FSLN Priorities and Activities

Over the years, the Food Systems Leadership Network’s backbone team has spent significant time designing and implementing an inclusive network strategic planning process. Through this, we have gained insight, ideas, and action steps to guide the FSLN in supporting individual and collective efforts of systems change.

Some highlights of this process include:

  • 2020: Conducted 30+ interviews with network members to inform the network’s strategic plan; network-wide call to present and refine findings 
  • 2021: Refined and redeveloped an evaluation system to track progress and value of network services; presented evaluation process and system in an FSLN Coffee Chat call 
  • 2022: Hosted a multi-day network visioning and strategic planning session for 75 network members to identify and refine network priorities; circulated an FSLN Member Survey to confirm objectives and prioritize activities (see findings below!) 
  • 2023: Will share a comprehensive look at the network’s activities and impact through a 2022 FSLN annual report; begin research into equity-centered, member-driven, and resilient networks

The following objectives and activities were refined and affirmed through the in person planning event and survey mentioned above. We are excited for the future of this network and the relationships, collaborations, and transformative changes we know will continue to emerge.

We hope you’ll join us as we work towards these objectives and become involved in crafting the programming and community you want to be part of. Stay tuned as opportunities arise! 

FSLN Impact Statement:

By 2025, 5,000 food systems leaders will have more resources, relationships, and power to realize equitable food systems that generate good food, health, and opportunity for all.   

Objective 1: Foster Relationships among Diverse Food Systems Leaders that are Rooted in Trust, Mutual Support, and Accountability

  • Continue to offer the annual Community Food Systems Mentorship Program
  • Host regional convenings and meetups
  • Organize/support learning journeys and site visits to see each other’s work
  • Explore creation of regional chapters of the FSLN

Objective 2: Facilitate the sharing of knowledge, resources, and innovations to amplify community-led solutions and expertise.

  • Host skill sharing sessions, coffee chats, peer learning circles, and other informal venues for knowledge exchange
  • Develop directory of technical assistance/support/service providers and grant writers
  • Produce webinars, videos, articles, etc. that highlight successful strategies and lessons learned
  • Host topical Communities of Practice (VCC, Network Stewards, Farm to Food Assistance, etc.)

Objective 3: Deliver dynamic opportunities for values-aligned professional development, capacity building & systems leadership development to nurture and develop a diverse pipeline of talent for our movement.

  • Convene and facilitate Food Systems Leadership Retreats
  • Provide training and capacity-building opportunities based on member needs and interests
  • Host bi-annual conference/network gathering, including technical assistance tracks
  • Provide access to professional coaches and ‘office hours’ with technical advisors/consultants

Objective 4: Facilitate collaboration and collaborative organizing among network members and partners, particularly around resource mobilization and federal policy & programming.

  • Build relationships with BIPOC-led coalitions and networks, support their goals and projects
  • Provide Network Activation Grants to encourage member collaborations
  • Explore collaborative grant writing – with and for the network, starting with an RFSP master proposal
  • Convene members to sense-make, and collect recommendations for federal policy and programs

Objective 5: Strive to be a model of a dynamic, intentional, and human-centered national network that practices its values in all aspects of network life including programs, policies, operations, and governance.

  • Provide honoraria/stipends for contributing labor and expertise in webinars, case studies, etc.
  • Prioritize the engagement of BIPOC facilitators, trainers, advisors, and network service providers
  • Ensure at least 50% BIPOC participation in application-based / cohort opportunities (retreats, mentorship, etc.)
  • Develop and host a paid, elected Member Leadership Council / Network Advisory Board
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