Tag Archives: community-based research

Nourishing Communities: The Book!

We are excited to announce the release of our edited collection that reflects on nearly a decade of Nourishing Communities research network’s collaborations.

Nourishing Communities: From Fractured Food Systems to Transformative Pathways 
Edited by: Knezevic, I., Blay-Palmer, A., Levkoe, C.Z., Nelson, E., Mount, P. (Springer)

From the publisher:

This edited volume builds on existing alternative food initiatives and food movements research to explore how a systems approach can bring about health and well-being through enhanced collaboration. Chapters describe the myriad ways community-driven actors work to foster food systems that are socially just, embed food in local economies, regenerate the environment and actively engage citizens. Drawing on case studies, interviews and Participatory Action Research projects, the editors share the stories behind community-driven efforts to develop sustainable food systems, and present a critical assessment of both the tensions and the achievements of these initiatives.

The volume is unique in its focus on approaches and methodologies that both support and recognize the value of community-based practices. Throughout the book the editors identify success stories, challenges and opportunities that link practitioner experience to critical debates in food studies, practice and policy. By making current practices visible to scholars, the volume speaks to people engaged in the co-creation of knowledge, and documents a crucial point in the evolution of a rapidly expanding and dynamic sustainable food systems movement.

Entrenched food insecurity, climate change induced crop failures, rural-urban migration, escalating rates of malnutrition related diseases, and aging farm populations are increasingly common obstacles for communities around the world. Merging private, public and civil society spheres, the book gives voice to actors from across the sustainable food system movement including small businesses, not-for-profits, eaters, farmers and government. Insights into the potential for market restructuring, knowledge sharing, planning and bridging civic-political divides come from across Canada, the United States and Mexico, making this a key resource for policy-makers, students, citizens, and practitioners.

For more information, please contact irena.knezevic@carleton.ca

Lakehead University Tier II Canada Research Chair in Food Systems Studies

Lakehead University invites applications for a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Tier II Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Food Systems Studies at a rank commensurate with experience and qualifications. We seek an innovative, outstanding emerging researcher that has demonstrated interdisciplinary research strengths, grantsmanship and publications in food systems study.  The Chair will work closely with colleagues in the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences and will take a lead role at the Food Security Research Network (FSRN) (www.fsrn.ca ) which has an established track record in community-based research.  There are many opportunities for the Chair to embrace a diversity of interdisciplinary topics critical to the study of building resilient and sustainable food systems.  Ongoing research at FSRN embraces the application of a complex adaptive systems perspective to food systems.  Given the scope and potential impacts of local food systems, it is particularly critical to understand their dynamics as they emerge through innovation and evolve in response to their surroundings within a context geared primarily toward the dominant agri-industrial system.

See the full posting for application details. Persons that are interested may contact Dr. Mirella Stroink  mstroink@lakeheadu.ca or Dr. Connie Nelson cnelson@lakeheadu.ca for further information on this Chair position.  Selection decisions will be made by Lakehead’s CRC Committee.

Nourishing Ontario travels to Corner Brook, NL and East Lansing, MI

Irena Knezevic, Postdoctoral Fellow, FoodARC
Mount Saint Vincent University
Erin Nelson, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Guelph
Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship / Research Shop

CUExpoThe 2013 Community-University Expo, an international gathering of people committed to collaborative research  partnerships, was held in Corner Brook, NL in the second week of June. Some 400 attendees from 12 countries brought with them fascinating stories of successes, obstacles, challenges, and rewards of community-based research. For the entire four days the event overflowed with an almost feverish brand of enthusiasm that proved contagious and impossible to contain. The conference was well-planned and well-executed – with credit being equally shared by CU Expo organizers and volunteers, the City of Corner Brook, the Grenfell Campus of Memorial University, and the province’s Office of Public Engagement.

Whether it was the opening event (with a keynote address by Canada’s Governor General, the Right Honourable David Johnston) or the Friday night “kitchen party” at the local Legion, the conference was marked by a fine balance of remarkable professionalism and relaxed hospitality that is the trademark of Newfoundland and Labrador.

If there was a complaint to be had, it must have been the difficulty of choosing a session to attend. With several concurrent sessions in various time slots, the program was packed with excellent content ranging from hands-on opportunities to make art (or even butter!), to tours of local community centres and projects, to more traditional sessions that focused on such topics as institutional frameworks for community-university partnerships, using social media effectively, and ethical challenges in community-based research.

Erin and Irena

Erin and Irena

Both of us (Erin and Irena) were at CU Expo wearing two hats –  we travelled with partners from our respective postdoc placements, and we also participated in the conference’s Engagement Fair on behalf of Nourishing Ontario.

2013-06-13 16.26.25

The fair was a two-hour event featuring an incredible array of booths, displays, and posters. While the 4-6pm time slot might have seemed like an opportune moment for people to steal some down time, the place was buzzing for the full two hours, with connections being made, stories being shared, and snacks being enjoyed.

2013-06-13 16.26.42

Our contribution to the fair was a poster presenting the conceptual mapping work done by Phil Mount for our Models and Best Practices Report. The maps seemed to catch people’s attention, and roughly 60 attendees stopped to chat with us and ask questions about Nourishing Ontario’s work. We received lots of positive feedback, and a few people took advantage of the laptop on hand to test the open access software used for the mapping.


Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society Conference, 2013

One week later, the poster was in Michigan for another conference, where Nourishing Ontario regional teams presented on current and upcoming work. At the same conference, Mount discussed the food systems mapping with an engaged room of artists, academics and practitioners, in a well-attended, thought-provoking workshop on visualization. However, you don’t have to travel to see our poster!

Just click here!