The first Just Ideas Associates Collaborative Day of 2022

A blog by Bertie Cairns, who has recently joined us as an Associate of Just Ideas. 

At the heart of the Just Ideas approach is using the energy of collaboration to help our clients make positive change. In this spirit, we invited our wonderful associates to the first Collaborative Day of 2022.

We really value the skills that our associates bring to Just Ideas and we designed the day as a space where people could share their wisdom and their practical experience.

Here’s just a taster of what we got up to:

We loved the workshop on how to generate powerful discussions. Laura Wallis, who led the activity, used her expertise in mental health as an example. We were asked to consider challenging ideas about our attitudes to wellbeing and place them on a continuum.

  • How far did we agree that wellbeing was more important than mental health?
  • Should we prioritise limited resources on research into causes or care for the suffering?

No right answers! And, as we listened to other perspectives, we found our views shifting, balancing, reframing. Here was a space that safely facilitated deep thought.

It was such a beautifully simple, transferrable technique that we used it with a client a few days later when helping a team collaborate with questions like: Is it important to like your team members?

At the end of the day, we were struck by the power of a simple tool called “strength stories” which builds on the power of collaboration and active listening. It works like this: recount a challenging event to a partner or group. The role of the listeners is to reflect back to the speaker where they were demonstrating positive qualities. This activity stopped us taking our skills for granted and reminded us where we are strong. At the end of the day, this really increased the energy level and showcased the wonderfully skilled people we work with. Our associates are passionate about creating positive change through connecting with people and it was wonderful to see the diverse ways in which they were working for climate and social justice, for disability rights and improving health. What we also saw was that they share our passion for making connections, for working collaboratively, for learning and growing.

In our collaborative day, we wanted to hear and value the voices of our associates and for them to hear each other’s wisdom. Collaborative practices are at the heart of how we work with clients. It felt important therefore to put that into our own practice with our team. We found that working as an associate can often feel a little isolated and we wanted to draw our team together. We learned hugely from working, listening and being together and participating in techniques that our associates use every day. We felt hugely enriched by the day and we hope everyone who came did too.

We can’t wait for the next one!

Community Conversations about health and care – come and join us!

At Just Ideas we are delighted to be working with longstanding partners WSA Community Consultants to support 100 conversations about health and care across Britain between now and May. Our partnership is working for a new charity Engage Britain on their Health and Care project, which aims to get people talking about what matters most to them about health and care: sharing ideas, stories and solutions. Engage Britain will then ensure those voices are heard and ideas discussed by movers and shakers across health and care policy to put people’s voice and experience at the heart of decision-making. Find out more here.

Just Ideas and WSA Community Consultants will be hosting some conversations and would really welcome your input if you are interested in sharing you experience and views on health and care. Each conversation will last 90 minutes. There is no prep work needed – we are keen to hear your stories, experiences and views.

These sessions will be on Zoom, and small and friendly. Currently they are planned for:

Thursday 25th March, 1.30–3pm
Thursday 22nd April, 6-7.30 pm
Thursday 13th May, 10-11.30 am

If you would like to join us let us know by emailing helen@just-ideas.co.uk

Everything you say will feed into Engage Britain building their understanding of solutions that people and communities think will make a difference, to then use this in moving forward to influence policy makers. We hope to welcome you at a conversation!

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