Why we exist

The food system needs to change!

A majority of the challenges our life on this planet faces has its roots in our relationship to food and the food systems. In fact, food is a common thread linking all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Within the food system lies both the problem and the solution to many of our most pressing environmental issues:

  • Loss of top soil
  • Loss of biodiversity
  • Over fishing
  • Deforestation
  • Loss of wetlands
    … the list goes on, read more about it here and here.

At the same time we are facing a steady increase of the world population, a rapid change of consumer habits, increasing rates of obesity and malnutrition, not to mention the looming threat (or promise) of exponential technology – AI and robots making us all unemployed or possibly/probably just ridding the planet of humans all together.

Either way we see it, we are standing at a cross road in a world that desperately needs to shift away from the current destructive/extractive path on to a new development curve. This shift needs to be a full system shift, not an extension of the current curve which only delays the process but leads to the same end result (extinction :grimacing:).

The food system needs a full system shift, a food shift!

What is the purpose of the Food Shift network?

Food Shift is an open collective nourishing and connecting people, projects and organisations in emerging regenerative food systems.

We believe that cutting down on carbon emissions doesn’t cut it. Doing less bad is not enough, we have to start making good! That is at the core of the notion of a regenerative food system. Regenerate, recreate, rebuild what has been lost. Create more than we consume. Restore the damage that has been done to earth. Rebuild and regenerate our connection to place, to soil and to each other. Move away from economies of extraction to co-created economies of shared value. Built on trust, community and sense of belonging.

Food Shift wants to accelerate this transition and play a vital role in enabling new ecosystems.

A regenerative food system isn’t something we build, it isn’t something we design. The food system is highly complex. Searching for simple solutions to complex problems will inevitable fail. Food Shift takes on a whole systems perspective to instead support the emergence of a regenerative food system.

For this to happen, we need to figure out how to have meaningful collaborative dynamics with other people. In other words, we need to figure out how to cooperate towards a new common purpose, a new unifying story.

We need to learn and explore together.

We need to strengthen our collective sensemaking to understand the complex challenges we are facing.

We need to work across boundaries, we need to focus on changing the system as a whole instead of dealing with its parts.

We need to support each other on a person to person basis and on a project/team basis.

We need to redefine the rules of the game.

We need inspire others to get involved, to take action!

Handbook – Table of Contents


These are notes from me, @zaunders and @marcus, from our meetings before Food Shift.

Sorry for the Swenglish mix. I’ll translate the coming days.

Vår berättelse. Bakgrund

Det stora skiftet.

Alla kan vinna, att gå från win/loose till win/win. Non-rivalrous mechanics. Pengar inte lika effektiv drivkraft (trigger signal) som belonging, uppvisande av uppskattning i gruppen.

Från maskin till(baka) till organism

Replace common enemy with a common purpose. A unifying story.

Current paradigm deals with parts instead of the whole.

Varför finns vi? Och varför ska nån bry sig? WHY

Maten vi äter bidrar bättre fungerande ekosystem (vatten, jordmån, diversitet)

Produktionsprocessen, systemen som producerar maten, bidrar till allt det positiva

Food system, livsmedelskedjan

Mat är viktigt! Mat är kultur, tradition, relationer, kärlek, livet.

Vördnad för livet

Vi är det vi äter, jag är mitt lokalområde, mat är identitet


FNs hållbarhetsmål. Problem och lösning i många fall kopplat till livsmedelskedjan.

We need to restore the damage that has been done to earth.

A new narrative about the world.

Rebuild lost connections. Restore community. Our connection to place.

Se tex. Bioregionalism att vara ett verktyg för detta… Innebär att det behövs många olika sätt att förändra livsmedelskedjan beroende på de lokala/regionala förutsättningarna

We need to move away from economies of extraction to co-created economies of shared value. Built on trust, community and sense of belonging.

Vad gör vi? WHAT

We are building a cooperative network organisation.

Enable new value streams of products and services within the food system

Actively contribute to the shift towards a regenerative food system.

Identify where systems are stuck. Build workarounds, loopholes, new structures. transcontextual solutions.

Accelerate the transition. Play a vital role in creating these new ecosystems, these networks.

Digital tools to facilitate change at scale. Flows of value.

Change the DNA of money. How does capitalism change when capital change? What collective agreements form the outcome of the system?

Skapa en ny relation till matsystemet, hjälpa individer att skapa en ny relation, jag är en positiv bidragande del, skapa rollerna som bidrar till det, från tärande till närande

Definiera spelreglerna för nätverket.

Flytta värde och aktivitet in till ett nytt system

Från ett system som saknar värdegrund (Ica) till ett system som har gemensamt överenskommen värdegrund (föreningar)


Möjliggöra skapandet av nya aktörer - producenter, inköpsföreningar

Vem gör vi det för? WHO

Befintliga aktörer inledningsvis.

Sen, bidra till att skapa nya aktörer

Hur gör vi det? HOW



Digitala verktyg


  • Identifiera aktörer att involvera
  • Koppla samman
  • Hjälpa aktörer att ta nästa steg

Hur blir vi framgångsrika?

