News & Events

Ontario Student Trustees’ Association’s Education Privatization World Café 2024


Event Summaries


Declan Amaral


April 2, 2024

Introduction: On Friday, February 9, the Public Education Exchange (PEX) hosted its first World Café on Education Privatization at the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association’s (OSTA-AECO) Education Action Conference in Ottawa, Ontario. The session aimed to facilitate discussion amongst student trustees about privatization in their school boards and to encourage collaborative problem-solving.

Agenda Overview: The session adhered to the World Café model, designed around the Seven Design Principles (discussed below), with a focus on creating a hospitable space for meaningful conversations. Hosted by Sonia Martin and Declan Amaral and assisted by a graphic recorder, Assma Salah, the session incorporated three rounds of small group discussions and reflections. Participants were encouraged to record their individual ideas on paper placements throughout the discussions.

Discussion Rounds:

Round 1: Participants discussed what education privatization looks like in their boards.

Round 2: Participants discussed why privatization might impact groups of students differently.

Round 3: Participants discussed ways boards can ensure that all students can access the same benefits and/or opportunities of the public education systems.

Reflection and Sharing: After each round, participants engaged in a “popcorn” style reflection, where each small group shared an idea with the others. Their insights were recorded on sticky notes and posted on a wall, forming a visual representation of the diverse perspectives in the room.

La Gratuité: The concluding segment, La Gratuité, allowed participants to record their overall takeaways and themes.

Implementation of Seven Design Principles: The World Café model, built on the belief in collective wisdom and creativity, followed its Seven Design Principles (The World Café Community Foundation 2015)

  1. Setting the context: The hosts created a conducive environment for open and insightful discussions.
  2. Creating a hospitable space: Participants were welcomed and encouraged to share their perspectives.
  3. Exploring questions that matter: Pre-planned questions were carefully crafted to invite deep exploration of education privatization.
  4. Encouraging everyone’s contribution: All participants engaged in discussions, sharing diverse viewpoints.
  5. Connecting diverse perspectives: The event’s structure facilitated the exchange of ideas among student trustees.
  6. Listening together for patterns and insights: Reflection rounds allowed for the identification of common themes and insights.
  7. Sharing collective discoveries: The visual representation of sticky notes on a wall served as a tangible record of ideas generated through the discussions. These notes and participants’ placemats and La Gratuité notes informed the graphic recording of the collective knowledge created at the OSTA-AECO World Café.

Conclusion: The World Café on Education Privatization at the OSTA-AECO Education Action Conference was an engaging and successful event for the PEX. Student trustees actively participated in meaningful discussions, generating valuable insights and potential strategies to address the challenges posed by education privatization. The event fostered a collaborative atmosphere, aligning with the conference’s overarching goal to empower student trustees in their advocacy for public education. Hosts ensured thorough documentation of key takeaways, making it a productive and impactful session for all participants.



The World Café Community Foundation. (2015, July 4). Design principles. The World Cafe.


Ontario Student Trustees’ Association’s Education Privatization World Café 2024 © 2024 by Declan Amaral is licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International


Join the Public Education Exchange (PEX)!

Join the PEX network to participate in events, receive updates on our research, and share your knowledge with other members.