Pro Action Cafe

What is Pro Action Cafe?

The Pro Action Café is a methodology for creative and inspirational conversation where participants are invited to share their questions (around projects, seed ideas etc) and get input (deeper questions, knowledge, experience) from others, to help move from questions to actions. The original concept of Pro Action Café is a blend from World Café and Open Space Technology.

As in Open Space Technology, topics are brought forward by participants themselves. There is no set agenda, only overall guiding questions, with the intention of deepening the learning process of all participants. As in a World Café, it can evoke and make visible the collective intelligence of any group, thus increasing people’s capacity for effective action in pursuit of common aims. This means that during this event we participate in different topics of conversation.

What is Pro Action Cafe best used for?

Pro Action Café can be used with an open invitation to a broad number of people and/or as a methodology for a specific group, organization, or community to engage in creative and inspirational conversation. In this way it is a good tool for convergence and getting into actions.

What is Pro Action Cafe best used for?

It’s a great way to converge a process, helping people to move form open exploration or following  a prioritisation of ideas into defining potential lines of action, or to simply dive deeper into questions, topics or potential actions to be taken and explore deeply though collective intelligence each of these and what might be needed to move forward.

It is particularly useful for strategic planning processes and consultations.

What outcomes can I expect from a Pro Action Cafe?

Set up for a Pro Action Cafe

Ahead of the meeting a clear and concise invitation must be sent out explaining to potential participants that they will have the opportunity to co-create the agenda by proposing topics of conversation in the shape of questions/ ideas for action.

The room will need to be set up as a cafe with small tables dressed with tablecloths and lined with paper. markers and post it notes. If possible we also have a separate space where we start the meeting sitting in a circle before moving to the cafe set up and then finish the meeting in the circle set up.

What happens in a Pro Action Café?

  1. Brief check in (welcome circle)
  2. Explanation of the purpose of the Pro Action Cafe and what might happen following the event.
  3. Brief explanation of the logistics of the process
  4. A silence / reflective space for individuals to consider questions/ projects/ ideas to bring forward and benefit from the input of others present. Generally these get chosen on a first come first served basis working with multiples of 4 or 5 (for example for 20 people you would have no more than 4-5 topics in total. Those proposing from now are called topic hosts.
  5. Topic proposals:

6. 3 rounds of conversation: (each 30 min with its own set guiding question)

7. Circle of gratitude and invitations to collaborate. People share learnings and express gratitude for what they have learned whilst exploring next steps and invitations to collaborate moving forward where appropriate.