Session 13 – Picnic on the line

Date:  Friday 16 and 23 October 2020                Time:  2pm                     Length:      2 hours

Gillian Cochrane, Carolyn Vincent and Rika Asaoka

This session is designed for:
Emerging facilitators                      Still developing                   Wisdom Keeper                  Everyone

Will this session be recorded?                No – this session won’t translate in a recording

Important to note:

There are two sessions – attendees do not need to attend both sessions.

We are inviting participants to share their recipes and/or stories in written form that they can copy and paste into the Zoom chatbox. If you wish to do this, please prepare your text so that it is an easy task for you to do during the session when invited. We will collate these recipes and stories to share as a takeaway from these sessions.

Session Outline

We are having a Picnic on the LINE instead of on the LAWN! And EVERYONE is invited! Picnic-goers are invited to bring a meal/food to the session to share a story about their food.

The purpose of this session is to inspire fun and connection online as if we were all together in person. People will experience HOW we connect through FOOD to celebrate the richness of our diversity.

Using Zoom and breakout ‘lawns’ participants are encouraged to share their story of the food they bring to the lawn. Through story-telling we can celebrate our differences to discover the similarities that may bind us together. It is an opportunity to share socially while being in different parts of the world and time-zones.

Our experiential session embodies the themes of the conference “I am because you are” as it is structured to inspire connection through our diversity.

Key Learning Objectives

  1. Online connection can be as good if not better than in-person.
  2. Have fun online while not being threatened by technology.
  3. How to adapt in-person facilitation techniques in our current world.
  4. Maintain group safety while exploring topics in diverse environments
  5. Embrace the positives of being at home instead of in-person in Brisbane for the conference – no flies, no ants, easily accessible for your personal needs, climate controlled to your own desires, and knowing that we have made less impact on the environment.

How this session contributes to the AFN Community of Practice

1. Our session will help to build an awareness for us as facilitators to choose topics that are inclusive to all such as “Food” which can help us discover our deeper commonalities through our differences.
2. Conversations and stories around food serve to build on all aspects of our diversity.
3. It will be an opportunity for participants to experience ways of connecting in our current circumstances and may provide growth to some who feel uncomfortable with using technology for commonly considered in-person activities.

Toolkit takeaways

  • Your own and the virtual LeftOvers!
  • Bringing people together over a meal or food-related experience can serve as the greatest glue in a facilitator’s Toolkit, which can often be overlooked. Other ‘common’ tools used to bring people together such as music, films and books can be culturally specific that do not translate well across cultures and can cause participants to feel excluded if they represent a minority experience in a group.
  • Demonstrating social connectivity during physical isolation – reducing barriers to connection and collaboration.
  • A PDF memoir of the event comprising of recipes, stories and screenshots from participants.
  • Some technology tips about using Zoom

Speaker Biographies

Gillian Cochrane, Collaborative Vision
Hi! I was born in Scotland and lived throughout Africa and India before arriving in Australia in 2002. I work primarily in prevention of avoidable blindness in low resource settings. Originally an optometrist diversifying into public health eye care and international development, I found that facilitation is the key ingredient to enable everyone’s voice to be heard. I have enjoyed learning from Lewis Deep Democracy, Groupwork Centre and Zenergy. My passion is collaboration and participation that enables diverse folk to realise their individual and collective potential … especially that they can forge and drive their own outcomes.

Carolyn Vincent
Carolyn’s passion to build community comes from her own life’s journey.  She grew up in a connected neighbourhood in India. Carolyn was brought up by the “Village”. Over her 22 yr marriage in Australia she inadvertently allowed herself to get isolated emotionally.  With her marriage breakdown in 2010 she realised how unsupported she was.  Boldly doorknocking on 100 doors in her neighbourhood she shared her life’s journey and her vision for a connected neighbourhood.  She had a 98% success rate.  She has been involved in several community building projects.

Committed to creating a world that works, she brings with her Fun and Authenticity!

Rika Asaoka, Intercultural Consultant, Language and Culture Pty Ltd
Working with Rika means gaining practical insights into other cultures and enjoying every minute of finding ways for your own intercultural competency development.

Having worked professionally with people of multi-nationalities over 30 years, Rika knows first-hand what it takes to thrive in a culturally diverse environment. Equipped with a great sense of humour, she has assisted individuals and organisations across a wide range of sectors in understanding a new culture, collaborating, communicating and leading culturally-diverse teams effectively. Her focus in her work is to be a bridge between Eastern and Western cultures, teams and organisations.