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Attendee Neurodiversity: A Hands-On Approach

At the recent C2 MTL conference, one session’s participants made lasagna together as part of learning how to be inclusive of, and benefit from, people who process information differently.

Known as a hotbed of creative inspiration for those who plan events, the C2 MTL conference held in late May featured a “layered” approach to educating attendees on neurodiversity awareness.

Screenshot 2024-06-10 at 10.43.06 AM.pngIn the Agora, a large communal space that housed many of the festival’s activations, an interactive station called NeuroLasagna saw reps from two organizations focused on neurodiversity awareness—Better Being and Nuense—lead 15 attendees in making lasagna from scratch. The goal: “To deconstruct the prejudice that all lasagnas must be the same shape, using the metaphor of preparing pasta to better understand the complex dynamics surrounding neurodiversity in the workplace,” said the session leaders.

Tinsley Conway, vice president of events for Atlanta-based Connect Meetings, participated in the session. She and her two team members at the table were given large sheets of different-colored pasta from which they cut out various shapes to represent people who process information differently, including ADHD, dyslexia, autism, and Asperger’s syndrome, along with a shape to represent non-neurodivergent people.

As the session leaders talked about the benefits of neurodiversity in the workplace, participants connected the shapes they cut out and then added cheese and other ingredients between the reconstituted pasta sheets—preparing a tray of lasagna that, despite looking very different from those made by the other teams, was still an appealing, tasty dish. In fact, participants were encouraged to return to the activity station later in the day to enjoy the lasagna they made, after it was baked.

Conway noted that “it was a great way to hold a discussion that might be uncomfortable for some—being focused on doing something with your hands kept the atmosphere more casual and allowed people to let down their guard down a bit during the conversation. The session was as entertaining as it was thoughtful. It was definitely my favorite thing that I did at C2 MTL.”

For more coverage of the creative sessions and activations at C2 MTL, check out this article from BizBash, a sister brand of MeetingsNet and Trade Show News Network.


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