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Convening of Minnesota food network leaders

University of Minnesota Extension hosted a convening for food network leaders on November 28 and 29, 2016. Extension is the lead partner of engagement to the Minnesota Food Charter Network.

Also on this page: Evaluation Results and Notes from Convening.

Find more photos from the Minnesota Food Charter Facebook album: Convening for food network leaders.

The goal of the gathering was to support, connect, and build capacity of food networks to contribute to the implementation of Minnesota Food Charter strategies. The “unconference” was kept small. This allowed attendees to enter into deep, meaningful, and vulnerable conversations. Conversation topics included collaboration, authentic community engagement, race, and justice.

Almost 80 food network leaders from across Minnesota attended the Convening. Attendees met new people and learned about work taking place in different “silos” of the food system. Attendees were encouraged to break down the silos. As as one presenter put it, to start working in “spheres.” Spheres have round edges. They roll around, bump into others, and can even merge. These mobile, malleable spheres (or bubbles) were an apt metaphor for the atmosphere of the convening. Throughout the convening, attendees were encouraged to:

  • Get outside their comfort zone

  • Meet new people

  • Embrace new and sometimes uncomfortable ideas

  • Have fun

  • Literally, blow bubbles together

This two-day convening was highly interactive and participatory. It featured keynotes, breakout sessions, and structured networking.

Detailed agenda

Goal: Support, connect and build capacity of food networks to contribute to the implementation of MN Food Charter strategies.

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