This is a Healthcare innovation from The 70 Best Trend-Driven Innovations of 2019.

The first cooking school for cancer patients, Life Kitchen, opened in the UK this month. One side effect of chemotherapy is altered taste: cancer patients often find that their sense of taste changes significantly, or may even temporarily disappear. The Life Kitchen’s three-hour classes teach attendees how to cook meals that are designed to be more enjoyable for those with an altered sense of taste. Classes are free to those suffering from cancer.

The Life Kitchen has whipped up a genuinely heartwarming experience, and one that can serve you plenty of inspiration. Let’s break it down:

Empathy enabler. There’s so much talk about empathetic brands. But the truth is that brands can’t just manufacture and scale empathy like they do products. Trying to do so inevitably makes it inauthentic. Your goal should be to build a company culture where empathy naturally emerges. That’s awesome, but hard! The other approach (but don’t be cynical about it) is to scale the empathy of others. Life Kitchen’s founder Ryan Riley was inspired to help others after losing his mum to cancer. Various brands stepped up and donated everything from the building fit out to the food. There are many well-deserving stories like this out there. Rather than trying to promote your agenda, can you help empower individuals who deeply understand very specific or overlooked personal pain points?    

Skill up. Calm down. Eating tasty food isn’t the only benefit Life Kitchen delivers. Research shows that learning a new skill effectively combats stress. Meaning Life Kitchen’s experiences are be both practical and therapeutic. Riley saw how his mum lost not just her sense of taste, but also her desire to socialize with people over food which made it harder for her to enjoy life. Living with cancer is probably one of the most stressful experiences people (and their families) will experience. But more broadly, stress and burnout are growing global phenomena. Want to help? Our latest report on the Future of Wellbeing dives into THE BURNOUT in more detail...

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