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MULTI-
STAKEHOLDER
TOOLKIT
This toolkit provides direction for the development
of a strong food system group on campus. It...
Multistakeholder Toolkit 2
The Campus Food Systems Project builds the student movement to
get healthy, local sustainable f...
Multistakeholder Toolkit 3
Introduction and Goals
The Campus Food Systems Project supports students across the country int...
Multistakeholder Toolkit 4
New connections and ideas: As strange as it might sound - often people
interested in and workin...
Multistakeholder Toolkit 5
Stakeholder types
Best practices for targeted stakeholder outreach and relations:
Step 1: Creat...
Multistakeholder Toolkit 6
Try to work with chefs and front line food service staff! Chefs, cooks, and buyers are people w...
Multistakeholder Toolkit 7
Be aware that there might already be an organizing committee in place for food on your campus. ...
Multistakeholder Toolkit 8
Next steps
Make sure you followed up with your stakeholders after your meeting - sending out a ...
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Multistakeholder Toolkit

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This toolkit provides direction for the development of a strong food system group on campus.
It will help you realize who you can connect to create a diverse and knowledge working group. By the end of this toolkit you’ll understand who you’ll need to work with and how you can bring your network together. to create a strong food group and movement on campus.

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Multistakeholder Toolkit

  1. 1. MULTI- STAKEHOLDER TOOLKIT This toolkit provides direction for the development of a strong food system group on campus. It will help you realize who you can connect to create a diverse and knowledgeable working group. By the end of this toolkit you’ll understand who you’ll need to work with and how you can bring your network together, to create a strong food group and movement on campus.
  2. 2. Multistakeholder Toolkit 2 The Campus Food Systems Project builds the student movement to get healthy, local sustainable food onto university campuses in Canada. The CFSP launched in October 2011 to work with campuses across the country. The project aims to help students improve the multi-stakeholder organizing, procurement practices, and research capacity of their institutions. By doing so, students have unlocked the potential for Universities to lead the healthy, local and sustainable food movement. The resources used, best practices developed, and lessons learned from these campuses are shared on studentfood.ca to inspire and support change on campuses nationwide. This project was developed by Sierra Youth Coalition and Meal Exchange, two national organizations with over 20 years of experience bringing students, faculty and administration together on university campuses to deliver social justice and environmental programs. The partnership of our organizations on this initiative was supported by three years of funding from the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. For questions or further support, contact national@studentfood.ca Sierra Youth Coalition 1 Nicholas, Suite 1510-1 K1N 7B7 Ottawa, ON (613) 241-1615 syc-cjs.org Meal Exchange 365-401 Richmond Street M5V 3A8 Toronto, ON (416) 657-4489 www.mealexchange.com This toolkit was last updated May 2014. This work is license under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy at this license, visit: http//:creativecommons.org/license/by-nc-nc/3.0/
  3. 3. Multistakeholder Toolkit 3 Introduction and Goals The Campus Food Systems Project supports students across the country interested in creating more healthy, just and sustainable food systems on their campuses. However, we’ve seen that for students to make significant and lasting change on campus, they need to connect with a variety of people on campus. We’ll call these people, individuals who are invested in the food system, “stakeholders”. This toolkit will help your efforts in outreach and multi-stakeholder organizing. It should be used as a springboard, a tool to develop relationships across your food system, initiate a network, and discover opportunities within your campus food system. Creating a Campus Food Strategy Group (CFSG) Coordination Understanding your role: You can view your role in multi- stakeholder organization as that of a coordinator. Coordinators facilitate a space in which people working on food on campus can gather, network, socialize, and collaborate. There’s a fine balance to strike between setting your own agenda (say, getting more local food onto campus), and being responsive to the reasons that other people might spend time talking with you and coming out to meetings. It’s especially important during the initial meetings that you stress your purpose and role as that of a coordinator - someone interested in gathering up all the pieces of the food system and related stakeholders on campus to get an accurate picture of what’s happening on campus with food and to start identifying opportunities, setting collaborative goals and visions for the future of food on campus moving forward. Working with your network: Allowing participants opportunities to take ownership in meetings, raise agenda items, and profile their initiatives creates potential for buy-in to the group, enabling longer- term commitment. It also ensures that your group takes a strength or capacity-based approach to its work. By working with existing strengths and opportunities on campus provides the group can pick up on the natural momentum of its local context. Picking up on whatever momentum is already there and using your group’s’ capacity to support it along increases the chances that your work will get off to a successful start.
