Method: Shared Meals
Description of Method:
Sitting round a table, sharing food and conversation as an activity in itself or as part of a larger event or programme.
Purpose of Method:
Eating together in the Urban Room is an enjoyable and informal way to get to know others, share ideas and form networks. The food itself can celebrate the produce, traditions and diverse cultures of a local area. The food could be catered by local independent businesses, thus supporting the local economy. Or you could organise a ‘food fuddle’ where guests bring their own contributions to the collective meal, thus creating a shared sense of ownership of the event. A collective meal can be a useful activity to consolidate connections that have started to form in earlier events or to break the ice at the start of a session.
This is an inclusive activity that most people can enjoy. Be aware, however, of allergies and dietary preferences and make sure that the ingredients of the food are clearly made available.
Nottingham Urban Room
A ‘social eating’ event where participants prepare and share a meal together, as a tool to collect data and to generate and strengthen social networks. Local growing networks provided the produce and catered for informal meals that helped to generate a relaxed and communal atmosphere where participants felt confident and at ease to discuss potentially sensitive issues.