Millvale’s Dream/Design Cafe, held Saturday, April 2, 2016, at the Millvale Community Center was the second in the series of “World Cafes” developed to align with a focus on Equity in the community’s Ecodistrict Pivot 2.0 Plan. This ongoing work engages stakeholders in conversations about the equitable development/redevelopment of Millvale for all of her residents and businesses, and how it is being “designed” into it’s future using an Appreciative Inquiry approach.
During the first Discovery Cafe on February 13, 2016, community members considered the questions: What makes Millvale vibrant; How have you individually contributed to this vibrancy; and What can you do as an individual to carry that vibrancy into the future? Working during round table discussions, participants drew, doodled, and shared opinions about what has contributed to Millvale being who she is today. Following the discussions, the materials were displayed for participants to review and reflect on discoveries. The second Dream/Design Cafe displayed this 12 page mural of the work done at the Discovery session, as a review for some and as an introduction for others.
The Dream/Design Cafe began with a real dream session as attendees were instructed to see themselves 20 years into the future. They envisioned becoming a tour guide for a group visiting Millvale to learn about how she had become the award winning borough of the future, that many other towns now wanted to emulate. Following the dreaming, Emily Marko, our graphic recorder, began to capture all that was shared by the participants during the discussion session . Cafe participants were then lead into the 2 questions of the day, around which they would have their conversations.
- What are the areas where you feel more resident engagement could have the most impact on improving the quality of life in Millvale?
- As you reflect on successful ways residents are currently engaged in improving Millvale, what initiatives stand out as being exceptionally promising in expanding local citizen participation in community leadership and which look promising to best bring broad benefit to citizens? Why?
The images and words heard during discussion of these questions were captured in a beautiful graphic recording. The afternoon culminated with a review of the outstanding work that was done by all of the participants. This large scale drawing will be on display in the community to stimulate continued thought about how to make Millvale a place of self-determination and opportunity for all.
The third and final event, the Destiny/Delivery Cafe, will be held at (New Sun Rising office) 220 North Avenue, Millvale, on Saturday, May 7, 2016, 10-11:00 am, during the Millvale May Days Celebration. The community will have the opportunity to review the work of the 3 sessions, and vote on the “next steps to self directed viable project(s)”.