How do you change a system? Collective Impact teaches us about the power of community conversation to tackle complex social issues.  Indeed, “how much we can accomplish in this world depends on how much we can see”, said John Kania, Collective Impact expert.

What would happen if we helped staff at UHN to get out of their comfortable bubble of expertise and take a closer look at our whole hospital food system? With that goal in mind, I teamed up with a group of UHN staff who are also students at the OISE Food Sovereignty program. We embarked last week on the horizon-broadening project of Conversation Cafés.

conversation café
A team of staff review the UHN Food Ecosystem before our table chat at the Wellness Centre

Conversation Cafés are open to every staff member interested in learning about how food works at UHN. First, participants reviewed the UHN Food Ecosystem, including insights collected through interviewing 30 stakeholders: nutrition services, clinical dietitians, physicians, nurses, clinical researcher, ELLICSR kitchen, food producers and distributors.

We chatted in small groups about where each of us fits in the system and our relationship with hospital food. Then we mixed groups and talked about our ah-ah moments and new learnings. It sparked new questions, realizations, and yes, even epiphanies about the complexity in which our system is built. All of it happened through organic (pun intended) conversations led by our team of facilitators.

Hungry for more? Maybe you need to join a conversation café too? Lucky for you, there are 2 more conversations cafés. If you are a staff at UHN, there’s still time to sign up!

  1. Fri. Jan 30, 12:30-1:30pm TWH FP 6-103
  2. Thurs. Feb 5, 4-5:30 pm, TGH Wellness Centre, Room 1 NU-168

More info about the sessions here, and you can register through the eLearning Centre, using the Course code UHUHHL053i.

Looking forward to chatting with you!