Finn Voldtofte was one of the co-founders of the World Cafe. After the break-through experience that birthed this important dialogic process at the home of Juanita Brown and David Isaacs, Finn and Juanita did the painstaking work of researching and experimental testing to see if they could understand what had happened and reproduce it. Their work led to the formulation of a series of World Cafe Design Principles. These emergent principles are still evolving; together, they form the living heart of this method, and they are what takes it beyond form to provide a distinct & integrated approach to life and learning.
Early on, Finn recognized that “World Cafe is a structure of consciousness, born into the world for world service.” This is an approach I have always resonated with, and Finn’s contributions have been a guiding light for me throughout my World Cafe work. Another of his more popular concepts is the “Magic in the Middle”. The idea of the Magic in the Middle can and has been understood in many different ways, but in one of his few published papers, he outlined an introduction to some of his main points. I published his article on the World Cafe blog in six parts as part of the 2017 Stepping In campaign. Here’s the first one (follow the links to read all six).