OFN local training session : experience sharing

As promised here is some documentation of the first OFN training we organized in North of France.

One of our local ambassador, a commons advocate in north of france, one of the first users of the platform, had gardened his local territory and decided to organize a one day training on OFN. He proposed all the food hubs he was connected with and got a broad interested. He organized that on a “free contribution” base and invited all those who can to ask funds from the institution that finance permanent training in France. Some did :slight_smile:

He proposed us to do the training and offered to pay us for that. He also would get a bit paid on the money collected.

The program was organized around 4 parts:
1- Why the food system is broken, and the “political” vision of the OFN (in two words I usually sum up to: reconnect and decentralize), the mission of OFFrance (= to support the performance of local food enterprises and the demultiplication of food hubs everywhere) and the activities we do (platform, building and sharing knowledge, and Data Food Consortium)
2- Then we spend some time on the commercial, logistic, HR and economic strategies of the hub and invite them to think about a bunch of questions. We always say that the tool will only be at the service at the project but first the strategy needs to be carefully thought. We do some drawing exercise to represent on a paper the food hub model.
3- Then we do a demo of the platform, and then everyone do some simulation and setup their project live on the platform. When more than one person were on the same project they would group of course. We develop more advanced features depending on the needs.
4- We finish by the governance and economic model of OFFrance and an invitation to join the project.

Things that were really appreciated:

  • all the morning session, starting with our intention, what’s the problem, what we want to create in the world, they felt really aligned and were then really willing to get more into it.
  • all the questions about the strategy of their hub. They asked us to document and share all the questions with them afterward to take time and discuss it within their community.
  • they loved to discover really deeply each others models ! They never met like that in a context adapted to share their concrete organizational, human and business models.

Things to improve for next time:

  • some people in the room were already using the software, some were discovering it. Next time we would split the group in two: beginners will to a live setup with step by step screenshare and basic features. Advanced one would be more about questions and answers to go further.
  • it was a bit hard for them to understand the whole logic of the software so they suggested to do some general drawing of how the software is organized, which we thought was a great suggestion !
  • they asked us some communication material so that they can talk about the project around us… our users will be the angular stone of our communication strategy, they are the more convincing voices we could imagine ! That’s what traditional businesses call “MLM”, multi-level marketing. We do “MLWS”, multi-level word spreading that is probably as efficient :wink:

Some documents if that can help (but in french, you’ll have to translate):

Ping @lauriewayne1 @NickWeir @sauloperez (guida is not here yet!) @Kirsten @luisramos0 @tschumilas @Theodore


Awesome @MyriamBoure! I’d also like to share our experience with workshops so far. We seem to have spotted a pattern where those hubs we visit that have an internal processes crisis (the excel blew into pieces) are the ones that more eagerly adopt the tool. There is where we can help the most improving processes too.

(guida is not here yet!)

Yes, she is the one to bring the most value here.

These thoughts and materials are very useful - right now we are just starting a series of different types of workshops on the OFN project and the platform. I don’t have good materials to share yet - but in the workshop I did last month (with food hubs), the big discussion was - how can the OFN platform address fundamental food system challenges like: food waste, food injustice and high food prices, environmentally destructive growing practices and the loss of traditional agriculture. They were really glad to see our focus on transparency, and the commons - and agree with this totally. BUT they challenged me, that there don’t seem to be any specific ‘new’ features in our platform that really address these other big problems. So - they felt we are not that different from the dozens of other food distribution platforms out there (except for perhaps our future networking focus - which they agree with.) I have to say, I agree with them to a degree. I worry we are so bogged down in making our current platform great (which of course we have to do), we might be missing some strategic thinking about where we need to be heading. I think maybe at our next global meeting, we need to do a scan of food system challenges we want to try to help solve, and maybe look at what others (in the commons and not in the commons) are starting to do in this direction. I’m worried the impression of OFN here - is that we aren’t really pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

Brilliant Myriam, thanks so much