The World Café describes itself as "a powerful social technology for engaging people in conversations that matter, offering an effective antidote to the fast-paced fragmentation and lack of connection in today's world. Based on the understanding that conversation is the core process that drives personal, business, and organizational life, the World Café is more than a method, a process, or technique - it's a way of thinking and being together sourced in a philosophy of conversational leadership".
It was initiated by researchers, scientists & educators and a non-governmental organisation/charity and encourages people to participate through public assembly. The World Café is local and global in orientation and concerned with participation.
It was launched in 1995 and is ongoing.