IFSTAL Digest 20/09/18

IFSTAL Digest 20/09/18

by Rebecca Wells -
Number of replies: 0

Dear IFSTAL network, 

A warm welcome to new IFSTAL students just joining us and at the start of their IFSTAL journey.  For IFSTAL alumni and returning students welcome back to another year of exciting IFSTAL events and opportunities.   

The IFSTAL Launch for this year takes place on the 18th October at each site – see the Events page on the portal for further details about the event at your institution. There will be a live link-up between the sites. The launch marks the start of the 4th year of the programme and we look forward to welcoming new and old students as well as colleagues from our institutions and from the food sector.  

To celebrate the first three years of the IFSTAL programme we are holding an IFSTAL Showcase at Oxford Town Hall on the 27th September. Details of this can be found below and we encourage you to attend – there are a number of free places left so do register as we have a strong list of speakers and some very interesting workshops on offer.   

For those that have finished the IFSTAL course you are now alumni, and need to make sure that you change your details on the Portal in order to retain access once your university accounts cease to work.  We have included details of how to do this below.  However, if you run into any problems, please don’t hesitate to contact your local IFSTAL Education Coordinator: 

The IFSTAL Showcase Event takes place on Thursday 27th September, at Oxford Town Hall, see here for details. This event is a chance to help us reflect on the first three years of IFSTAL and look ahead to how we train food systems change agents. Those who attended the Summer School will get a free ticket.  

The Showcase will provide insights into the rationale underpinning the programme, the challenges we’ve faced, and the opportunities we’ve created.  As participants and alumni you are perfectly placed to participate and share your experiences of the programme. 

Graduating students – becoming IFSTAL Alumnus 

Current students due to finish have now officially become IFSTAL ‘alumni’ sinceSaturday 1st September 2018. To stay connected with IFSTAL and our Food Systems Community after graduating you can: 

  • Be a part of a large and diverse community of over 1,000 food systems thinkers including junior and senior workplace practitioners, alumni and students 

  • Find out about relevant careers and skills development opportunities including jobs, internships, research opportunities and placements 

  • Access IFSTAL’s online resources on the Portal 

  • Keep in touch with your peers and friends from IFSTAL 

  • Be invited to selected IFSTAL events 

There are a number of ways to stay connected: 

  • Update your email in the Portal to a personal email address so that you can continue to access it after your institutional email expires 

  • Login as usual > click on your name in the top right corner and select edit profile > go to your email address and change to your new address > scroll down to update profile and click. This should then save your new email. 

  • Sign up to the IFSTAL partners mailing list: http://eepurl.com/cQdDFj 

  • Join the IFSTAL LinkedIngroup 

  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook 

  • Become an IFSTAL alumni ambassador for your institution – contact Rosina if you are interested. 

We encourage you to include IFSTAL on your CVs and LinkedIn profiles. Employers place great value on extra-curricular activities and soft skill development. If you have applied for a certificate you can add this to your profile and add a description. Suggested wording (although we encourage your own reflections): Participated in the Innovative Food Systems and Learning (IFSTAL) Programme. Gained knowledge and understanding of food systems frameworks, systems thinking concepts and complexity. Developed skills in systems analysis, effective communications and interdisciplinary working. Expanded understanding of values and attitudes in transdisciplinarity, reconciliation and theoretical and methodological pluralism. 

IFSTAL Alumni Network 

We are looking for better ways to connect with our IFTSAL community and enable you to set up events locally to your institution, city or country! 

We are investigating Facebook and Meetup as options, but we need a bit of help shaping what you would like and what would be useful. 

If you would like to be part of this process (some of you have already put your hands up as ambassadors), can you let Rosina know please. Rosina.borrelli@eci.ox.ac.uk            

IFSTAL Certificate – if you have participated in IFSTAL over the past year and would like a certificate of your engagement, please see the information regarding the procedure here on the Portal. You can apply for this at any time or get an ‘interim’ certificate if you would like to highlight your IFSTAL experience for a job before you have completed the program. 

The IFSTAL Insights Guide is now available through the IFSTAL website! This guide is a selection of insights into the work the IFSTAL Programme has been doing to address the gap in skills in this area and provides you with tips and tools into how you can make change happen by equipping yourself with additional knowledge, skills and experience. There are lots of useful tidbits, profiles and reflections – a good read! https://www.ifstal.ac.uk/for-the-workplace/  

New Blogs 

Over the summer we ran two summer schools, the first at the University of Reading, and the second at the University of Ghana.  More information can be found here:  https://www.foodsecurity.ac.uk/news/creating-and-connecting-a-community-of-food-systems-thinkers/  

Do you want to blog for us? We’d love to hear from you!  

