Application of participatory method World Café in the area of global environmental problems

Main Article Content

David Vačkář Eliška Krkoška Lorencová


Participatory methods have gained increasing popularity in the area of sustainable development and environmental change. The reason for this is not only to get information from experts or key actors in the area, but also the value they bring in terms of participation and education. In this article, we focus on analyzing the experience of using the participative deliberative method of World Café in various cultural environments and various topics of global environmental change. Complex problems in the area of global environmental change, represented here by adaptation to climate change, the assessment of ecosystem services, and climate smart agriculture, require the involvement of diverse actors in decision-making process. The resulting knowledge, gained through the application of scientific inputs and their confrontation with the experience and values of the individual actors, provide the basis for adaptive decision-making and contribute to solving environmental problems. Participatory methods also enable the social learning of the actors involved, support knowledge co-production through sharing and exchange of experience, which ultimately promotes the more effective implementation of scientific knowledge into practice. Refering to examples from the Czech Republic, Kyrgyzstan and Ghana, we illustrate the possibilities of participatory methods to support policy and decision-making in the area of global environmental change.

Article Details

How to Cite
Vačkář, D., & Krkoška Lorencová, E. (2017). Application of participatory method World Café in the area of global environmental problems. Envigogika, 12(2).
Reviewed Papers
Author Biographies

David Vačkář, CzechGlobe - Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (GCRI).

CzechGlobe - Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (GCRI)., Bělidla 986/4a, 603 00 Brno

Eliška Krkoška Lorencová, CzechGlobe - Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (GCRI).

CzechGlobe - Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (GCRI)., v. v. i., Bělidla 986/4a, 603 00 Brno


Agora CE (2015). Standardy úspěšné občanské participace. Agora Central Europe, Praha, 6 pp.

Bergold, J., & Thomas, S. (2012). Participatory Research Methods: A Methodological Approach in Motion. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 13 (1). Art. 30,

Boyd, R., Richerson, P.J., & Henrich, J. (2011). The cultural niche: Why social learning is essential for human adaptation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108, 10918-10925.

Brooks T. M., Lamoreux, J.F., & Soberón, J. (2014). IPBES ≠ IPCC. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 29, 543-545. DOI:

Brown, J., & Isaacs, D. (2005). The World Café: shaping our futures through conversations that matter. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. ISBN-13: 978-1576752586.

Bulkeley, H., & Mol, A.P.J. (2003). Participation and Environmental Governance: Consensus, Ambivalence and Debate. Environmental Values, 12,143-154. DOI:

DeCaro, D.A., Arnold. C.A., Boamah, E.F., & Garmestani, A.S. (2017). Understanding and applying principles of social cognition and decision making in adaptive environmental governance. Ecology and Society, 22(1), 33.

Dlouhá, J., Barton, A., Janoušková, S., & Dlouhý, J. (2013). Social learning indica-tors in sustainability-oriented regional learning networks. Journal of Cleaner Produ-ction, 49, 64-73. Retrieved from

Dlouhá, J., & Zahradník, M. (2015). Potential for social learning in sustainable regi-onal development: analysis of stakeholder interaction with a focus on the role of scientists. Envigogika, 10(1), Retrieved from

Dlouhá, J., & Pospíšilová, M. (2017). Education for Sustainable Development Goals in public debate: The importance of participatory research in reflecting and suppor-ting the consultation process in developing a vision for Czech education. Journal of Cleaner Production, in press. Retrieved from

Dlouhá, J. (2017) Sociální učení. Enviwiki, Retrieved from

Ensor, J., & Harvey, B. (2015). Social learning and climate change adaptation: evidence for international development practice. WIREs Climate Change, 6, 509–522. DOI: 10.1002/wcc.348

Fish, R., Burgess, J., Chilvers, J. Footitt, A., Haines-Young, R. Russel, D., & Winter, D.M. (2011) Participatory and Deliberative Techniques to embed an Ecosystems Approach into Decision Making: an Introductory Guide. (Defra Project Code: NR0124).

Fisher, J.A., & Brown, K. (2014). Ecosystem services concepts and approaches in conservation: Just a rhetorical tool? Ecological Economics, 108, 257-265.

