On how Kfé Innovación has evolved in a year

Kfé Innovación has been around for a year now, and has gone from individual chats with so-called “experts” to talk about web 2.0 and innovation with people who may or may not be involved with them, to the current simultaneous, all-around the world face-to-face meetings of 20 people per venue to discuss a subject related to social issues and innovation.

Throughout the diverse incarnations of Kfé, however, several elements are common:

  • 20 people per venue maximum: Since it is fairly complicated to chat with large groups, to avoid the risk of having a series of traditional talks, a maximum of 20 people can participate physically in a venue. Obviously, everyone is welcome to participate via Twitter in any subject and venue.
  • Horizontal: all participants being equal in importance, we believe that all attendants (both virtual and physical) can offer value to the conversation and ideas that grow from each session.  Also, we do believe that the ideas given in one place can enrich the debate in another, and thus strive to facilitate the communication (using mainly Twitter so far) between venues.
  • Everyone is welcome: Everyone can set up a Kfé anywhere in the world. All you need to set one up as a venue coordinator is

o   A twitter account (a personal twitter account, not an organization/company one)

o   A place to carry it out (with wifi/Internet connection and enough space for all attendants –with a maximum of 20 attendants-)

o   You can have up to two assistants for the session (to tweet, so to say, “officially” from the venue, take photos, and other support roles). Believe us, your hands will be quite full with the session itself

Since we started having simultaneous venues talking together, when we did #kfe03, with 4 venues talking about diverse subjects, the idea seemed to ‘catch’ in several minds around the world. From there, #kfe04 managed to get 48 different venues in Europe, North America and South America to talk about education.

As the team that runs Kfé doesn’t want to repeat itself too much, for this #kfe05 we have made some changes:

  • Each venue can choose the subject to discuss
  • Each venue should propose at least one action/project related to the subject at hand as the result of the session

And it has gone fairly well: so far, 30 venues are registered for the #kfe05 that will take place on January 27th, and while the highest concentration is still visibly in Spain (as you can see in the map here), there are venues opening in the US, the UK, Germany, Mexico, Colombia…

The response has been great, and we hope you can join us at your closest venue (or set up your own!).

There is more information available (mostly in Spanish) at http://www.kfeinnovacion.com.

Update for June 15th

We’d like to welcome the Edgeryders community in this joint project of citizen-driven innovation. This is the kfé group, an open forum, and we’d like to hear from you.

Also, we'd like to invite you to set up a discussion venue on June 15th, when we are organising a special kfé around the subjects Edgeryders is about. We're sure we can all learn from each other.
The Kfé Community can be found at:


HI Patrick,

Thnks for sharing

HI Patrick,

Thnks for sharing this,  I’ll be in Berlin on the 27th and will join you guys at the meetup there as I’m intrigued by the format. Plus it’s always nice to meet new people :slight_smile:

I’m curious though, why  did you guys start organising these meetups in the first place- and what are some examples of projects or actions to come out of the cafes? And why do you personally take the time and trouble to do this?


oh yes, also

what do you want to achieve with this? why do you think others are getting getting involved in organising the meetups?

The whys

Well, tricky questions, as there were several reasons for joining.

As for why I got involved: I’ve been dealing with innovation events for about 3 years now, and always was a bit bothered by the way these events are set up:  they look like a normal lecture: one-way, structured to give a single message and rarely that productive (TED talks notwithstanding) for both the public and the speaker.

Well, that is all fine and good, but there is no balance between the ‘genius’ -the one givinf the talk- and the ‘poor sods’ that receive the message. Thus, the whole event becomes more of a master-pupil relationship and there is no proper feedback to obtain.

With the kfé, we (Marga, Israel, Jorge, Chris and myself particularly, though I will undoubtedly leave someone out) tried to recover an old tradition of gathering in a coffee shop and talking in a relaxed environments of subjects that matter to all present (instead of just talking of football, which is the usual subject in current bar chats), but where there is no single person that runs the show. The venue coordinator figure is just a person that sets up the subject to be treated, and then tries to ensure the smooth development of the discussion.

