Category: Open space

Exploring barriers and facilitators to health equity

[April 27] The ongoing opioid crisis continues to inflict serious harms on thousands of British Columbians. Some harms are due to initiation of opioid analgesics in primary care which contributes to the development of prescription opioid addiction and opioid use disorder (OUD) in up to a quarter of all individuals started on opioid analgesics. (more…)

Voice to Voice Book launch June 18, 7 pm, Lost + Found Café, 33 W Hastings‏, Vancouver, BC


Thursdays Writing Collective invites you to celebrate the launch of our seventh anthology, Voice to Voice!

Thursday, June 18, 2015
Lost + Found Café 
7pm-9pm

Join us for a fun evening of socializing and celebration. The evening will include a SHORT reading (15mins), catered free snacks, book sales and some silliness. Details will be posted asap.


This book of poems, stories, songs and memoir by members of the Downtown Eastside community of Vancouver represents a year of thinking about music and transformation. It also represents our collaboration with six composers from UBC School of Music who turned 11 of our poems into original new music art songs. Our collaboration was facilitated by Laura Barron of Instruments of Change.

Beautifully designed by Doris Cheung, Voice to Voice includes score excerpts of the songs which were performed in two concerts (at UBC and at St James Anglican Church).

The book was funded by the community via an Indiegogo campaign and we thank Canada Council for the Arts, UBC School of Music, Peter Wall Centre, Instruments of Change, Carnegie Community Centre and SFU’s Writer’s Studio for support in many guises.

Written, created and brought to life on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.

Contributors include: Anita Lo, Antonette Rea, Brian Topp, Cindy McBride, Christiaan Venter, d. n. simmers, Donna Dykeman, Elee Kraljii Gardiner, Eleanor Guerrero-Campbell, Erol Almelek, Gene Emerson, Ghia Aweida, Gilles Cyrenne, Graham Cunningham, Harry Langen, Henry Doyle, Irit Shimrat, James McLean, James Witwicki, Jan Tse, Jane Miller, Jano Klimas, Joan Morelli, John Alan Douglas, Johnny “Chihuahua” Jaworkski, Judy Nordlund, Laura Barron, Leichandra Truong, Lucas Oickle, Martin Ritter, Michael Ducharme, Molly Skye Ancel, Muriel Marjorie, Neil Dato, Patrick Foley, Rena Sharon, Roger Stewart, Ruth Dato

Accessibility Info for Lost + Found Café:
Main entrance: 5 feet wide, double doors that open outwards, wing handles 41” from ground. Weather permitting, doors to street will likely be left open. There are no steps to entrance. The space inside Lost & Found Café is stair-free. Signage is a sandwich board on the sidewalk.

There is parking (paid by metre) on Hastings St directly outside and opposite the café. There are bike lock-ups directly outside café, as well as the Hastings bus stop. There will be transit tickets available at the event for those who need them.

This event is a scent reduced space. Please refrain from wearing heavily scented perfumes and hygiene products.

Readers will use a microphone and the space has minimal echoes. Lighting is even throughout space.

There are a variety of seating options. A variety of upholstered seats & couches with and without armrests. The majority of seating consists of unpadded wooden chairs with no armrests. There will be space for those who wish to stand. There will be priority seating reserved for elders; these seats will be marked “Reserved for elders”, please help yourself as needed. If you need a particular kind of seating for your physical comfort, please contact us beforehand and we will have that set aside for you.

There will be snacks provided for all attendees. There will be vegetarian options. Water is freely available. Alcohol is not provided but is available for purchase in the space. Counters are 3’3” from ground.

There will be two All Genders washrooms for the event.

The hallway leading to the washroom is 32” wide. There is a 90 degree turn in the hallway with a turning area of 40” by 37”. There are two washrooms, both of which have one stall. The doors to the stalls open inward and the stall entrance is 33” wide. The washroom on the lefthand side has a stall that is 57” deep and 61” wide with the toilet located in the rear left corner of the stall, immediately beside the wall. There is no grip bar. There is a scooter and wheelchair accessible public washroom located at the Carnegie Centre at Hastings & Main, three blocks East of the venue. For further info regarding washrooms, contact Lost & Found at 604-559-7444

This accessibility audit was done using part of the information provided in the RAMP project audit (http://radicalaccessiblecommunities.wordpress.com/radical-access-mapping-project-vancouver/). Thank you to RAMP for giving us feedback on this audit.

Doing research with busy doctors – an open space world

Family doctors are notoriously busy. Lack of their time is the number #1 barrier of doing anything outside their patient workload, including research. And yet, some enthusiasts get involved in the research endeavour, believing it can enhance primary care.

Knowing this, I looked for ways to do research with busy family physicians for my INVEST fellowship in Portland, OR. I needed to get them in one room and ask the group a couple of questions about their recent resident training initiative, SBIRT Oregon. The only time when my doctors were all in the clinic was right after another meeting. One of them suggested doing an open meeting technology. The phrase vaguely rang a bell with me.

‘Open space’ describes the process by which a wide range of individuals, in any organisation, can facilitate creative meetings around a complex theme of importance to all stakeholders 1. While a theme may be important to all stakeholders, they may have differing perspectives and responses, so this approach permits all voices to be heard and facilitates a process where stakeholders move from conflicting views to consensus. The approach has been widely used in commerce, religious communities, (non-)governmental agencies and war zones 2.

How did this work for us?

Our field ‘experiment’ lasted for about 90 minutes with two meetings in one room, right after each other. The meetings were unrelated, but 3/4 of the participants from the first meeting were scheduled for the second meeting too. I and my co-facilitator arrived well ahead of the first meeting. As doctors started to show up for the 2nd meeting – the 1st meeting was still in progress – some people were confused; others patiently listened to people talking at the 1st meeting. I found it very useful to sit on the 1st meeting and the transition to the 2nd meeting was much easier – all were in their seats already.

All in all, this set up had many advantages for multiple meetings with extra busy attendees. It can help solve problems and it works best with many people attending your meeting, but maybe it’s not ideal for research focus groups. A tip for a freshman facilitator: it’s amazing how much powerful an incentive for research can food be, especially pizza.

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1http://www.michaelherman.com/cgi/wiki.cgi
2http://www.openspaceworld.com/papers.htm