Second Summer School of the EU project FOSTER in Barcelona

From May 22-24 this year, we were in Barcelona with the team from the Food Policy Council Ernährungsrat StadtRegion Stuttgart as a project partner at the second Summer School of the EU project "FOSTER - Advancing societal food system knowledge and innovation".

The FOSTER summer schools are designed to develop skills for working in transdisciplinary areas and across sectors. The aim is to promote exchange and dialog on food systems and tools for change in food systems between academic partners and Change Driven Initiatives (CDI).

This year's Summer School was organized by the University of Oxford and the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, with the participation of other FOSTER academic partners and CDIs. Over 40 participants had the opportunity to explore the principles of foresight thinking in depth and try out some tools in practice.

On the first day, the CDIs presented their current action plans for a selected project and received feedback and reflections from project members on how these can be put into practice and what support is needed to do so. Together with the team from the University of Hohenheim, we were able to fine-tune our action plan. The second day was focused on testing some tools for systems thinking and foresight methods in practice using the action plan presented.

Some of the approaches and tools used were:

  • Mental time travel: A personal journey into a future scenario
  • Tetralemma: A tool for thinking about the future by juxtaposing different assumptions about the future
  • BATWOVE: Analysis of the roles of all parties involved in the desired transformation and other circumstances (Beneficiaries, Actors, Transformation,Worldview, Owners, Victims, Environmental contraints)
  • Scenarios: Introduction and placement of CDIs in various future scenarios
  • Backward planning: Systematic planning of actions and conditions from the goal to the present.

On the last day, we summarized all our findings and reflected on the approaches and methods we had learned. As a participating CDI partner, we gained valuable insights and practical tools that will help us to make our projects more efficient, involve key stakeholders and be prepared for future challenges.