With a format like this, the collective knowledge of all 20 people present can be mixed together to create a picture far more interesting, and I believe it’s a good way to avoid protagonism and create both ideas and projects that participate in a more ‘common’ ownership of the information.

That’s what made it worth for me to participate, personally. I do believe that these venues around the workd can create ‘nexus’ of innovative networks that will help change society, improving it far better than governments and rigid institutions could, particularly in a local way but with models prone to replication and export.

So far, we have not been following up the projects that arise from each kfé session, but there is a large compilation of both session reports and projects in http://www.scoop.it/t/kfe04/ (mostly in Spanish I’m afraid).

As for why others choose to set up a venue, well, I can’t talk for them all, but we’ll propose to past and present coordinators to put their reasons here.

See you on the 26th and 27th!

Yayy, so looking forward to it!

See you in Berlin!!

We can use this!

… as a link to communicate to Edgeryders about the initiative. Great to meet you, Patrick.

Maybe this would work better as a “Spotlight: social innovation” mission. Is it ok if I move it there?

Moving it

Oh, by all means, I hand’t actually seen the mission. Thanks for the heads-up! :slight_smile:


Note the link has now changed. The new one is


Got it, thanks!

Link updated for the team and all the rest, thanks!!!

Very nice work. My present situation means I can’t reply to this as fully as I would like to. This kind of development is a firm move forward in assuring that we harvest that most natural of our resources, human creative intelligence itself. The passing model of intelligence as a personally isolated human phenomenon is very quickly giving way, amidst our understanding of collective and connective intelligence, to a courting of knowledge creation as a group practice. No doubt it is our hyperconnectivity via internet that has filled the gap here in the west making this possible.

I would make one suggestion. A special software that pools disparate group’s information input into collective hashtags aggregating info according to patterns/constellations of chosen issue. This is already working to some degree but I feel that this kind of technology can make creative work in these new areas much more efficient. (it has so many uses…e.g: in ehealth it can make for quicker diagnosis)

Hypothes.is is a good work being done here, many will follow.

In my life and in my work the study of complex systems has been quite formatiive. I would reccommend anything from the field of chaos theory through complexity theory , to emergence. A really tidy little gem is Steven Johnson’s book: Emergence. Everything from here to Steve Wolfram’s ‘A new kind of science’ (if you’re able for it) and Christopher Alexander’s work with pattern technology is amazingly informative.

Good luck with your work Patrick. If my health sees better days we will perhaps make some further exchanges.



Hi David, and sorry for my awful delay in answeing. It’s been one of those months-years-lives.

Thank you sooo much for the input. I do believe your proposal for a mashup-like aggregation of disparate groups is a brilliant idea. After cheking out hypothes.is, I agree, it’s that the way we should be going, but we’re not there yet. It’ll take a while (and a more German philosopher  -that is, structured- mindset than mine) to reach that point, but the enormous explosion of new ideas that will grow up from there will be invaluable.

Although, as one trained in the field of languages and literature, I’m not privy to the secrets of complex systems (I wish I’d taken Math as major, but then I’d probably be somewhere totally different), probably chaos theory could help a lot in organizing the ahem chaos of the current times.

The future has many diverse paths we can follow, and I’m convinced we will follow them all simultaneously. Your experience, and I hope my own, will make it true.

Again, thank you so much for your insight.

Presentación de Kfé Innovación

Estamos preparando el blog de Kfé Innovación para adaptarlo al multi-idioma.

Aquí os dejo una presentación (en inglés) sobre Kfé Innovación, en la portada de nuestro blog.


Un saludo a la comunidad de Edgeryders!

Gracias Marga! Saludos al equipo del Kfe también! Estamos muy entusiasmados con el evento y vamos a seguir las noticias en Facebook!

Happy to cooperate for Edgeryders conference!!

Grazias muchos :slight_smile:

Un saludo desde Sevilla … #kfe06

Desde Sevilla un saludo y encantados de estar con edgeryders … desde la sede de #sevillahoy #kfe06  entramos con La ciudad-estado creativa y educativa en red. Organización #opgovP2P. Tema d #kfe06 ahora con #edgeryders en #sevillahoy #15JUN participas? , un placer estar por aquí … saludos y salud