Last Saturday I participated in an event that made me feel like I was part of something significant, something decisively different. A community initiative fueled by some of the most passionate and motivated people I’ve ever met.
Over a hundred people gathered at LPK’s Brand Innovation Center – people from every corner and street of our city, from Over the Rhine to Indian Hill – for the CoreChange inaugural event. It was an all-day session, the first of three that will take place over the next several months, aimed at creating a healthier, more prosperous Cincinnati.
It was an inspirational and educational day facilitated by Case Western Reserve University Assistant Professor Mark Chupp, Dr. Victor Garcia of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital (featured in the video at the end of this story) and members of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Leadership Cincinnati program. The event provided an introduction to the concept of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) – a positive, strength-based methodology that is at the very essence behind CoreChange, along with additional methodologies including Systems Thinking, Asset-Based Community Development and Design Thinking. It is through these methodologies, particularly AI, that community members will co-create a plan for Cincinnati’s future.
The purpose of Appreciative Inquiry is to focus on what works. AI identifies the best of “what is” to pursue dreams and possibilities of “what could be.” It’s about recognizing strengths, successes and potentials. To embody AI in three questions, we were told to ask: What’s working? What does better look like? And what action do we need to get there? It’s a philosophy that CoreChange will use to help improve our community. It’s also an approach that LPK will begin using to foster new conversations regarding branding and design.
After being introduced to Appreciative Inquiry, the remainder of the session was about putting AI into practice. We broke into small groups to identify Cincinnati’s strengths and its opportunities to explore. The number of ideas generated was impressive, and the level of enthusiasm in the room was contagious.
At the end of the day, our small groups were left with actionable tasks – to venture out into Cincinnati’s neighborhoods over the next two months and conduct what CoreChange has titled “learning journeys” – to explore the topics and opportunities we wish to investigate and work toward improving. The entire group will reconvene in July to discuss our learnings and then plan for a community-wide, thousand-person summit that CoreChange will host next fall.
LPK has partnered with CoreChange since the first seedling of the idea, working closely with Dr. Garcia and his colleagues to create the entire identity – from the name and tagline, to the logo and assets, to the video that was unveiled during the May 14th event. It’s been a journey filled with hope, optimism and a lot of heart. And I know I speak on behalf of the entire team when I say it’s been extremely rewarding.
LPK is proud to support the CoreChange mission as they work toward creating a better life for each, and a better Cincinnati for all.