If you really want to connect with people over the issues in our food system or just over a bowl of soup then it’s time to slow your roll and stop, drop, and listen. All over the world, including your backyard, people are struggling with issues that relate to food. If you want to help you need to start with one simple step, and number 6 on my list of 30 ways to connect over food.
Taking the time to ask what the issue is and what the barriers are is key to solving a problem that has the potential for a lasting effect and the buy-in of the people you are trying to serve. This process utilizes empathy to create solutions. It even has a name, human-centered design.
So what is human-centered design? It is a design process that considers and observes the needs of the people rather than starting by brainstorming solutions in a conference room far removed from the problem. This video from IDEO.org on Vimeo does a great job explaining it.
See it in action
There is a new initiative happening in Indianapolis that is implementing this design process to solve food access in Indianapolis. communityINNOVATE started last fall with a goal to create community engagement around solving a social issue. They hope to do this at least once a year with a new issue each time. This inaugural round is the Indy Healthy Food Access Challenge. The process is currently in the idea phase. You still have plenty of time to catch up and begin participating. Check out the site and submit your own ideas on how to solve the four identified problems. If you want to learn more listen to the podcast this week when I interview Stephanie, a Butler University professor that kicked this process off.
Want to participate in the 30 ways to connect over food challenge and win a fun prize? Share how you connect over food on Instagram and use #witwisdomfood. More details on the contest and prize can be found here.