Letter to the Participants of “Co-Creating Solutions for Our Opioid Epidemic: Part 1 – Think Cafe”

To Everyone who participated in last night’s event
Courage
Last night was truly incredible. I know some of you came feeling depleted and probably skeptical of what we could bring to you, asking yourselves “How Might We be of service to you.”  I want to thank you on behalf of all of us here, for your immense courage for participating in something different, for being open to being vulnerable, to share and give to one another.  I truly hope that we were able to be of service to you, to pass onto you the seed for growing connection, empathy and empowerment. 
Engagement
My method of facilitating is different from the norm on purpose, it’s organic, meant to engage, likely to disrupt some folk’s comfort zone, and designed for you to gain deeper learning and understanding by your own journey in discovery, through feeling and experiencing, instead of sitting there being talked to. It’s along the lines of “the harder you had to work to get through it, the bigger gain and accomplishment you feel.” Part of this is to mimic life itself, an unpredictable experience. I hope in hindsight you found it worthwhile. I hope that with the help from my amazing friends/collaborators/assisting facilitators, Joe and Bix, that we managed to give you a meaningful and valuable experience, one that may have been in some way transformational for you, no matter how small.
Reflection
It was incredibly humbling for me observe and listen to everyone, I’ve come to discover so much more, and loved seeing the comraderie and compassion rise through. I believe we all are teachers to one another; It’s through interactions, communication, and connectivity, then through introspective and reflection that we arrive at these learnings. So on this note, I would like to suggest that you take some time out today and the next few days to reflect on moments that stood out to you throughout your experience. Ask yourself the questions below, perhaps jot some notes down each day. By the way, jotting down words on paper gives power and further realization to what you observe and gain in knowledge… it is an incredibly powerful way to own what you thought, felt, and learned upon deeper reflection.
What moments stood out for me, stimulated me?
Why did this moment stand out?
What feelings came up and why?
What thoughts came up and why?
What insights have I gained during, and after?
Can I apply the #HowMightWe or How Might I help… to do something about it. (This can be as simple as, How Might I help myself to (insert verb) — —-?  How Might I gain more social connectness?)
Once you have some items of How Might I/We think about if you need help with achieving these. Think about who can be of service to you?
It’s about finding the right people and you will find the help you need. Remember you now also have a growing village of people here, so feel free to reach out to us. 
Grow
We need to nurture a trickle up effect, spread the empathy and get those who are suppose to represent us citizens and ensure the well being of the citizens, are engaging with empathy and not apathy. Of course, we must have empathy for the people who we look to for help as well. We are looking to break down walls of apathy, miscommunication, preconceived knowledge and limited perspectives, so let’s help them to understand and empathize. Remember how you felt at the beginning of the workshop last night, then compared to how you felt at the end. What we each felt in the end, we each need to do work to help others feel what you felt and feel. It begins with you. Think about your network, who of those do you know are in jobs or know people who would benefit from being a part of our movement of engagement, empowerment, and taking action. Do you know folks in the health and public sectors? Share & engage with them on behalf of all of us.
Connection
So to grow this, we must connect and communicate. Here are some avenues in which you can keep in touch with us as a whole group, and also share with others. Our volunteer team, myself included, would also really love to hear your feedback and insights gained from your experience of the workshop in general, please let us know that if what we’re doing is making an impact and how. We’d be grateful for it.
Join Innov8 | Opioid Jam Group (New sub group):  https://www.facebook.com/groups/Innov8Opioid/
Join Innov8 FB Group – our main general group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/innov8collective/
Knowledge
We said we’d follow up with some links for those interested in various items talked about last night, so here they are along with some extras:
Video: Sympathy vs. Empathy
Video: Drugs Don’t Cause Addiction
The author who inspired the Drugs Don’t Cause Addiction video:
For those interested in learning more about what a Design Jam is like, I also host/organise/facilitate the local Global Service Jam events annually, so you can take a look at what we’ve done in past years to get more of an idea:
Daily blog post from 2017 Global Service Jam in Vancouver (latest post is on top, so you’ll be viewing it going backwards for it to make sense)
Join a Jam – Remember the specifics is referring to 

Well, that’s sums it up for now. Thank you all so much, again.

Best wishes to you all, until we meet again 🙂

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