Major Lessons for Building a Culture of Health

How might multi-sector partnerships support a diverse movement to raise opportunities for everyone to pursue a healthier life? Who can engage in a conversation on health equity and prosperity that leads to vision and action? How do we reach and engage people who are not part of this conversation?

To explore these questions, IAF gathered a range of partners and developed and tested an approach to enable a diversity of leaders from multiple sectors to collaborate in sessions designed to use positive emotions. Our lessons presented in the final report speak to how we might build multisector partnerships, whom we engage in a conversation on health equity and prosperity, and how we can engage those who are not part of this conversation.

Major lessons that we learned along the way include:

  • Start with the interests of the people we seek to recruit, rather than a definition or a position.
  • Use dialogue as a disciplined approach to bring different perspectives and information together into a larger context and shared orientation.
  • Pursue diversity among participants in terms of sector as well as geography, age, culture, race, and gender, and educational attainment.
  • Favor in-person events in inspiring places to engage and mobilize networks of people.
  • Ground dialogue by using stories to build shared language, experience, emotional connections.
  • Use Appreciative Inquiry to generate a psychologically safe space and offer a positive way for people to work together.
  • Use vision as an expression of individual meaning offered as a reflection of collective intention.

Support for this project was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Click here to learn more about this project and see the final report.