This post is to share two great things:
1. Dining for Women is a group that originated in the US to support and empower women in developing countries. Instead of going out for dinner to a restaurant, women get together for a potluck and donate the money they would have spent otherwise to a common charity. Chapters have popped up across the US and one night of small dinner potlucks in many locations can raise over $20,000.00/month. Groups are researched by the organization and a different cause is supported each month. The organizers also provide background material to the local chapters, including a short video and country facts to help provide context for the dinner discussion. Dining for Women speaks to me for many reasons. Here are a few things it illustrates:
- The power of the collective.
- Every person can contribute.
- Scaling up can have real impact and is worth the effort.
- Great ideas are easy to spread.
- Planning support (through materials, discussion ideas) is helpful to stimulate meaningful conversations.
2. Visual Thinking and Visual Recording. I have been engaging in graphic facilitation slowly over the past few years however after hosting a 2 day workshop on the topic with Nancy White as the facilitator, I am keen to really practice and use visual methods in my work. Nancy’s advice during the workshop was to take visual notes during regular meetings, look for icons and when given the opportunity simply get up and try. I had hoped at the Dining for Women gathering in Rossland, we could use a blank wall to help people share their thoughts. Given the busy evening with many activities taking place, the wall was still blank when everyone left. Days later I decided to record my impression of Dining for Women in Rossland. The visual is above and this is what I was hoping to express:
- Four themes of Dining for Women that took place during the past year.
- Rossland is the first Canadian chapter of Dining for Women.
- Dining for Women is rooted in supporting the Millennium Development Goals.
- Reasons why women in Rossland are excited about participating.
- Some of the topics and themes we discuss at our potluck dinners.
Hosting meaningful conversations supported by meaningful visuals is something I am striving for in my work. For now, I will keep practicing at the wall and in my notebook and the next Dining for Women is at the end of the month…