Download your Kitchen Table Conversation Kit and get together with friends and family to share ideas and opinions about how we can make our communities even better!
*This kit was developed by City of Greater Bendigo and Bendigo Thinking Community in 2014. This project is now complete, but the kit can be used as a resource for others who wish to drive kitchen table conversations in their community.
Kitchen Table Conversations was the topic of one of our Outside the Square events back in 2014 with guest speaker Alana Johnson from Voices for Indi. This event instigated an initiative called 500 Conversations in Bendigo and was supported at the time by the City of Greater Bendigo.
There are many reasons kitchen table conversations are a good idea. Here’s a few:
1. Build new connections and deeper understanding
You only need to watch the video above to see how much fun it is to catch up with people around food. Add to that a topic to discuss about the future and what matters to you, then you have a great night out of meaningful conversations, you gain a deeper understanding of the people there and you will build new connections or strengthen existing ones as a result.
2. Generate new ideas, learn new approaches
When people talk about what matters to them and share ideas on how to address associated challenges, new ideas are formed and created. Whether it’s a kitchen table, a cafe, a pub, the place doesn’t actually matter. It’s the conversations and sharing of ideas that make the difference. It’s more than sharing of ideas too. Through these conversations you can pick up new ways of doing things, who knows what you may learn that you can take action yourself straight away.
3. Reengage the broader community about our future
There are many ways you can have a conversation with others about the future or about issues that matter, but it’s not something we do that well as a culture anymore. A planned kitchen table conversation with guidelines is a comfortable non threatening way we can engage others about important matters. If a small group of people start having them and then others attending host one too, there could be a snow ball effect where lots of kitchen table conversations are had in the community, engaging lots more people about the future we want for our community.
4. Influence change
You just don’t know the influence you can have when you share your thoughts and ideas with others. The 500 Conversations idea held in Bendigo in 2014 used Kitchen Table Conversations to capture the concepts discussed and then communicate this to the community as well as leaders. It’s critical that we encourage more and more people to talk about the issues that matter to them and solutions they have and then communicate this to those that make decisions on our behalf.
Imagine what it would be like if as a community we had a process where everyone got to have a say in a comfortable, non-threatening, engaging, respectful way that could all be brought together and helped shape the future of our town.
Outside the Square is just one of many Make a Change engagement tools created to support communities in addressing local challenges. Contact us to find out more about the work of Make a Change and how we can support your community too.