Knowledge Cafés

OHFT librarians can help with advice and implementation of Knowledge Cafes.

What is a Knowledge Café?

A Knowledge Café is a knowledge management tool to help teams get to know each other better, share knowledge and help solve problems in a conversational ‘café-style’ format.

The team is divided into groups of 4 or 5, and given up to 3 open-ended questions to discuss in conversation. They then move to new groups and continue the conversation with other team members. Feedback may be given to the whole group, and co-ordinated by the facilitator at the end.

Knowledge Cafés encourage productive conversations to help people learn from each other. They help to build relationships, improve communication, encourage collaboration, sharing knowledge and ideas. They can help people to solve problems, break down silos, drive innovation and build a community.

The value of the Café is in the conversation itself and the learning that each individual takes away.

What is needed?

  • A comfortable venue in which people can move into small groups.
  • A facilitator to explain the process and oversee the conversation.
  • Enough time to allow the conversations to develop: at least an hour
  • Optional: Refreshments, if appropriate to the venue and overall format of the day. This supports the ‘café’ nature of the conversation!

Example questions


  • What would you do if you weren’t a [your current role]?
    For example, what would you be if you weren’t a nurse?
  • What piece of work do you most enjoy?

Problems and answers

  • What is something you think your team does really well?
  • Talk about something in your service that excites you.
  • What is one thing you’d like to change in your current setting?
  • How can we work together to improve [a service aspect]?
    For example, how can we work together to improve patient care?

Further information

Page last reviewed: 8 April, 2024