Jenn Graham, founder of Civic Dinners and CEO of Aha! Strategies, talks about dining with strangers in a format where guests leave their egos, job titles, and religions at the door and show up as human beings. She explains how this can allow us to ask personal and value-based questions and have deep, rich, and meaningful conversations which build real relationships, transform lives, and cultivate serious civic engagement.
Lessons from the Show
Jenn talked to us about the passions that drive her life and the activities in which she’s engaged and offered us many wonderful lessons that point us towards an authentic, happy and fulfilling life and career including:
- We are influenced by our weekly diet of TV and media to become extreme actors in our own lives, and in doing so we develop aggressive language;
- It is important to our individual humanity and to our society that each of us expands our circle of empathy beyond ourselves to our neighbors, community, city and beyond…that we become conscious of our media diet, ask questions, and focus less on “me”;
- Reflecting on the lost interdependence with our neighbors: we each have to have our own lawnmower, yard tools, and battery charger; we have become independent to our individual detriment.
About Jenn Graham
Jenn Graham works with leaders to design a more inclusive world. She is the founder of Aha! Strategy, an award-winning Atlanta-based social innovation design firm, that blends business strategy, behavior change theory, the art of storytelling and the power of design to build issue-based campaigns and interventions that drive positive social change. Jenn is also co-founder and CEO of Civic Dinners, a civic engagement platform designed to bring diverse voices to the table around conversations that matter.
Her work has received recognition from President Obama, The White House, The Atlantic, Atlanta Magazine, Creative Loafing, Atlanta Business Chronicle, American Planning Association, Urban Land Institute and the Public Relations Society of America. In 2016, Jenn was recognized by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of the 40 under 40, graduated from the Regional Leadership Institute Class of 2016 and is a 2017 New Leaders Council Atlanta Fellow.
Through her work, Jenn has helped raise the Millennial voice by leading the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Millennial Advisory Panel and helped pass a $2.5 Billion referendum for public transportation. In partnership with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, Jenn helped raise the visibility of bicycling in Atlanta by rebranding and reorganizing Atlanta Streets Alive, now the largest open streets event in the country. She’s led the brand strategy, communications and community engagement for Get Georgia Reading and Talk With Me Baby, two coalitions collaborating to bridge the 30 million word gap and make sure all kids in Georgia can read proficiently by the end of third grade.
You can contact Jenn by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can find out more about her work at www.civicdinners.com.
This is episode # 171