  4. 4. Multistakeholder Toolkit 4 New connections and ideas: As strange as it might sound - often people interested in and working on food on campus are unaware of each other and the ways in which their works overlaps and could connect. Multi-stakeholder organizing highlights areas of overlap, common interests, and brings balanced perspectives to the table. While goals are important for group cohesion and direction, at the same time, carving out space for networking to allow for relationship development and candid conversation among group members allows the network to identify strengths and emergent momentum. One of the most interesting aspects of multi-stakeholder groups is the unpredictable goals, opportunities, and interests that will emerge from gathering a group of people who are involved in the same thing - in this case food - but don’t typically have regular communication or working relationships. Creating a Network In this section, you’ll find suggestions about who to outreach to, and a suggested approach for how to outreach. Who to outreach to? Stakeholders: Stakeholders as people who are invested in and affected by the campus food system. While everyone on campus is a stakeholder in food because everyone needs to eat, It would be impossible to have quality conversations and engage the entire campus community in a short amount of time. There are certain stakeholders that are important to focus in on. Here are some examples of types of stakeholders you could/should be working with on projects and the overall movement. Often you may need to work with a few stakeholders to achieve a specific project (for example: Facilities Management and the Garden Coordinator on garden expansion), but it is important to connect with other stakeholders through meetings, or newsletters to keep them involved (for example the Food Service Provider may be interested in purchasing food from the garden, or the Campus Food Bank may be interested in receiving donations).
  5. 5. Multistakeholder Toolkit 5 Stakeholder types Best practices for targeted stakeholder outreach and relations: Step 1: Creating Your Network Find Champions- chances are, there are many stakeholders on campus who would like to co-create a better for system. Start talking to individuals who might be interested and see what their goals and ideas are. Champions will help you advance your goals, make connections and often, make the process more fun! Look far and wide - You never know where your champions in this work will come from - we’ve seen champions pop out of the English department, facilities management, kitchens, students’ unions, even university presidents! Don’t limit yourself to the above list. Use your allies - If you’re having trouble getting in touch with certain stakeholders yourself who you think are key to have in the room, think about other ways to bring them in. Is there another supportive stakeholder who would hold more weight if they requested involvement? • Student Groups • Food Service Provider (e.g. chefs, marketing and communications, purchasing director) • Faculty and Professors (e.g. Geography; environment; business) • Campus Food Bank • General student body • Campus Planning/Facilities management • Administration (e.g. Dean of students, President) • Waste Management • Campus Staff (e.g. office of sustainability, student life, health services) • Campus Agriculture • Student Union • Campus farm/garden • Community Partner (e.g. local food security group) • Independent food vendors (e.g. student union pubs, local businesses) • Local farmers • Food Distributors (e.g. Sysco) • Others
  6. 6. Multistakeholder Toolkit 6 Try to work with chefs and front line food service staff! Chefs, cooks, and buyers are people who work with food day in and out. They have the most power to play with budgets and make purchasing decisions. They are very powerful stakeholders that can affect a lot of change directly if brought on side. Follow-up and go beyond email - People are busy and don’t always remember to respond to email requests for casual meet-ups. Remember to follow-up with email requests about 1 week after you’ve sent it. If you’re still not hearing anything, or even from the beginning - try knocking on doors and meeting in person. Face-to-face connections are much more powerful than emails. Keep records - As you collect stakeholder contacts, keep a running list of contact information, who people are, (their relation to food on campus) and even some notes on your interaction with them - date, conversation topics, follow-up items, etc. Organize your network- Many students have used our Stakeholder Rainbow Toolkit to help organize your network and identify stakeholder who could or should be working together and those that can help you in your work! Step 2: Building the Movement Understand your context: Food has existed on your campus in some form since your campus’ beginning. Chances are more than likely that staff, administrators, and faculty on campus have a background understanding of what’s happened with food on campus - why certain decisions were made, what projects have been started in the past and why they were or weren’t successful. Approaching Stakeholders: Approach potential stakeholders with questions - not demands demonstrates that you value and are interested in their experience and that you are ready to work within the realities of your campus’ context. As you’re doing outreach, be sure to gather and record as much information as possible about what’s happened so far on campus with food. Create a living documentation of the food situation on campus to date. This will make a good resource and reference point as you continue your work, it will also ensure that you’re maximally informed when you do sit down with a group of stakeholders.
