More than 70 community leaders of the Eastside gathered for the Leadership Eastside Morning Forum in Bellevue Oct. 13 to explore the connections between the economy and basic needs of our communities.
To delve into the nuances of these seemingly opposing issues, LE used its Intersection Exchange dialogue approach, developed expressly for this forum series, to challenge the group’s assumptions and engage the wisdom in the room. The audience was separated into two groups; one representing the economy viewpoint and the other representing the basic needs viewpoint. In small groups made up of a mix of these perspectives, people were asked to reflect upon ‘why we care’ and where to find common ground.
Audience participants then formed a panel to share their thoughts and ideas with the whole group. Points of common ground included needing to humanize the experience of poverty, the large and small businesses that help fund human services, and the conclusion that education isn’t a silver bullet solution.
Most of the audience left the morning forum agreeing that to productively tackle these issues would require the addition of some people not currently included in these conversations. Eastside Leaders cannot lead in isolation and they need to have all of the perspectives represented. People also felt that it is extremely important to focus on building strong relationships first.
For more information, visit www.leadershipeastside.com.