In The Kitchen, We Are All Equal!

This weekend, the FoodLab crew got together to collaboratively write the foundations for our business plan. We organised a field trip to Aegina island where we had an intensive one-day meeting along with celebrating Thanksgiving.

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The Options Retreat on Aegina.

We have bits and pieces of our goals and vision spread all over our online “cloud”; fragments from meetings and lessons from our previous events, comments and thoughts. However, we have never sat down as a group with the goal of getting everything down on paper. Now we did.
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Using collaborative software, we linked computers in order to create a “mind map”. This is a way of creating an outline for our team which is more interactive than just text, and more malleable than Post-It notes. We had previously identified seven main points to guide our discussion. They were: Learning, Vision, Employment, Communication, Community, People, and Visibility. Using these “root” themes, we developed our map by elaborating on each of these themes in an organic and informal way.

Creating the Mind Map by adding our ideas and shared experiences to the pre-established themes.

Creating the Mind Map by adding our ideas and shared experiences to the pre-established themes.

We all had a lot to say, since some of us have been working together for almost two years now on many memorable events. Sometimes we write our feedback after events, but with five different languages at this table (and often we have more), the mind map was one of the most inclusive ways to record everyone’s input, and with less constraints to limit people’s thoughts. Additionally, this week we also received a MethodKit in the mail from Sweden, which is a versatile offline tool that we will be using more of in the future.

"People need to understand that we work this way."

“People need to understand that we work this way.”

We soon found that we were invariably mixing languages, learning from each other, but also finally understanding that we were all saying the same thing! Which was exciting, because the ideas of individuals often clash in a group. However, as one person said during the discussion, “We see who the people are by working together, but the foundations must be clear.” And this is how we got to know and respect each other by doing a good job together. And we want to keep working together and to include more people. So for this reason, and several others, we are bringing back the cooking meetings that we were doing last year, albeit on a more regular basis.

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We want these meetings to serve as a platform for our group to meet, to get to know new people, to have a regular rendezvous point, to cook together, to plan, and to scheme. In the past we were doing these meetings in people’s houses, but we would like to have a regular place to meet on a bi-weekly basis.

This could also be a time to experiment with new ingredients, learn new techniques, and have a nice meal together. We are currently scheduling the next meeting for Sunday December 18th, 2016 and the dish will be Egyptian Koshari. The venue that has opted to host us is Kassandras, which is located on the eponymous street in Athens. We will Start at 14:30, and we will publish a FB event with more details. For now, please look at the ingredients list that we need people to contribute to.