The more one understands what is really on the table, the more willing one is to dig in! Food for Thought: Progressive Governance Forum 2014 was a feast of inspiration!
The theme of this year’s Columbia Institute conference was food security and discussions were framed by the social determinants of health, such as, income, education and literacy, social support, employment and working conditions, culture, and healthy child development (with Raffi – beloved child advocate and musician), as well as other BCHC focus areas, like political commitment and leadership. Approximately 185 attendees came together from April 4th to 5th in Vancouver, BC to learn from keynote speakers and workshops.
The presenters explained the interconnectivity and processes involved in food systems, land use, and how people access healthy food, without oversimplifying or mystifying the issues. They provided solutions and skills. With this approach, the subject matter no longer felt like a black hole – a deep dark vortex of problems, it became a game; one that you now have fun playing because you know the rules and have tons of great teammates with the courage to play through any kind of weather. When you gain the knowledge about how decisions happen and what actions can work, or develop the skills to mediate a discussion about complex issues, it empowers you to establish a more optimistic viewpoint: we can change and we can learn how to move forward with more people on the positive side of the equation.
What was so great about this conference? Well, it transcended the regularly forged divisions of who cares about what and how people go about impacting the world; this conference knocked down the harmful reduction of Us versus Them. Solid research illustrates that there are many common values across political affiliation, a salient notion to building the collective capacity in creating a supportive and sustainable society. Please click here to find out more or to download presentation resources.
By Angela Bello