Engendering Food System Change: Unit 4 Preview

The online units available through IFSTAL help you to better understand the food system through food systems thinking. In Unit 2 we looked at the nature of complex ‘wicked’ problems and how systems thinking can help us to analyse and intervene in them.

Unit 4 is the final unit in the IFSTAL online series. Entitled Engendering Food System Change, this unit explores systemic change in the food system.

On completion the students will be able to:

  • Describe some of the concepts and theories associated with transition, transformation and change.
  • Describe how food system change is initiated and managed by different groups of actors operating in the system.
  • Map different kinds of multilevel change in the food system.
  • Identify at least 3 useful skills and 3 tools for implementing change.
  • Describe at least 2 case studies of food system change.

Divided into three sections, this unit begins by defining systemic change by introducing some of the theories and concepts associated with change and change management. In the second section the focus moves on to the strategies and methods actors and groups of actors use to bring about change. Case studies are utilised to show how industry, civil society, and academia for example use different methods such as lobbying, boycotting, campaigns and citizen science and action research.



The final section of the unit looks at the kinds of tools and skills (for example negotiating skills and communication skills) that are needed to be a food systems thinker in the workplace. This unit informs the forth workshop which centres on Theory of Change, a commonly used approach for interventions in different contexts. We will be encouraging our multidisciplinary students to draw on their food systems knowledge in constructing an applied Theory of Change for an intervention in the food system.




Blog by Annabel de Frece, Education Coordinator, City, University of London


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