Food for Thought

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Image by Kelley Taghon

What does a former deli in South Bend, Indiana, have to do with imagination? More than you might imagine. Under the leadership of CEO and President Phil Newbold, Memorial Hospital has turned the space into what Gene Stowe of the South Bend Tribune calls “an energetic creativity classroom.” It still looks like an eatery—there are tables, chairs, and display cases—but the objective now is to nourish the right brain rather than the stomach. Open to hospital workers and organizations of all kinds, Innovation Café @ Memorial offers classes and workshops intended to promote imagination, creativity, and innovation. These delicacies are described in a “menu” that includes, for instance, appetizers such as “Pre-Visit Readings”; “Introduction to the Basics of Innovation” as a “Soup and Salad” course; a “Chef’s Choice” entrée of “Putting Innovation into Healthy Community Initiatives”; and a “Side Dish” of “Real World Stories.” Not to mention the “Yummy Desserts”! So how exactly does this unusual “café” function? Continue reading