Advocacy Toolkit: #culturematters


Design Thinking for Libraries is an approach to improving your library through creative problem solving. This toolkit guides you through Design Thinking so you can start coming up with solutions to everyday challenges within the library. Design thinking is all about starting with people — the users that visit your library.


The goal of this report is offer learning and insight that will help to create and develop your own optimal coworking spaces. Community, togetherness, sharing, borrowing instead of buying and open source. Society is looking for new ways of being and this is ty-pified by the growth of coworking. But what makes one centre better than another? What are the keys to being loved by your members? The authors visited 15 leading coworking centres in Helsinki, Paris and London to find out. Place: The environment needs to be zoned. A creative and welcoming reception, a café – if critical mass allows it – plus a community kitchen. Comfortable seats, desks and great Internet is a must, zoned in quiet and ‘not-so-quiet’ areas. Spaces for making phone calls or having brief meetings prevent quiet workers from being disturbed. Conference rooms should have glass doors or windows, so it is easy to see if the room is occupied. Attention to detail is vital: lockers, coat racks, a member’s information area and a photo board, so it is easy to know who is who. The best centres combine functional excellence with a great feeling of excitement the moment you walk through the door. Event space is crucial: Some centres have the luxury of a dedicated space, others must re-arrange the coworking areas after hours. Each centre’s reputation is in part built on the quality and variety of its events, which should always be open to non-members. Many centres are very creative with their presentation spaces. Inspired by many of the ideas we saw in other centres, we developed our own stage for multi-flexible uses and purposes. Community Rituals: Each centre can mix it up, but needs to have enough regular community building activities and events happening to keep the centre alive. Daily events could in-clude forum messages and random snacks provided by members in the kitchen. Weekly events could include community lunches and new member welcomes. Monthly events could include show and tell, happy hour and attending external events together. Annual events could include bar camps, anniversary party and an office clean-up or rearrangement. Hosts are important: Combining a friendly welcome for new members with a networking role amongst existing coworkers. It is the host who may see connections between members and can help bring people together.


Dialogue Café is the world's first public video conferencing network for civil society.

Dialogue Café is a global non-profit initiative that enables face-to-face conversations between diverse groups of people from around the world so that they can share experiences, learn from each other and work together to make the world a better place. This is the world's first public video conferencing network specifically for civil society - for social, educational and cultural organizations.

Dialogue Cafés are physical spaces based in city centres. They provide access to video conferencing technology and are connected through a global technology platform to enable city-to-city and multi-city conversations and activities.

Dialogue Cafés are open to civil society groups and organisations. This includes organisations with a social, environmental, educational or cultural mission - including foundations, associations, NGOs, community groups, universities, schools, social enterprises, public sector bodies and agencies.

Why was Dialogue Café created?

Dialogue Café is based on the radical but simple idea that people have many things in common and given the opportunity, they will explore their common interests, sparking collaborations and stimulating ideas that address the major issues of today.These kinds of conversations and collaborations can lead to new ways of thinking and doing: they can empower individuals and communities, break down prejudice and misconceptions and promote greater understanding and co-operation across cultures.

Despite rapid advances in communications technologies, there remain real barriers for civil society organisations, public sector organisations and social enterprises to share their work and learn from others globally. Dialogue Café hopes to bridge this divide and enable civil society organisations and others to collaborate, thereby enhancing understanding between different cultures and societies and promoting social and economic development.

What's different about Dialogue Café?

Dialogue Café is a low cost, low carbon way of connecting to people in other parts of the world. It also provides a unique experience. The technology we use at Dialogue Café, TelePresence, links people through life-size high definition video and sound, allowing them to talk and meet in real time despite being located on different sides of the world. As such, Dialogue Café plays a role as a bridge to the rest of the world: it enables local hosts, and local civil society groups, to share their work, knowledge and ideas and learn from others from around the world.

There are lots of ways to get involved!

You can come to our public events. Have a look at Our Network and the blog for information about upcoming talks, lectures and seminars.

You can book out the Dialogue Cafés for your own events. Want to connect to colleagues in other cities? Want to organise a global workshop? Want to organise a lecture with leading thinkers in other parts of the world? Get in touch with the Dialogue Café Managers.

You can help us bring a Dialogue Café to you. We're working with people and organisations around the world to grow the network of Dialogue Cafés. If you want to be involved in bringing Dialogue Café to your city or helping local partners to set up a Dialogue Café then get in touch


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