Unlocking Our Food Systems Change Capacity: A Two-Day Leadership Retreat

June 5-7, 2018 in New Orleans, LA

Are you hungry for more tools to shift the food system? Want to connect with other leaders from across the region, reflect on your individual and collective work, and examine it with fresh eyes? Then join 20 other dynamic leaders working in the greater Mississippi Delta region for this two-day intensive on leading systems change.

The Food Systems Leadership Network is pleased to offer this opportunity for a dive deep into the tools of systems leadership and systems thinking for social change. This hands-on, experiential workshop will help you continue to develop your leadership skills, give you new tools for mapping and finding the change levers in the systems you are working on, and support your growth as an effective facilitator of community change processes.

Over the course of the two and a half days, you can expect to walk-away with:

  • Inspiration: a new way to see your work and your leadership from a systems-change lens.
  • Improved facilitation skills: whether you have led one meeting or hundreds, you will take home and have practiced facilitation skills that will help you bring your community together.
  • Systems thinking tools: moving beyond theories of change, you will get tools that help you diagnose the repetitive patterns that leave you and your community locked into patterns of despair—and how to change that.
  • A way to unlock the learning and wisdom of individuals in groups: you will experience peer coaching, a structured tool to help leaders and community members answer their own questions with support from others.
  • Best practices: we will visit several of the stellar food systems change programs in the region, taking not field trips, but learning journeys, a tool for making site visits transformative experiences.
  • A peer support network: you will meet and spend meaningful time with fellow leaders who are wrestling with similar challenges, and in the months following the retreat you'll have opportunities to remain in relationship and solidarity through peer and one-on-one coaching.

Retreat Schedule:

Monday, June 4th--participant travel to New Orleans

Day 1: June 5th-- workshop in the morning, Learning Journey 1 in the afternoon, evening festivities with New Orleans' colleagues and friends

Day 2: June 6th--workshop in the morning, Learning Journey 2 in the afternoon, group dinner

Day 3: Thursday, June 7th--morning reflection, closing circle, group lunch, afternoon departure 

Participants at our first “Unlocking Our Food Systems Change Capacity” intensive in Detroit, Michigan in 2017 had this to say about the experience:

  • "My understanding has changed in a way that helps me be more mindful of what I am bringing to the table as a farmer, activist, researcher, and more. Active listening is something I've been working on in my personal practice of being a better human being and I appreciated that intentional integration in the training."
  • "This training reminded me to work from the inside out...to ensure that I am showing up as my best self in these spaces in order to maximize my and others' take away."
  • "It reiterated the importance of taking a step back to really understand causation at a deep level. It is easy to get caught up in the day to day, but a real systems leader will take the time to step back to assess the root cause of the problem."

To make these experiences the most meaningful and effective, we need to limit the number of participants. To help establish regional connections and community, we will prioritize applicants who are coming from within 500 miles of New Orleans. If we cannot accommodate you in New Orleans, you will have the opportunity to participate in future retreats in other regions of the country. The next retreat will be in early November 2018 in the midwest (location TBD).

Questions? Email fslninfo@winrock.org with 'Leadership Retreats' in the subject line, or call Susan at (501)280-3076.