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On the Table SWFL to be held March 30

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | Mar 16, 2023

The community has an opportunity to engage in conversations with others to generate ideas to create a more sustainable and vibrant Southwest Florida through On The Table SWFL.

The regional civic engagement conversations will be held Thursday, March 30.

Collaboratory spokesperson Noelle Casagrande said On the Table has been done nationally before, with the first On The Table SWFL being held in October 2019 with more than 1,500 participants. This year, given the regional scope, they wanted to partner with Charlotte and Collier Community Foundations to drive the strategic work.

“It’s super simple. The concept is very interesting,” Casagrande said. “It’s a one-day regional conversation with neighbors, friends, coworkers and volunteers getting together over a meal, or a cup of coffee to share what matters most to them.”

They are encouraging table hosts to have anywhere from eight to 15 people, at such places as churches, community centers, restaurants and at Collaboratory.

“The theme is up to each host,” Casagrande said. “The idea is transforming Southwest Florida, reimagining new possibilities for our region.”

Individuals can also visit onthetableswfl.com/join to attend tables at such places as Patty’s Place Concierge Youth Mental Health Care.

“This is where we are populating all of the public tables that the general community can join,” she said. “Patty’s Place just had their grand opening. They are hosting a public table for 20 people in the community that day. If you are interested in joining that conversation, you can click on location, or search by ZIP code and join that table.”

Some of the starter questions include what brought you to the table, what are your hopes for our community now and in the long term, as well as what are some potential solutions to the problems we’ve identified today.

Casagrande said with what the community has experienced with Hurricane Irma, COVID and Hurricane Ian these conversations are more important than ever to have regarding recovery and rebuilding.

“Every voice matters. This is regional, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Hendry and Glades Counties. Coastal community, or inland community, we want those voices at the table to be heard,” she said.

Once the conversations are completed, Florida Gulf Coast University will survey the participants.

“They are working with us on the survey questions and coordinating all of that for the community impact report at the end,” Casagrande said, which will be given to everyone who participated.

For more information, visit onthetableswfl.com.