CommonBound Track: "Creating Just, Ecological, and Democratically Controlled Food Economies"

Our current food system is unjust, ecologically unsustainable, and built on the backs of those who grow, raise, catch, and handle our food. The explicit and hidden costs of food injustice are evident throughout our economy--from young families to seniors, schools to healthcare institutions, and workplaces throughout the country. Opportunities to create a more just food economy offer the potential to effect positive, lasting change while dismantling the very practices that have led to the pervasive impact of food inequities. We must build a new food economy through innovative ecological businesses that advance racial equity and food justice, and ensure all those along our entire food chain can live healthy, dignified lives. This track will inform an evolving narrative of food justice and support a growing food movement that is democratically controlled, transparent, racially equitable, economically just, and ecologically responsible while leading to more vibrant, healthy and resilient communities.

We're interested in proposals about inspiring food systems at work both in and beyond New England, especially those about collaborative networks and unusual coalitions; about turning a new narrative into the new norm; about building power to change policy; about worker, producer and consumer-driven models and cooperatives; and about making the evidence-based case for this new food economy. We’re specifically looking for session proposals that:

HIGHLIGHT and CHALLENGE dominant narratives about what and who matters and what is possible in the current food economy.

SHARE stories and case studies of communities, organizations and networks creating new democratic, equitable and sustainable economic models for food system-related activity.

STRENGTHEN the “business case” for a new approach and foundation to our food system at all levels (local, state, regional, national).

EXPAND our understanding of market forces and policies that can support a more robust and lasting transition to democratic, equitable and sustainable food economies.

CREATE an environment of mutual learning that can tap the wisdom in the room and hold the productive tensions that are present in this work.

EXCHANGE promising practices for strengthening to new food economy.

Some examples of the types of sessions we’re looking for include:

  • “How-to” workshops about starting and sustaining food system “enterprises” and initiatives that demonstrate a commitment to democracy, equity and ecological sustainability
  • Participatory educational workshops about approaches to policy and market dynamics that support the new food system
  • Case studies of promising and successful businesses, initiatives, community efforts
  • Design and media labs

These are just a few examples to give you a sense of the type of content that we’re looking for in this track. But there are many other amazing session ideas we haven’t listed, and we hope you’ll propose things we haven’t thought of yet!

If you have any questions, please contact niaz [at]


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