“Welcome Culture is what an entire region radiates.
To achieve it many institutions and individuals need to work together.”
The metropolitan region of Nuremberg situated in northern Bavaria faces a shortage of qualified workers for its businesses. In a highly competitive market, talent often prefers to locate in other regions and cities in Germany or Europe. Moreover when talent does decide to work in the region, many professionals leave after only a few years. The Allianz pro Fachkräfte (Alliance for skilled personnel) was founded as a pro-active response to this situation. Its purpose is to create a Culture of Welcome (Willkommenskultur) in order to make the region even more attractive for business talent. The big idea which led to conceiving a World Café on this issue was the realization that the creation of such a culture cannot be achieved by a panel of experts. It must be joint undertaking of people and businesses from the region itself.
The 300 participants represented a broad cross-section from the metropolitan region of Nuremberg. People from businesses, government institutions, universities, NGOs, students as well as private individuals participated in the discussions about how best to create a Culture of Welcome in the region. Everyone in the room had a role to play to increase the attractiveness of the metropolitan region of Nuremberg as a place to live and work.
The World Café was designed to generate several project ideas which would reflect the collective wisdom of the region. The planner’s intention was not only to discover strong projects but projects which would also elicit support from people for project implementation throughout the region. The use of a large scale dialogue was a conscious effort by the planners to foster a sense of “We” as the foundation for a new Culture of Welcome.
55 project ideas were formulated and documented on pre-designed project briefs during the course of the 3 hour dialogue. These project ideas were then uploaded onto the internet after the World Café in order to enable people from throughout the region to select their top project ideas. The Allianz pro Fachkräfte reached a large regional audience by creating this on-line voting process. Nine top projects were selected by the online voting. The development phase for the realization of six of these projects began only 4 months after the World Café took place.