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Facilitating communication

Facilitate communication between Food Future collaborators

Our Food Future is a complex initiative, with three workstreams, nine Pathfinder projects, and several Living Lab projects that collectively involve 29 organizations. To share documents, plan documents and facilitate communication, we’ve turned to Basecamp, a well-established commercial platform for project management. We’ll also use elements of the Kitchen Table platform to support internal project management.

Engage and build a digital Food Future community

For Our Food Future to have an impact beyond the 2025, we need to grow a community of supporters and turn a government-led initiative into a community-led movement. To do this, we’re creating a digital engagement platform where local businesses and community members can become invested participants and collaborators.

Leading up to the launch of Our Food Future, our digital engagement with the public relied on the City of Guelph’s Engagement HQ (EHQ) platform and the website foodfuture.ca. Foodfuture.ca served as the entry point for digital engagement, providing information, tools, videos and other resources. Meanwhile, EHQ provided a channel for feedback and interaction.

In September 2020, we launched a new digital engagement platform called The Kitchen Table that supports dynamic, two-way collaboration between the project team and the broader community. This platform was built using Open Social—an open-source community-building platform from the Netherlands that specializes in creating online communities that support social policy and systems change. Open Social was built using “privacy by design” principals and exceeds the requirements of the European Union’s strong General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Kitchen Table functions somewhere between an open innovation platform and a regional social network. It will be a space where Our Food Future workstreams can launch innovation challenges, crowdsource ideas and give members of the community the opportunity to vote on the ideas they’d like to see implemented. It will be a space to share stories, discuss circular food best practices and convene two-way conversations with our engaged public. To coalesce community energy around food system change, the platform will also allow community members add their own content, events and ideas.

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