At World Cafe, WakeEd brings businesses together with educators to create possibilities for students.

Each January, business, nonprofit and government leaders join educators at the annual STEM and Global Studies World Café. WakeEd collaborates with Wake County Public School System to match educational needs with business time and talent resources. During focused networking sessions, participants brainstorm potential projects for classroom and school-wide engagement in STEM and global studies. The projects that arise from these meetings enrich student learning for years to come!

World Cafe was created to help students meet the challenges of a fast-paced, dynamic world.

At World Café:

  • Educators experience a “match” of their school’s project ideas for student success with the investments of time, talent, expertise, and resources from STEM/Global studies professionals.
  • STEM/Global Studies professionals discover strategies for meaningful connections that directly impact students and school programs.
  • Participants benefit as they discover and evaluate project proposals from school presented during the “Idea Crucible.”
  • Attendees receive a contact list, including name, organization, and email address, of all who are associated with the World Café.

How World Cafe is Changing Schools:

My first World Café Experience was an eye opening energizing one. The dedication, forward thought process and enthusiasm emanating from the educators involved inspires to me help the young people they teach in any way I possibly can.

– John Hummel

General Manager


Current Partners

World Café Objectives

Use the tabs below to view a sample World Café agenda.

7:30 – Arrival and Networking

Meet STEM/Global Studies Professionals and WCPSS Educators.

8:00 – Welcome and Overview of World Café Process

Next Step: Matching

8:20 – Business & School Match (Round 1)

Attendees participate in a 30-minute round of networking between a matched school and business/community leaders. The networked pair explores an idea and creates a short and long-term action plan with at least two next steps.

8:55 – Business & School Match (Round 2)

The process repeats with a new matched pair.

9:30 – Break

Next Step: The Idea Crucible

9:45 – Idea Crucible

Four school teams “pitch” their innovative idea to a 4-6 member panel for evaluation. The panel identifies the most promising idea and awards the school as the winner of the event. All participating schools receive an investment to support their project idea. The investment is offered by a sponsoring STEM/Global Studies business through the WEP Teacher Innovation Grant program.

10:50 – Closure and Evaluation

Let us know how we can make next year’s event even better!

  • Following the World Café, participants receive ongoing contact from the WakeEd and WCPSS to encourage actualization of the action plan.
  • Multi-media presentations capture evidence of the impact of the World Café during site visits and presentations at WCPSS and WakeEd events.
(4:00) What is it like to meet with a business or educator at World Cafe? In this video we take you inside two World Cafe meetings to show how collaboration is improving education for students.

How to Participate

Interested businesses and organizations should contact Teresa Pierrie Wake Ed Partnership Director of Programs (tpierrie@wakeed.orgfor more information or to register your business/organization  for the World Café.

Participating in World Café was an excellent investment of our time, so much so we’ve already signed up for next year’s. Connecting with local schools and discovering ways in which we could support the staff and students was both exciting and rewarding. We appreciated, also, the opportunity to network with other businesses and organizations in the Triangle. 

 – Elain Loyack

Dir. Of Community and Public Relations

Delta Dental of North Carolina