What happens when like-minded organizations come together? #C4BD

by Anneliese Poetz, KT Manager, NeuroDevNet

I recently attended NeuroDevNet’s Community for Brain Development inaugural face-to-face meeting in Ottawa, ON this past October 6, 2014.

Despite having attended 2 teleconferences prior, and providing input on the agenda and facilitation of this first face-to-face meeting, I have to admit, I didn’t know what to expect.

I was delighted at how good natured and sincere everyone was, and it was made better by a collective sense of humour that carried throughout the day. This day-long meeting was characterized by a tangible synergy in the room.Community for Brain Development - inaugural meeting

The highlight of the day was when representatives from the 21 organizations in NeuroDevNet’s Community for Brain Development self-divided into 3 groups based on their interest in either: training and development, advocacy and policy, or knowledge translation. Facilitated discussions continued until 3 top ideas emerged, representing what they thought were the greatest needs within training, policy or KT specific to early brain development and what they are doing in their respective organizations. The outcome was a list of several activities the group could work on together each led by a different C4BD sub-group of members who volunteered their time and resources.JanWillemForBlogPost_sm

Jan Willem Gorter (CanChild) facilitated the KT discussion and NeuroDevNet’s KT Core have planned a follow up discussion to figure out “what’s next”.

The day ended with short presentations by 2 MPs (Mike Lake and Eve Adams) and the Deputy Director of BL-NCE and NCE programs Stéphanie Michaud. Mike Lake’s message was poignant: not only do you need to come together as a community you need to have the right people. Looking around the room, he said, he believed we have the right people to be able to make a difference. Based on my experience that day, I think he’s right.

The KT Core provided support before the meeting by providing input into the structure of the meeting agenda and facilitation techniques including crafting a focus question for the small group breakout discussions. During the meeting, the KT Core took photos and video footage (photos for use in future presentations and reports, footage for creating a video about the Community for Brain Development), assisted with flipchart note-taking, tweeted in real-time, and participated in the large and small group discussions contributing KT expertise.

If you have created a community of practice within NeuroDevNet or are planning a stakeholder meeting, contact the KT Core for support.


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