The Invitation- The community members of St Peter, MN were invited to participate in dinner and an opportunity to have conversations about health and wellness for their community. An intentionally broad, inclusive invitation went out with the help of the members of the planning committee and individuals identified as having connections with new members of the community.
The Core Hosting Team included, David Newell of The Center for Servant Leadership at Gustavus Adolphus, Ronda Redmond and Katie Boone from Sowelu Institute, Krystal Hill of B.O.L.D. and Dawn Ellison of Influencing Healthcare, LLC.
Sponsors and Supporters included Blandin Foundation, Clarity Facilitation, Bush Foundation, St Peter Community Center, Mankato Clinic Foundation and the St Peter Food Coop.
After a delicious and healthy dinner catered by the St Peter Coop, the evening began with a brief framing of issues surrounding health and wellness including a discussion of social determinants of health and the increasing percentage of Minnesotan’s family budget that is healthcare. A video was shown that included St Peter Community members discussing the importance of community connections to the health and wellbeing of individuals in the community.
The first opportunity for conversation was through a world cafe’ using the questions:
What is at the core of good health and wellness?
What are some amazing possibilities we can explore in St Peter that will improve health and well being for all?
100% of people answering the evaluation found the World Cafe’ conversations valuable and 40% rated them as extremely valuable. Ideas generated in these conversations led to more conversations in the following Open Space conversations.
The Umbrella Question for the Open Space was:
“What can we start today to leverage assets, build connections and together create a healthier St Peter?”
Callers brought forth the following topics:
Access to Healthy Foods for All.
Slowing Life Down to have Time for Barbecues.
Protecting Wild Places.
How can we Host Authenticity in our community?
How to Create a Truly Inclusive Community?
Those participants who found these topics of interest, joined in the conversations and shared contact information.
100% of survey participants who attended the Open Space found it valuable and 42% found it extremely valuable.
“Many exciting topics. Good to be fluid and move to different groups. I felt I connected with people on the topics of their interest, as well as the topic I suggested.”
When asked about further involvement in innovation around health and wellbeing in St Peter; 82% of respondents expressed interest in more conversations exploring opportunities, 55% had specific causes they wanted to champion, 82% are interested in having a larger community conversation, 70% are interested in learning more about theories behind creating inclusive sustainable changes in communities, and 55% want to champion St Peter moving towards an Accountable Health Community by being a local organizer of future conversations leading to sustainable changes.
There is a clear interest in gathering more community members together to have a larger conversation about health and wellbeing. Individuals listed next steps to which they are committed on the survey. These included:
Personal Exercise and group activities
Connect University of MN resources with community
Improve walking safety
More conversations about health and well being
Build connections in the community
Park and exercise equipment on north side of town
You might be interested in this short video by David Gillette sponsored by TPT and BushFoundation. It is excellent!