How do we grow the Food Citizenship movement?

 In food for thought

Since starting work on the Food Citizenship movement, I have received countless enquiries to collaborate, to help grow the movement and to start the movement in a particular sector, city, or even country! There is a lot of appetite to get involved and great potential for this new shift in society to take hold. So how do we grow this movement? How do we spread this idea that ‘citizen’ is a much broader representation of ourselves than ‘consumer’ could ever be?

Here are four easy steps (shamelessly borrowed from the amazing people at the Berkana Institute) that anyone can do to help our movement grow and ultimately become the dominant narrative:

  1. Name it

Tell everyone about it. Challenge yourself and your peers to stop using the word consumer. Share the values of food citizens with potential partners. For others to join us, they need to know we exist! You can start by doing all the steps we explained here. Fellow pioneers will recognise themselves in what you share and will naturally come to you. Start small, within your team, your department, your clients, your broader communities (friends, family, that drama group you go to on Tuesday evenings).

Would a short manifesto be helpful? Let us know!

  1. Connect us

I often talk of power in numbers rather than size. Our strength comes from the sheer number of us that share this belief in people, but most importantly, it comes from our ability to connect and open the gates of information and resources that come through this new network. Let’s find opportunities to bring people together. Whenever we host a space, think about how we are nurturing these shared values and beliefs. How are we treating those present as engaged citizens rather than passive recipients of whatever we have in stock for them? Whether it is online or at your local pub or weekly staff meeting, how can we provide a space for our voices to be heard?

Based on my discussions with fellow food citizens, all of them are part of supporting networks and meet in person as much as possible. These include B corporation events, the 1% for the planet network, local farmers’ markets, a room above a pub, an AGM festival, grantee networking events, a Business Forum, the Food Teachers Centre, etc. “I am a serial networker” – food citizen

Can you help us as food citizens better connect? If you are hosting a public event, let us know here!

  1. Nourish each other

How and where can we share our learnings and experience with our peers? Who do we speak to most? Where do we learn the most? How can we give access to our resources to others? What do you wish you had known when you started out? What lessons have you learned along the way? How has your approach changed and evolved throughout your work? What challenges have you faced? Who is inspiring you along the way? Share with the network on twitter or here.

  1. Be inspired

There is some great work already happening out there. Food Citizenship is already emerging. Be inspired by exploring the work of our fellow food citizens.