Hage, M, Leroy, P., & Petersen, A.C. (2010). Stakeholder participation in environmental knowledge production. Futures, 42, 254-264. DOI:

IPR Praha (2016). Manuál participace. Jak zapojit veřejnost do plánování města. Institut plánování a rozvoje hl. m. Prahy, 130 pp.

Lipper, L., Thornton, P., Campbell, T.M., Baedeker, T., et al. (2014). Climate-smart agriculture and food security. Nature Climate Change, 4, 1068–1072. doi:10.1038/nclimate2437

Mička, P. (Editor) (2015). Analýza občanské participace v ČR. Agora CE, o.p.s., Praha, 64 pp.

Mička, P., Nekola, M., Ochrana, F., Potůček, M., Přikryl, J., & Veselý, A. (2013). Metodika posílení analytických, koncepčních a implementačních kapacit strategického řízení v krajích. Univerzita Karlova, CESES, Fakulta sociálních věd, 47 pp.

Millennium Assessment (2005). Ecosystems and human well-being: a synthesis. Washington: Island Press.
Ministerstvo financí (2012). Metodika přípravy veřejných strategií. Ministerstvo financí České republiky, 116 pp.

Ministerstvo vnitra (2009). Metodika pro zapojování veřejnosti do přípravy vládních dokumentů. Ministerstvo vnitra České republiky, 24 pp.

Ministerstvo vnitra (2010). Manuál pro zapojování veřejnosti do přípravy vládních dokumentů. Ministerstvo vnitra České republiky, 24 pp.

Nel, J.L., Roux, D.J., Driver, A., et al. (2016). Knowledge co-production and boundary work to promote implementation of conservation plans. Conservation Biology, 50, 176–188. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12560

O´Brien, L., Marzano, M., & White, R.M. (2013). ‘Participatory interdisciplinarity’: Towards the integration of disciplinary diversity with stakeholder engagement for new models of knowledge production. Science and Public Policy, 40, 51–61. DOI:

Ostrom, E. (2009). A General Framework for Analyzing Sustainability of Social-Ecological Systems. Science, 325, 419-422. DOI: 10.1126/science.1172133

Palacios-Agundez, I., Casado-Arzuaga, I., Madariaga, I., & Onaindia, M. (2013). The relevance of local participatory scenario planning for ecosystem management policies in the Basque Country, northern Spain. Ecology and Society, 18, 7.

Reed, M. S. (2008). Stakeholder participation for environmental management: A literature review. Biological Conservation, 141, 2417–2431.

Reed, M. S., A. C. Evely, G. Cundill, I. Fazey, J. Glass, A. Laing, J. Newig, B. Parrish, C. Prell, C. Raymond, & Stringer, L.C. (2010). What is social learning? Ecology and Society, 15(4): r1. [online] URL:

Rockström, J., Steffen, W., Noone, K., Persson, Å., Chapin, F. S., Lambin, E. F., et al. (2009). A safe operating space for humanity. Nature, 461(7263), 472–475. doi:10.1038/461472a

Romina, R. (2014). Social Learning, Natural Resource Management, and Participatory Activities: A reflection on construct development and testing. NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, 69, 15–22.

The World Café. (2012). About the World Café and The World Café Community Foundation. The World Café. [online] URL:

Tuháček, M., & Jelínková, J. (2015). Právo životního prostředí – praktický průvodce. Grada Publishing, Praha.
UNISDR (2017). Resilient cities. Retrieved from

Úřad vlády ČR (2016). Česká republika 2030. Kulatý stůl k oblasti č. 5 - Udržitelné ekosystémy. Úřad vlády České republiky, 25 pp.

Van der Wal, M., De Kraker, J., Offermans, A., Kroeze, C., Kirschner, P.A., & van Ittersum, M. (2013). Measuring Social Learning in Participatory Approaches to Natural Resource Management. Environmental Policy and Governance, 24, 1-15. DOI: 10.1002/eet.1627

Villamor, G.B., Palomo, I., López Santiago, C.A., Oteros-Rozas, E., & Hill, J. (2014). Assessing stakeholders' perceptions and values towards social-ecological systems using participatory methods. Ecological Processes, 3, 22.

Ward, K., Lauf, S., Kleinschmit, B., & Endlicher, W. (2016). Heat waves and urban heat islands in Europe: A review of relevant drivers. Science of the Total Environment, 569–570, 527–539.