problems. 

  • Winter 2008 - Proposed upper campus development - Kresge Town Hall
  • Spring 2008 - Building a World Cafe program at UCSC - Col 9/10 MPR
  • Spring 2009 - Porter Alumni World Cafe - I Lounge
  • Fall 2010 - UCSC in 2015 - What is Our Vision? - Kresge Town Hall
  • Spring 2010 - The future of our food sustainable food system, held in conjunction with the Strawberry & Justice Festival - UCSC Farm
  • Winter 2011 - What might a healthy campus-wide culture of advocacy and activism look like? - Kresge Town Hall 
  • Spring 2012 - How can we be wiser together through inter-generational partnership? - Kresge Town Hall
  • Fall 2012 - UCSC expansion, water, and the future of salmon in Santa Cruz - Kresge Town Hall 
  • Winter 2013 - How can we build a more compassionate university and society? - Kresge Town Hall
  • Spring 2013 - Porter Alumni World Cafe: Wiser Together - igniting possibilities through intergenerational partnerships - Hitchcock Lounge
  • Winter 2014 - Reclaiming the Commons with Mark Lakeman - Kresge Town Hall
  • Spring 2014 - The Sustainable [R]evolution with Juliana Birnbaum - Kresge Seminar Room
  • Spring 2014 - Anthropocene Dialogue: Active Hope for Living on a Damaged Planet - Kresge Seminar Room
  • Winter 2015 - Reclaiming the Commons: Climate Justice and Fossil Freedom with Bill McKibben - Kresge Town Hall
  • Spring 2015 - UCSC Alumni Reunion - We Are Wiser Together: Igniting Possibilities Through Intergenerational Connections - Kresge Town Hall

Photos from our previous World Cafes and University Cafes can be seen here.

See Also