IFSTAL Digest 3rd October 2018

IFSTAL Digest 3rd October 2018

by Lauren Blake -
Number of replies: 0

Dear IFSTAL members, 

very warm welcome to the many new students just joining us – we hope you enjoy the ride! And of course, welcome back to IFSTAL alumni and returning students. We hope you all enjoy some of the events and opportunities we have lined up this year. This Digest goes out every fortnight via the Portal, and lists upcoming IFSTAL events and notifications, and links to internal and external resources, opportunities and points of interest. Scroll down to see more.    


IFSTAL Year 4 Launch 2018  

Please put in your diaries the IFSTAL launch for year 4, taking place on Thursday 18th October at each site – see the Events page on the portal for further details about your local event. There will be a live video link between the sites so that we can all introduce ourselves and meet virtually, as well as a great opportunity to meet in person other local members, colleagues, staff and people from the food sector. We look forward to welcoming many of you there, and catching up with existing members.  

New and Old 

For those who have just joined, please introduce yourselves on the Portal forum. This is a great way for everyone to see the wonderful range of members we have and start to get to know one another. You can familiarise yourself with the programme and Portal here in ‘getting started’ 

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

City, University of London: ifstal-city@city.ac.uk   

LCIRAH (RVC, SOAS, LSHTM): ifstal-lcirah@rvc.ac.uk 

Oxford University: ifstal-oxford@eci.ox.ac.uk  

Reading Universityifstal-reading@reading.ac.uk 

Warwick University: ifstal-warwick@warwick.ac.uk 


IFSTAL Programme 2018/2019 

Please put in your diaries the main IFSTAL dates for this academic year:   




Launch Event: welcome to IFSTAL year 4 


Thu 18th October 


Multiple - local institutions 

Workshop 1: Exploration of Food Systems Thinking 

Sat 3rd November 

(all day) 

Oxford University 

Public lecture 

Thursday 6 December  



SOAS Uni. of London (Brunei Gallery) - live-streamed to Oxford, Reading and Warwick 

Workshop 2: Investigation of Systems Thinking 

Sat 19th January  

(all day) 

City University of London 

Workshop 3: Application of Systems Methods 

Sat 16th February 

(all day) 

Reading University  

Workshop 4: Intervention for Food Systems Change 

Sat 16th March  

(all day) 

Warwick University  


Workshop 1 Applications open  

Applications now open for Workshop 1: Exploration of Food Systems. Being held on Saturday 3rd November at the University of Oxford. This intensive day will provide an introduction to food systems concepts and tools for understanding and mapping them. Bringing together students from across the consortium, the workshop provides a rich interdisciplinary environment. There will also be a focus on developing workplace skills and meeting professionals from across the food sector.  

To apply for a place, please go to the Portal here: https://vle.ifstal.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=59&section=1. Please note, spaces are limited and as a minimum to be considered, you will need to have introduced yourself on the Portal and made a start on Unit 1 


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/  

We’ve also just had a great Showcase event last week, reflecting on where we’ve come over the first 3 years of the programme. New blog on this coming shortly!  

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


Other Events 

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”. ParisSave 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 




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: 

Don’t forget you can also join and follow the IFSTAL network on: