[DOCUMENTATION] Food Systems Lab Activities

For the 2nd DOCU-DAYS, I was inspired to document the activities of the Food Systems Lab, a social innovation lab working on reducing food waste using a systemic and community-led approach. This documentation may be useful for people working on social or political change and are looking for ways to more effectively facilitate meetings or workshops where there is a wide range of perspectives.

This documentation effort is in a work in progress and can be found in this Google Drive folder.

Useful resources that we referenced for designing the Food Systems Lab workshops:
Social Innovation Lab Guide
Liberating Structures

Contents of the folder are described below for easier referencing.

Mission Research
Time: About 3-4 hours

A participatory action research/learning journey to understand food waste from different perspectives. This is a spy-themed activity to get outside into the ‘real’ world to observe how people interact with food and how it’s wasted. After getting some first-hand experience of people wasting food, participants then draw together onto canvases to debrief what they saw. This is both a tool in sharing information as well as personal reflection, letting participants unlock creativity in communicating. It also helps with expressing emotions that may come up, as the research can be an intense or shocking experience for some people.

Waste Audit
Time: About 1-2 hours

A very brief guide and pie chart template for doing a simple waste audit at an event. This can be a useful engagement exercise to show people how much food they waste, in real time. Make sure you do not tell people that you are doing this waste audit at the event, as that may bias their behaviour to waste less food because they know they are being watched.

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