Video documentation has been part of World Café Europe’s world ever since our first World Café European Gathering held in 2007. Back then we just knew how important it was to capture the variety of the dialogues which were happening all over the city of Dresden (Germany) during this Gathering. Almost 600 people were in dialogue with each other in 8 different locations on one day. In order to provide examples of ‚Best Practice‘ and inspire others to explore the potential of large scale group dialogues for the most important issues of our time, World Café Europe decided to use video to document highlights of this Gathering. Since the founders of the World Café, Juanita Brown and David Isaacs, attended the event in Dresden, World Café Europe took the opportunity to interview them about the principles of the World Café and document their passion for the World Café for prosperity.
This was beginning of World Café Europe’s use of video to share experiences and insights of our work with others.
In Dresden World Café Europe was introduced to Harald Schluttig, a videographer based in Dresden (Germany). He and his team from weissraum were responsible for the video documentation of the 1st World Café European Gathering.
Harald and his team has been collaborating with us to capture the evolution of World Café Europe’s approach to the World Café process ever since.
This past year Harald and his team accompanied World Café Europe on its journey to 7 European countries to document the European Voices for Active Ageing project in Bilbao (Spain), Bonn (Germany), Prague (Czech Republic), London (UK), Bologna (Italy), Strasbourg (France) and Munich (Germany).
Harald has been working together with World Café Europe for more than five years. As a result, he has developed a deep understanding of the World Café and how best to visualize this process. Due to his work from places as diverse as Afghanistan and Guatemala, Harald has developed a unique sense of ‚capturing the moment‘. This innate flexibility enables him to recognize emerging possibilities of the Thematic Cafés as they were being filmed. Our initial intent was to document each of the 6 Thematic Cafés – all of which had different topic emphasis. However during the course of the EVAA project, it became clear that the video material could serve as the source for a number of additional videos which took on different perspectives. As a result, a 6 part video series on „What does Active Ageing mean to you?“ emerged. Adults aged 50+ from all over Europe were given a voice to share their thoughts on this important topic. Even though the ‚First Act‘ of the EVAA project documentation has come to an end, Harald and World Café Europe are working on ideas for other spin-off videos which can be created from this rich video material.
During the course of the EVAA project, World Café Europe learned a lot about the process of creating bi-lingual versions of all our documentation in 6 different languages. As we reflect with Harald and his team about the lessons learned from the EVAA project, we are setting the foundation for the next evolution of our collaboration together and World Café Europe’s approach to the use of video as an integral part of the way we share our know-how and experience with others via video on our YouTube channel.