Engaging Community Stakeholders in Meaningful Dialogue of Population Health Issues

  • Video
  • Website

Teaching Strategy Description:

“Art of Hosting” and “Harvesting Conversations that Matter” focus on engaging the resources and intelligence of stakeholders. They are based on the assumption that communities have untapped wisdom and that sustainable solutions can be created when that wisdom is shared in a safe and supportive environment.  The Art of Hosting techniques including World Café and Open Space Technology are effective tools for drawing out that wisdom and for engaging communities in meaningful dialogue.

Students are given the opportunity to participate in exercises using these techniques and to reflect on their experience with the tools.  Any government or community report that addresses a population health issue can serve as the foundation for the learning exercise.  Recent examples have included the “New Brunswick Government Student Drug Use Survey” and the “New Brunswick Framework for the Prevention of Unintentional Injuries”.  The class starts with a presentation on the report by a guest speaker, ideally the author of the report or a civil servant responsible for the file.  Following the presentation, students are guided into the World Café or Open Space format and given time to discuss very specific questions that have been aligned with the purpose of the discussion and the methodology.  At the end of the class, students are asked to share key points that emerged from their conversations as well as their response to the process used.  They are asked to consider how they could use this style of engagement with client groups in their clinical practices, how it felt to be a part of the conversation and to share any insights that emerged during the session.

Teaching Context:

  • A final year course entitled Integrated Nursing Practice which includes emphasis on population health.
  • The exercise requires an appropriate physical space, conducive to movement and setting up small group discussion areas “café” style.


Art of Hosting. Retrieved from http://www.artofhosting.org.

The World Café. World Café Method. Retrieved from http://www.theworldcafe.com/method.html.

McKeever, K. (2014). The Art of Hosting – Open Space Technology. https://vimeo.com/69798729.

Submitted by: Gloria Merrithew, University of New Brunswick

Indicator(s): 4.1; 4.2