  7. 7. Multistakeholder Toolkit 7 Be aware that there might already be an organizing committee in place for food on your campus. It might make more sense to tie into an existing network than to create a new one. After you have connected initially with a few stakeholders on campus, you may want to start small and work on a few projects together, such as the Food Service Overview or Applied Student Research Projects. You may also want to host an open meeting to bring together these stakeholders to strengthen their work and connections by having the network actually together in one place. This can be a time to gather the different perspectives and projects on campus and determine some collaborations that can be created. Background Resource Interested in learning more about multi-stakeholder organizing on campus? SYC has created a Multi- stakeholder Guide, complete with sections on the unique differences between stakeholder types, communications strategies, and a case study. Check it out for a more in-depth look at multi-stakeholder organizing on campus. If you decide you would like to bring together your stakeholders, please take a look at this guide to help set you up for your first multi-stakeholder meeting about food on campus. It includes your approach, materials, and a sample agenda as well as links to a powerpoint presentation for accompanying slides. Start with a general template for an outreach email to invite stakeholders to a first meeting. Please use this as a base - personalize and modify as needed. Organization Unbound: Organization Unbound is an attempt to re-imagine the way we think about and engage in social change. It’s a website with case studies of amazing organizations and movements (many related to food and education) that can inspire you to create not only a movement with an exciting goal, but also a vibrant and meaningful culture! • Inquire about their current involvement with food on or off campus • Ask about the history of food on campus - were things different before? • Ask about what they hope to see for food on campus • Ask about who they typically work with on campus (what groups do they partner and collaborate with) • Explain to them why you’re doing outreach, your multi-stakeholder approach, and how they can be involved (initially by attending meetings and passing the word on to other relevant stakeholders)
  8. 8. Multistakeholder Toolkit 8 Next steps Make sure you followed up with your stakeholders after your meeting - sending out a big thank you for taking the time to come out, your meeting minutes, and any next steps you’re planning on taking. Next steps don’t need to be another meeting, but could be a gathering for a specific project, a follow-up with a few specific champions, or writing a grant. We strongly encourage students undertaking this work to be responsive to stakeholders. When cultivating a network, listening closely to those you are trying to engage is your best chance to success. Consult the evaluation and planning toolkit for tools and an extended discussion on next steps. The Campus Food Systems Project also has a range of toolkits to get projects started and to keep stakeholders engaged. Check them out here. Make sure that your multi-stakeholder network is enjoyable and vibrant. This will be one of the key ways you can sustain and enhance your food work on campus! Consider the following tips before Hosting a Meeting • You don’t have to go it alone - facilitating with a partner (a student group, professor, community organization) will make your work much easier and will be a good support. • Aim to strike a balance between doing activities (food map and an opportunities assessment) and informal networking time. Remember that some of the best collaboration and work can’t be anticipated - it will come out of the informal socializing between multiple stakeholders from across the food system on campus. As they get to know each other as people, relationships, mutual understanding, common goals and desires to work together will begin to develop. • Try to ensure that attendance is balanced between students, staff, administrators, and faculty - this helps ensure that you’re representing a balance of the campus community - not just one stakeholder type. • Facilitating social time at your meeting is as simple as providing some food and drink and encouraging stakeholders to mingle. Often food service providers will be open to supplying in-kind donations if they know the purpose of their meeting - to get people talking and connected to the issue of food on campus. Local coffee shops might also be willing to help you out with coffee/baked goods. • Your role is to convene and facilitate this meeting. You should not be walking away with the entire list of to-dos - multi-stakeholder meetings are a time to discover how everyone can do a little bit to make a large collective impact. • For example, a professor might be interested in Applied Student Research, a student group or community organization may be interested in collaborating on an event with the Food Service Provider.

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