Fostering Connection and Community Through Purposeful Discussion—Virtually, for Now
How the Civic Dinners Team Transforms Happy Hours and Dinner Events into Platforms for Change (in this Current Crisis and Beyond)
Jenn Graham was recently named a 2020 World-Changing Woman in Conscious Business by Conscious Company Media and a 2019 Small Business Person of the Year — Rising Star by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
She is also a Civic Innovation Fellow and Startup Runway winner. With a 15-year track record in combining her business and design-thinking background with her personal passion for community engagement, Graham has helped communities build empathy and raise awareness, understanding, and collective action around critical issues. This is what led her to found and become the CEO of Civic Dinners, a social enterprise dedicated to helping people transform dinner tables into forums for positive global impact.
During the new COVID-19 reality, in-person communication is discouraged and physical distancing is now commonplace. However, meaningful conversations can be had in any format—including virtual events—and Civic Dinners is striving to communicate that around the world.
Once the event conversation topic is established, it’s up to the host to determine the style of the dinner, be it a potluck (we are all excited to be able to attend those again) or, in times like these, a happy hour held around a virtual dinner table. Through these events, Civic Dinners aims to help people learn more about what it takes to connect and have discussions with others around important issues and questions to influence meaningful change.
In this episode of the Grow Ensemble Podcast, we chat with Graham about how Civic Dinners has adjusted its approach during this crisis, what has led to Civic Dinners’ worldwide success, and her evolving understanding of what is needed to increase civic engagement and foster community.
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A few of our favorite takeaways from our chat with Graham:
- The story and meaning behind Civic Dinners.
- How Graham and the company are addressing and adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- What has helped Civic Dinners’ momentum and success, with over 1,500 dinners hosted around the world since its launch.
- Lessons and insights she has learned over the years on successfully fostering civic engagement and community.
B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.
Fostering Connection and Community Through Purposeful Discussion-Virtually, for Now was originally published in B The Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.