Open space conversations

I have been thinking a lot about public health and health promotion recently mainly due to the recent week of action #PHPweek and the “At the heart of it all: Personalised care and population health” conference.  Now I do have to say that although health promotion and public health has been occupying my thoughts it is by no means my area of expertise and in my nursing life I take a pragmatic view to health promotion making use of those teachable moments and making every contact count, however I am very aware that I still have much to learn.


Ok so now you are all aware of my lack of expertise I expect you are wondering why I am focusing this blog on health promotion if I know little about it? Well as with a lot of my thinking these days it started with a Tweet during the WeNurses #PHPweek Twitter discussion “Being a health promoting practitioner”


Open space conversations? What do I mean by that? Well social media is a vast and wide open space where there is the potential for everyone to see everything and for everyone to listen in.  For example when two people have a conversation on Twitter its not just the two people that see and benefit from that conversation its everyone who follows them too… And if that conversation is shared via ReTweets then this starts to create ripples and the conversation reaches and potentially impacts so many more.  One conversation in an open space can have far reaching value.

So let us take this a little further (because I always like to get carried away!) .. what if we start to have the right conversations in the right open spaces? What if we started “Ready to learn” conversations in parenting communities? What if we had healthy eating conversations in school communities? What if we had mental wellbeing conversations in teenage communities? What if we had testicular cancer conversations in football communities? Open space conversations in the right open spaces are already happening – not in healthcare but they are in Parliament! The UK Parliament outreach team are making some great inroads and have a presence and are having conversations in places like Money Saving Expert, MumsNet, the Army Rumour Service and WeNurses ! Could healthcare do the same ?


There’s a whole push around “Right care, right place, right time” what if this extended to our social media spaces and our open space conversations around public health and health promotion? Can it be done?

One thought on “Open space conversations

  1. If I was having a football conversation in the pub and someone butted in talking about football I would welcome them but testicular cancer I wouldn’t be too happy about. To me this is the same thing
    Got to be careful not to alienate. Big Brother 1984 and all that

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