Mayor Tom Menino launched Fit City Boston to examine how Boston’s urban environment impacts resident health and to set a plan for transforming Boston into the healthiest city in America. In the spring of 2013, the steering committee contacted CI to design and facilitate an interactive kick-off learning event.
The Fit City Boston planning team identified ambitious goals for this inaugural summit, including the need to provide a safe and compelling environment for Boston’s leading architects, planners, health commissioners, academics and neighborhood activists to build relationships and generate collective opportunities. The planning team was willing to take some risks with a creative design in order to ensure that this was not another talking head, panel-dominated gathering. Instead, everyone would take turns being both teachers and learners.
CI helped the large planning team arrive at an agenda that all stakeholders could embrace and feel ownership for co-creating. The staff organizers engaged CI to support speaker preparation, including the guidance on several “Ted-Talk” presentations. In addition, the Boston team engaged CI to serve as the event facilitator and emcee to help guide the day.
Summit participants voiced concerns early in the day about creating yet another organization. Instead, the gathering allowed the group to focus on new ways of working together within their existing networks and initiatives. The new path forward began to create a practice of deeper collaboration for greater impact.
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