Assignments 2023

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Introduction to the assignments

The seminar evolves around the theme of the role of the planner for a transformative action (bundling and strengthening niche initiatives), linking a systems approach to a local context. The objectives are to approach build an understanding of parts of the food system and address challenges in a collaborative way. The results of the assignment should contribute to the development of knowledge in the living lab or community.

The assignment can be related to an existing Living Lab, a studio setting of a university, or a food planning issue that is defined by a learner or teams.

The assignment can be carried out in two forms:

  1. 1 Working within the context of a living lab or a community project on a defined challenge for that lab that implies an analysis, mapping part of the food system, defining goals, developing a strategy, and proposing interventions.
  1. 2 Answering to a specific task or research question of a living lab or a community project by reference study, case study, interviewing, testing prototypes or another way that is suitable for addressing the research question.

Carrying out the assignment is supported by the online seminar that follows the phases of planning. Teams can be flexible in the timing of their work.

Assignment type 1: Living lab/community project assignment

A starting point for the work is a collaborative approach. The assignment will address the current challenges of a chosen theme which is relevant for the local community or the stakeholders in the living lab.

The assignment addresses the following questions:

  • Choosing a subject of an LLab relevant to team members (preferably already skills and methods in relation to the topic or define your own topic.
  • Building the case study based on information provided by the Llab, involved local participants (members of the team or external consultants) and internet-based research
    • mapping the local food initiative,
    • identifying the larger context,
    • role and position of the stakeholders in terms of power and impact.
  • Defining the main challenge in the food system to tackle (based on other similar case studies), the visioning process, and its translation into an implementation strategy.
  • Engage in the further definition of the action within the living lab (based on the analysis of the food initiative/Llab and the collaborative goal-setting exercise):
    • What is driving that change? How is it shaped? (cf. Scoones)
    • What is already in place? How are you building on this? What is missing? What is key (and cannot be left out)?
    • What may follow? In 1 year, in 5, in 10? When will you consider this action to be successful? What should it yield? How may it affect the food system?
  • Collaborative monitoring and evaluation of the Living Lab groups
    • What have you learned as a group in terms of addressing a sustainable food planning challenge?
    • Mention one lesson learnt for each individual team member.
    • What might be the most important next step or action for your Living Lab?

Practical steps assignment type 1

  • Building a team (favoring diversity in professional background and expertise) or linking up to another team.
  • Appointing a tutor for the teamwork
  • Make clear how the team interacts with stakeholders, community workers
  • Define the main challenges in a collaborative way
  • Make a planning for the phases of working on the assignment.
  • Make a planning for what results will be presented in the two interim presentations and the final presentation.

Assignment type 2: Specific task or research questions

Research questions of the living labs

The living labs of AESOP4Food have defined a set of research questions. You can find these in this wiki here.

The research questions are defined by the living labs of AESOP4Food and external participants also can define their own questions.

The aim of this assignment is to bring the international dimension to a local situation. The question can be addressed by a reference study, case study, interviewing, testing prototypes, or another way that is suitable for addressing the research question.

Practical steps assignment type 2

  • Selecting or formulating the research question
  • Appointing a tutor for the teamwork
  • Make clear how the intermediate work plan, interim results, and needed evaluation are communicated with the actors in the living lab, stakeholders, community workers, etcetera
  • Define the methods, planned results, etcetera
  • Make a plan for the phases of working on the assignment.
  • Make a plan for what results will be presented in the two interim presentations and the final presentation.

Presentations and feedback

The team will organize its regular (weekly or other) meetings for progress, evaluation, and feedback by the tutor.

There are three moments of presentation and feedback by the international AESOP4Food team.

Intermediary presentation 1: Tuesday, April 11, 2023

10- 15 minutes for each team or individual that is working on the same question. Then 10 minutes for questions and feedback.

The first presentation is a ppt with:

  1. the subject/theme,
  2. the aim of the research,
  3. the research questions or the questions for analysis,
  4. and a short evaluation of how you are doing, and questions to peers
  5. concluded with the next steps.

If you already have some results they could present them after c.

You can use the template of the PowerPoint that is available on the slack channel #2-info-and-questions-on-the-assignments-and-exercises.

Intermediary presentation 2: April 18, 2024

The schedule will be decided by those who will present and the tutors / assessors.

Final presentation of the complete work including the evaluation: June 13, 2024

The AESOP4Food team will make a time schedule for each event.

Before each presentation a PowerPoint and other results needed to be uploaded to the digital folder.