Updated Apr 02, 2019

Jenn Graham

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Civic Dinners is a civic engagement platform that uses technology to bring diverse voices to the table over food for conversations that matter, and drive individual and collective action around the big issues of our time.

Our innovation is super simple. Our platform is designed to make it easy for anyone, anywhere to host a dinner on a specific topic, either in their home or in a restaurant, or at their office or a public space. We make it easy for people to gather with others (both strangers and friends) for conversations that matter. We provide hosts with a downloadable and printable host guide with questions ...
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Our innovation is super simple. Our platform is designed to make it easy for anyone, anywhere to host a dinner on a specific topic, either in their home or in a restaurant, or at their office or a public space. We make it easy for people to gather with others (both strangers and friends) for conversations that matter. We provide hosts with a downloadable and printable host guide with questions that have been co-crafted with our partners. And our technology helps gather insights from participants afterwards, providing recommended next steps and encouraging participants to commit to action.
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Stage 5: Scaling

In the past year we have brought on 14 new clients and have launched over two dozen conversations on our platform. We just brought on our first corporate client: Facebook. And we are ready to scale and would love to scale to support the SDGs.

Focus Areas:

Citizen Participation, Gender Equity, Climate Change and Resilience and 1 MoreSEE ALL

Citizen Participation, Gender Equity, Climate Change and Resilience and LiteracySEE LESS

Implemented In:

United States and New Zealand

United States and New ZealandSEE LESS

2
Countries Implemented In
7,000
Customers
5
Employees
$1,200,000
Funds Raised to Date

Problem

We live in bubbles. And we work in silos. The scale of the problems ahead of us are far larger than what government alone can solve. And we are leaving out everyday citizens at the local level. Global leaders who want to see systemic change are not making issues personal, relevant or actionable at the local level.

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Solution

Civic Dinners is a civic engagement platform that uses technology to bring diverse voices to the table over food for structured conversations on issues that matter. We work with organizations, cities, nonprofits, companies and governments to design and scale community conversations that create a safe and brave space for critical conversations. We help break silos by breaking bread, and help cities move the needle on critical issues from mobility to livability to prosperity.

Target Beneficiaries

We aim to serve city governments, regional coalitions, national nonprofits and global alliances to help raise awareness around the big issues of our time, bring diverse voices to the table, find common values and shared visions, and motivate and mobilize action.

Mission and Vision

Our purpose is to help build a more inclusive and sustainable world where everyone feels invited and engaged in co-creating a better future. We want to bring 1 million people to the table by the end of 2021. And we want to use the SDGs as the lens for all critical conversations around the world. We are ready to scale and help make the SDGs more accessible, relevant and actionable to everyday citizens, and create the systems change so needed.

Competitive Advantage

Currently there is no innovation out there like ours. We have designed a bespoke dinner conversation platform, complete with the simple dinner guest management and the custom follow-ups and actions designed for each topic. While several other dinner concepts exist, ours is the only platform designed to partner with other institutions. Also, we have a proven conversation design process that guarantees a productive conversation where people leave feeling hopeful and empowered. And our platform is the only one designed to drive collective action and collect data that can then be cross-referenced and shared across numerous partners and agencies.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Our platform growth has been significant since we launched in June 2017. At first we were growing about 100 new users a month, then 100 a week, and in March 2019, we've been growing 100 a day. We aim to continue this user growth, and grow our client list. We've brought on our first corporate partner: Facebook. And we intend to activate 30 cities by the end of 2019, with a goal of being in over 100 cities by the end of 2020. Our ultimate goal is to bring 1 million people to the table by 2021.
Funding Goal5,000,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted1,000,000
New Implemented CountriesCanada, Australia
Recruit100,000 hosts
New FeatureWe are currently working through our 2.0 upgrades to our platform that will include partner admin privileges, a new user sequence that asks users to select topics they are interested in, their current location, and then would automatically notify them of upcoming dinners happening near them, where they can meet people who care about the issue, have a conversation, then immediately take action in support of co-creating a better future. We are also completing our diverse tables algorithm.

The Team Behind the Innovation

Founder & CEO — Jenn Graham — founder and growth strategist for numerous movements based in Atlanta including Talk With Me Baby, Get Georgia Reading, Atlanta Streets Alive, TEDxAtlanta. Designer, community organizer, civic tech entrepreneur Chief Innovation Officer — Thomas Stokell — Founder & CEO of Love to Ride, a global tech startup Chief Communications Strategist — Saba Long — Female, Ethiopian, key influencer, writer, author

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN

Milestone

Mar 2019
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
Mar 2019
New Product Or Service
We now have available a city package of 12 essential conversations cities need to be having: Water, Ecology, Livability, Mobility, Prosperity, Energy, Waste, Food, Culture, Education, Justice, and Equity. These conversations can be slightly tailored to any geography, customizing the actions, follow-up emails and launch campaign. Conversations can be ready to deploy within 6 weeks.
Feb 2019
New Product Or Service
We just launched an "Actions page" that is unlocked after participants attend a dinner, and suggests actions the guest can commit to or mark as completed. A follow-up reminder is then sent to remind guests of their commitments to take action. All actions are aggregated visibly on the site and will eventually earn rewards for participants.
Jun 2017
New Country Implemented In
New Zealand
Jun 2017
New Country Implemented In
United States

Supporting Materials

CivicDinners-ABOUT-2017-0815.pdf
PurposeStatementPostcard-jg-client.pdf
CivicDinners-SierraClub-CleanEnergy-ConvoCards.pdf