As part of the Strength2Food (S2F) project a series of hybrid forums will be organized in seven countries to stimulate dialogue amongst all actors in the value chain and to collect data on the sustainability of local food systems. Hybrid forums are open, public discussions on a defined subject where a panel of local stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, authorities and consumers, as well as invited scientific experts exchange experiences and knowledge with the aim of resolving the controversy and designing a better world.
To communicate about the S2F project and to test the hydrid forum protocol the Norwegian partner HiOA recently organized an experimental hybrid forum session “Can consumers play a valuable role in the development and sustainability of local food systems?” at the European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE) 2017 Congress in Parma. Six panelists and two experts were invited to the hybrid forum to discuss and debate the role of consumers. Both panelists and the public brought up many ideas and central issues linked to the development and sustainability of local food systems. However, it turned out that it was not that easy to facilitate dialogue. It was quite difficult to think together and reach the democratic ideal of a hybrid forum of designing together a better world where sustainable food would be the norm, but the discussion was very enriching. A lesson from this experiment was that organizing hybrid forums requires time for preparation that involves contacting engaged participants and formulating a relevant and clear controversy, as well as planning and dividing tasks.
- Giovanni Belletti – Università degli Studi di Firenze – Italy
- Luca Ruini – Academia Barilla Parma, Italy
- Andrea Marescotti – Università degli Studi di Firenze- Italy
- Sara Fallini – Consumer from Parma – Italy
- Dominique Barjolle – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology –Switzerland
- Donatella Zarotti – L’Isola D’Oro S.r.l – Italy
- Stefano Pascucci- Professor in Sustainability and Circular Economy University of Exeter – Business School Visiting Researcher – Wageningen University – Nederland
- Matthew Gorton – Professor in Marketing , University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.