What is the premise of “52 cups of coffee”?

“52 Cups of Coffee” began over 10 years ago with a college senior who decided to connect with new people, each week, through the course of a year to learn about their life and seek their advice and new perspectives. Over the years, it has been adapted by individuals and organizations to network with people outside their immediate social circle.

Why are we doing this?

In 2021 and 2022, our Employment Equity Partners’ Roundtable event focused on several key themes – public policy (civil society/government), corporate sector (business) leadership, and international talent migration (academia).

The need for collaboration and on-going dialogue was identified as a key imperative from last year’s roundtable discussion. Dr. Mike DeGagne, President & CEO of Indspire, who brought forward the idea of the “52 Cups of Coffee” as a way of continuing the conversations from past roundtables and for future events.

The hidden insight of the “52 Cups of Coffee” is that the quickest changes in policy and within institutions will often happen within informal networks and social circles. Our goal at The Inclusion Project is to create this networking platform for exchange of ideas, build a community of practice for leaders, activists and change agents, and to continue conversations on accountability.


The monthly coffee meets will have no strict agenda except for topical issues on equity, inclusion and belonging in the media or other related topics of interest to participants. Sessions will be held twice a month with participants attending one of two sessions per month, via Zoom. Participation will be limited to 15 – 20 participants per – session, to ensure quality conversation and exchange of ideas. At the end of each session, TIP will identify key actions, learnings and imperatives for advancing the work on employment equity among TIP membership and larger network.

As part of the community of practice for participants and partnering organizations, we -will track key commitments and opportunities for collaboration. We will collate and track best practices among member organizations, to determine pathways for employment equity in respective organizations. Leadership lessons and opportunities from the “52 Cups of Coffee” will be shared annually, at the Employment Equity Partners’ Roundtable.