Brief description: FoodSpark is a remix of the traditional potluck. As a series of monthly, themed, and potluck-style dinner parties, FoodSpark serves as a chance for city dwellers to meet, make friends, and share social ideas on the topics that are selected each dinner.

How to:

1. Identify a topic that you care about. This will serve as the theme for your FoodSpark

2. Organize a potluck with friends, colleagues, and community members. It can be in your home or in a public space.

3. Invite people from local organizations, affinity groups, and topical networks to join in. Spread the word by posting to social media and other means.

4. Create a food prompt based on the theme, and ask attendees to bring dishes that relate to it. A prompt is a short, inviting questions that inspires stories; for example: what’s the first food you learned to cook? That prompt could open a conversation about childhood, learning, gender roles, etc.

5. At the beginning of the FoodSpark, take time to set the scene and introduce the theme and purpose of the gathering.

6. Allow attendees to mingle, eat, and have smaller group dialogue about the topic.

7. During the meal, gather people's attention and ask them questions found in the FoodSpark guide. Ensure that those facilitating the conversation help it lead toward the development of ideas, solutions, and/or projects that relate to the theme.

8. As a group, select an idea that everyone likes. Decide who would be willing to take it on. As seen in other FoodSpark projects, the idea can be an art project, a group therapy, a venture, or social initiative. Be creative.

9. After the dinner party, follow up with everyone to stay accountable with each other and make the idea happen.

10. Report your outcomes. Share them with the FoodSpark team at

Inspiration: Submitted to the HI-LI database by DeAndrea Nichols See:

Impact statement: As stories are layered, complexity and richness emerges, and so do underlying commonalities between participants and onlookers. The sum of any story circle is a multidimensional exploration of its theme, so it allows communities to focus on issues important specifically to them.