Other Events 

Farming and Wildlife Roundtable. ‘The Future of the British Countryside: food production and conservation’. Tuesday 25th September 2018 at 5:30pm. 

Halford Mackinder Theatre, Oxford University Centre for the Environment. 

Discussants: Dame Helen Ghosh (former Director-General, National Trust) 

Patrick Begg (Outdoors and Natural Resources Director National Trust 

Mark Pope (Chair NFU Environment Forum), 

Tom Curtis (3Keel) 

All welcome, free admission. 

Centre for Food Policy Food Thinkers Seminar: Preference: The missing ingredient in food policyWith Bee Wilson, food writer, journalist and historian. “The likes and dislikes populations have about food - reinforced by habit and mediated by food prices - are one of the greatest reasons anyone eats something. Bee will present some of the mechanisms through which human preferences are formed; and how they can change throughout the human lifespan.  The seminar will consider a few examples of whole populations either changing their food preferences in a healthier direction, encouraged by food policy (Japan) or retaining traditional preferences in the wake of the nutrition transition (South Korea). Wednesday 26 September, 5.30pm - 7pm https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/preference-the-missing-ingredient-in-food-policy-tickets-49033562706?dm_i=1GFR,5UH1L,TZZX8S,MUI4U,1  


Various events and podcasts hosted by ODI (London and usually streamed) on topics including resilience and sustainability, land rights and agriculture.  


ANSES Scientific Conferences, Antimicrobial resistance in animal health and the environment: Epidemiology and modelling in antimicrobial resistance”. Paris. Save the date – 13th November 2018. Programme and registration from October. 


Conference – Foodwork: Gendered, Racialised and Classed Labours, University of Sussex, Thursday 29th November 2018. Call for papers and registration. For details see here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/foodwork-gendered-racialised-and-classed-labours-tickets-50260495495?utm_term=eventurl_text  

Call for Papers 

Livestock, Environment and People (LEAP) Conference, 7 November 2018, St Anne’s College, Oxford: Click here for more details on how to submit an abstract or email Kelly Reed (Kelly.reed@zoo.ox.ac.uk) for more details. 

PhD/Masters Funding 


Browse further job vacancies at Food Manufacturer and Roots to Work

Other Opportunities 

  • Food Politics Writing Opportunity The Agricultural and Rural Convention (ARC2020) is a European food and farming news platform. They are putting together a series on the Weimar Triangle - agrifood and rural politics and policy issues in France, Germany and Poland, and the existing and potential relationships between these countries in this field. They are looking for contributors able to write an article or two on Germany or Poland. Existing articles, for example, examine the agrifood policies of the new German coalition government whilst another explores a particularly interesting small agroecology project. You would be paid EUR100 for the article and it is a good chance to get published. You would also be relatively free to organise and steer the article as you deem appropriate for the German or Polish subject-matter. Interested parties should please get in touch with IFSTAL alumna, Helene Schulze, at Helene@arc2020.eu to talk through some ideas!  


  • For resources on food systems issues, working groups and networks you may find useful follow the link here. This will take you to the resources section in Unit 1 on the portal.  

  • Are modern plant-based diets and foods actually sustainable? Blog post on the FCRN website. Click here to read 

  • Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Report launched by WRAP and the World Resources Institute (WRI) on behalf of the Champions 12.3 network finds (among other things) that for every 1 USD invested in programmes for reducing kitchen food waste, businesses save 7 USD in operating costs. Click here for the full report
  • Global map of vocabulary in data exchange in food and agriculture: Useful directory resulting from the continuation of the FAO VEST registry, and the GODAN Action umbrella. Access it here 
  • Foodsource: a project of the Food Climate Research Network, which includes a website and collection of evidence-based resources, developed to help support greater literacy of sustainable food systems issues, ideas, and how they all interconnect. Currently, it consists of 11 Chapters that provide overviews of wider food systems issues, and a series of Building Blocks, which provide concise explanations of key ideas and concepts. It also has a glossary and an open source image library of figures created and redrawn by the FCRN, available for anyone to use. A set of high-quality PDF versions of all of the chapters are available. 

Connect with us: 

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