In our third session our 30Lab participants came together with fresh ideas on how to create a resilient food future in Calgary. We began by reviewing our vision that we created in the last session, summarizing our collective vision. After a short energizing activity, we dove into several audiences that were identified last session to better understand how to reach them. It was time for the infamous sticky note session, in which every person was armed with a sharpie and a pad of sticky notes to write down their wackiest, most creative, most ingenious, and diverse ideas for events and projects that could be created for food resiliency. We went through the audiences one-by-one as all of the participants frantically jotted down their ideas and rushed them to the wall. After just a short time we created hundreds of unique ideas for projects and events to engage several different audiences in Calgary.
Now that we had our brains going, we continued to dive deeper into how and where we would reach these groups. We made sure to go beyond the traditional “how” of posters and social media networks, and thought of some targeted and unique places where our audiences might be found. Finally, we put all this together by separating our participants into groups to narrow down hundreds of ideas to just 10 by combining similar proposals and creating hybrid ideas based on the sticky note suggestions. The groups put their heads together and by the end of this section we had the seeds of project ideas.
In order for those projects to be a success we needed to know what might be the unmet needs of our audience and when we could reach them to fill those needs. We began to form a solid idea of our audience, how to reach them, and what to reach them with. We once again narrowed down our project ideas to the top three best ideas and then presented these group-by-group. Our project ideas included some creative names such as Jar Bar, Soup Ninjas, and CompostART. We were now on the cusp of a very important moment: creating project teams.
After lunch our participants had the opportunity to vote for the project they felt most passionate about. Using the official voting method of sticky notes, every member wrote down their first and second choice for the project they felt most passionate about. Once the voting was revealed we had 5 teams formed around the 5 ideas that were just beginning to bloom. Now the most exciting part of the session came where the groups got time to take the idea and make it their own. The groups were provided with time to think out their ideas by first thinking big about what they might look like in 5 years as the projects matured and then thinking small about what they might look like in a few months. Participants had the opportunity to dream big and then to brainstorm their first steps in getting to that dream.
We came back together after brainstorming the ideas and each group had the opportunity to present to the group and receive feedback. The participants provided helpful advice, mentioned connections that could be useful for the group to tap into, and further ideas for strengthening the project. Participants were equipped with a slide template to make their own and left the session with ideas, tools, and energy to create new and unique projects for Calgary’s food resilience.