UPDATED UPDATE! We have a website that describes all the of the things we’re up to, as well as a mailing list that you can sign up for to receive monthly project updates. The next Community Call, if you’d like to listen in is going to be on July 1. Here’s a quick run down:
- We’re interviewing farmers and folks who work in local food within the United States. Learn the basics here
- We’re evaluating software for local foods. Learn more about that work here and contact me if you want to join our effort.
- We’re developing a process for community food pathway mapping. Learn more here and contact me if you want to join.
Original Post: I trust that you are safe and well. Crises tend to bring things into stark relief. I have been thinking about the effects of COVID-19 on our local food system, in particular, ways in which we can support coordination and collaboration among food producers and consumers within our communities. I’m hankering to be useful so am starting a project on Informatics for Community Food Resilience.
Driven by my research interests in designing digital technologies and technology mediated processes for community food resilience, and my current efforts in building tools for a range of farmers, I’ve written a concept paper and am looking to assemble a team.
Here is the broad plan:
- Week 1: Human-centered design work to identify critical bottlenecks faced by small scale diversified farmers.
- Week 2-3: 5 day design sprint. Farmer-centered and community driven design of local food toolkit components, including but not limited to: community coordination processes, triage to tech support process, tools and add-ons to existing tools,
- Week 3-4: Development of social and technical infrastructure to support community coordination, food distribution, and build rapid prototypes of tools or add-ons to existing tools
- Week 5 onward: Tech response teams work with farmers, triage their specific needs, port data, set up servers, whatever is needed. Community response teams works with consumers to come together under existing or new food hubs, coordinate distribution and payment etc.
This is a super rough outline and there is plenty of room for wiggle and input. I’m looking for: farmers, designers, developers, researchers, writers, organizers … if you see yourself wanting to contribute in any way, let me know.
I’m also looking for funding for those who will need it but given the timeline I don’t want to wait for that to magically pan out. Also note: funding will first go to compensate participating farmers, then folks who are contributing to the project that are do not have current sources of income.
If you’d like to learn more, sign up here: [old link] I will hold a virtual discussion call, ideally next week, to assemble the team and coordinate next steps.
I’m going to post this on RIOT too. Feel free to share this call to action with anyone.
If this already exists or there are existing efforts we should work with, let me know!