Hur behöver vi utvecklas för att bibehålla vår position?

Har vi en USP? (Unique Selling Point)

Adding to what @zaunders said for a short describing sentence about the network “Accelerating the transition to a regenerative food system”. I’d like to also emphasise the importance on relations, the flow and agreements. Something in the lines of 'through creating mutually beneficial (symbiotic) relationships’
… but that makes it sound that that’s the only way we work.

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Here are some notes from a video chat today between me, @marcus and @zaunders.

Vi discussed the need for growth on multiple levels. In order to accelerate this food shift we envision, we need to build new forms of organisations. We need to build organisations that are not driven by the old extraction model, the old win/loose game. We need to build new game players that facilitates cooperation and collaboration on a scale we are not used to seeing. On a scale that we may not yet have seen.

For that to happen we need to practice practice practice. We discussed The Borderland and similar participatory events as great sources of inspiration. Practice building an organisation for collective sense making and action without realising you are doing it while being stoned in a quarry. Great idea!

How do we apply a similar thinking to our work within the food system?

  • Supporting each other, personal growth strengthens our abilities.
  • Building teams or crews, practicing working together - practicing decision making, collective sense making, etc.
  • Crews developing tools, maps, best practices, blogs, videos. Building experience. Using that experience to help external organisations accelerate their transitions.

Possibly this need to practice, to develop ourselves and how we work together should be added to the core of our purpose?

Let’s not forget the ‘being stoned in a quarry’ part also in our work. :wink:

Kristofer: Moving notes from video chat to this comment for reference.

Let’s use the discussion here to explore the purpose of Food Shift. I created this topic a stub to get us started, based on the video discussions today. Sorry @Oscar_Hafvenstein, I didn’t write down your thoughts. You had some good points, please add them below.


A platform for having talks about how a radically different food system would look.
A meeting point.
A network of different projects.


Understanding the realities we are working in now.
Understanding how we can shape a whole new system.
We need to get a sense about the current situation.
Widen the lense, look at the whole system.
What are the big questions we want to get answered?


Sorry about a longish text. Can be brought down later.

Create acceleration of the foodshift through avoiding falling into the traps of game a / rivalious business structures. (Ie every project creates its own business solutions and teams because it is soo hard to share that kind of functions. (Due to the nature of the necessary feeling of ownership by a team)). It would propably lead to feelings of exclusion, competition / not invented here / not my baby and loss of strategical and tactical engagement in the foodshift (focusing on ones own projects). Can be solved through a number of means. Wardley mapping and creating communities across business borders for functions. (Almost like shared services, everything as a service approaches).

If we work across all areas, we need philosohy for these different areas too (not only for regenerative agriculture).

Harbouring initiatives and business across these fields to make the whole a winning system. Fight is real against monsanto and all kind of incumbents. A strategy (war) room with best and most efficient means to create the shift.

Hur förhåller vi oss till termer som kollektiv och kooperativ? @zaunders, du använde ordet “collective” när du beskrev oss på Open Collective. Vilket faller sig naturligt på en plattform som riktar sig mot kollektivt drivna verksamheter. :slight_smile:

Ett “collective” kommer inte med så mycket förväntningar om hur saker fungerar, det är en lite vag term. Kooperativ å andra sidan har en mycket tydligare innebörd. Vilket också känns ganska lockande. Kolla listan över kooperativa principer här:


Finns det principer där vi skulle vilja inkorporera bland våra?

Jag satte också upp som punkt till nästa möte att diskutera “medlemmar vs. nätverk”

För mig så är det lite olika på engelska och svenska också. Cooperative på engelska är ju också ett adjektiv, Cooperate, som används ofta kring samarbete generellt, det är ju inte så vanligt på svenska. Kooperativ är indikerar för mig, på svenska iaf, en ekonomisk förening.

Samma indikeras i definitionen som står på länken:

A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.

Just biten med jointly-owned är en tydlig indikation på att vi pratar om en juridisk person som har ett eget ägarskap. Med open collective så abstraherar man ju den rollen lite och jag tror att det kan vara bra att hålla sig från att kalla oss ett kooperativ för att jag gissar att de flesta skulle anta att vi har en juridisk person då.

Många av principerna väver ju lite in och ut i våra principer också även om det finns dimensioner där som är fina som inte vi rört så mkt vid.

Cooperatives are voluntary organisations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

Är ju intressant att reflektera över med tanke på vad vi tänker kring just the reponsibilities of membership. Har vi några members? (som vi tar upp nästa vecka) och vad har man i så fall för responsibilities? (Participation over commitment tänker jag på)

Också intressant att reflektera över denna:

Cooperatives are democratic organisations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are also organised in a democratic manner.

Tanken på att rösning kan betraktas som nederlaget då samtalet inte längre kan hitta lösningar som alla kan leva med gör att detta fokus blir lite tillbaka hållande känner jag. Också tanken på elected representatives kanske inte heller måste vara ett faktum i dessa Governance > Government tider.