Apply Now for the Food Systems Lab

The application process to participate in the first workshop is now open. If you would like to take a visible leadership role in helping to shape the future of a food system in the Greater Toronto Area that minimizes waste while unlocking new opportunities for collaboration with leaders in the food system, please complete an online application form by November 8, 2016. Applicants will be notified by November 11, 2016 if they are selected to participate.

The Lab will run as a pilot for one year with three workshops:

  1. Seeing the System (November 24-25, 2016) – The goal of this workshop is to gain a broad and deep understanding of the system and open new possibilities for interpretation. We will use whole system thinking tools to uncover assumptions, mental models, and bring a diversity of viewpoints.
  2. Designing (March 2016, dates TBD) – Social innovation tools and methods will be used to identify emerging patterns, programs, initiatives, ideas that could transform the system. Possible innovations and opportunities will be explored.
  3. Prototyping (July 2016, dates TBD) – Design thinking tools will be used to prototype possible innovations and opportunities. A rapid iteration process is used to maximize learning while minimizing the feedback loop.

Working groups will be formed at the first workshop and will continue on initiatives between workshops.

Workshop Fee

The participation fee is $100. This fee includes lunch and refreshments on both days of the workshop. Full and partial bursaries are available on an as-needed basis.

Lab Participant Attributes

We are seeking leaders in Toronto with the following attributes:

  • Ability to influence the actions of your organization
  • Deep curiosity
  • Passion for social innovation
  • Ability and desire to commit the time required
  • Comfort with ambiguity
  • Trust in the process
  • Links with other organizations and networks in the food system
  • Love of learning and desire to share their unique insights and experience
  • Openness to the idea that if we want to change the system, we also need to see our role in it and be open to changing ourselves at some level