May 13 to 18

Summer school 2019 – Cultivating Social Change: Social Innovation in Food System Transformation

Du 13 mai 2019 au 18 mai 2019

Food has long been a tool and site of societal transformation. Over the past 30 years, individuals and groups have sought increasingly innovative ways to address the social, environmental and economic challenges facing our food system, while also imagining and articulating the possibility for a new kind of food system. From food co-operatives and community gardens to peasant and farmworker movements, food centres, gleaning projects and food policy councils there is a wide diversity of approaches, visions and manifestations of food system transformation.  Using the lens of the food system, we will explore various pathways and orientations to social change and social innovation, as well as specific projects, collaborations and organizations seeking to “do food differently” in the Ottawa region.

This is a week-long intensive course, cross-listed as both undergraduate and graduate.

Programme détaillé

lundi 13 mai
  • Course Overview
  • Introduction to the Social Innovation Atelier with Fernanda Gutierrez
  • Unpacking the food system
  • Overview of the food movement

The food system brings together quite a diversity of social, environmental and economic concerns – so it’s not surprising that there are a range of terms and concepts used to articulate solutions and ways forward.  What do these terms means – how do they relate to one another and what kinds of visions of food system transformation do they articulate?

  • Food security
  • Food justice
  • Food sovereignty
  • Agroecology


Adrianne Lickers Xavier’s Bio

I am an Onondaga woman from the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nations Territory. I am currently in the Doctor of Social Sciences program at Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia, and am completing a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in the Department of Global Development Studies at Queen’s University. I hold a BA in Anthropology from McMaster University as well as an MA in Intercultural and International Communication from Royal Roads.

My doctoral thesis is an autoethnographic account examining the implementation of a food security initiative, « Our Sustenance, » at Six Nations. In addition to « Our Sustenance, » I have been involved with community initiatives addressing water, addictions, and community health, and wellbeing. I have also pursued a lifelong education in my community’s traditional ways of knowing and doing and, given my extensive training and experience in transcultural communication, I am regularly invited to share my knowledge and experience with Indigenous and non-Indigenous academic audiences across Canada and internationally. I have also published academically on the topic of Indigenous food security. I have taught courses on Traditional Ecological Knowledge as well as Women and Environmental Injustice.


mardi 14 mai
Jean-François Parent’s Bio

Jean-François Parent is Senior Development Officer for the Eastern Ontario branch of the Conseil de la coopération de l’Ontario (CCO), a non-profit organization centered around francophone and bilingual co-operatives and social enterprises here in the province of Ontario. Jean-François is an alumni from the University of Ottawa, where he completed both a Bachelor’s degree in History, and a Masters in Geography, focusing his studies mainly on francophone communities and urban dynamics. Earlier in his career, he focused mainly on francophone culture and heritage, while working for such community based organisation as the Vanier Museopark in Ottawa and the Réseau du Patrimoine Franco-Ontarien. He acquired a vast experience in project management and community based field research. Moving to Toronto in early 2016, he discovered the world of social enterprises, social innovation and the co-operative movement. Falling in love with the idea of democratic participation and management practices, civic engagement and the collective economy movement, he embarked on a discovery journey that lead him back to the National Capital Region. Focusing now his attention on community based economic development and reinforcing the capacities and resources of the francophone community here in Ontario, Jean-François is more determined than ever to engage people on the fascinating subject of social enterprises and co-operatives.


Food system transformation through enterprise? Three local food businesses will share the challenges and opportunities in advancing social and environmental values through their business. Featuring:

  • Jessica Carpinone – Bread By Us
  • Agricola Cooperative Farm
  • Peter Jakobsen- The Green Door
Moe GarahanMoe Garahan, Executive Director Just Food

Moe has been working on food and farming issues in Ottawa since 1995.  Focused on community development and community economic development approaches, she has facilitated the establishment of many ongoing community and regional food initiatives in Ottawa, (including Just Food) while supporting provincial and national food initiatives.  Since 2004, she has been the Executive Director of Just Food, working with teams to integrate food access and food localism within the mixed urban and rural settings of the Ottawa region.

merc. 15 mai
Peter Andrée’s Bio

Peter Andrée’s educational background has been an adventure to say the least! Before he joined Carleton University’s political science department in January 2007, his educational journey led him from the natural sciences, through philosophy and community development, to environmental studies, geography and now political science. He also undertook post-doctoral research on rural food systems in Melbourne, Australia, before completing his PhD in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto. Now, he’s an associate professor and chair of the Political Science department at Carleton, conducts research in food politics with multiple publications under his belt, and he’s the Principal Investigator on a SSHRC-funded Partnership project called Community-First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE)


Theodore  Bisserbe is the Market Mobile Project Office with the Rideau Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre. He’ll share with us all about Ottawa’s non-profit social enterprise that brings fresh, affordable and culturally appropriate foods to Ottawa neighbourhoods. We’ll also have a chance to tour their warehouse and the Market Mobile trailer.

Stuart Oke’s Bio

Stuart is the Youth President of the National Farmers Union. He is a first-generation farmer who lives and works outside St-Andre-Avellin, Quebec. He runs Rooted Oak farm, a vegetable farm operating on leased land with his partner Nikki. Together they grow and market their vegetables at farmer’s markets and through their summer and winter CSA programs in Ottawa and the surrounding area. He has been an NFU member for 4 years and is a strong believer in the power of cooperative and collective action. He has been an active participant in coordinating membership development locally in Ontario as well as working nationally on the revised members handbook. As a young farmer himself he is looking forward to bringing his experience and energy to this position on the board and executive as well as helping to coordinate youth actions nationally.


Featuring Gabriel, a former Migrant Farm Worker and now an organizer with the collective Justice for Migrant Workers.

Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW) is a volunteer run political non-profit collective comprised of activists from diverse walks of life (including labour activists, educators, researchers, students and youth of colour) based in Toronto, Ontario, and now in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We are engaged in this work alongside our personal commitments and numerous social justice struggles.

J4MW strives to promote the rights of migrant farmworkers (participating in the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program and the Low Skilled Workers Program) and farmworkers without status. Promoting workers rights entails fighting for spaces where workers themselves can articulate their concerns without loosing their work or being repratriated. We start with workers’ knowledge and concerns and and collectively devise strategies to make necessary changes. We see ourselves as allies and strive for a movement that is led and directed by workers themselves.

Our work is and has to be transnational in scope. It considers the context of sending countries, Canada’s complicity in benefitting and creating poverty in the Global South, and most importantly we consider families left behind, primarily children and women who are very much a part of migration but who are always forgotten in the equation of migrant farm labour.

J4MW collective is is motivated by experiences shared and lessons learned from migrant farm workers over the course of more than nine years of community outreach in rural Ontario. As allies, activists and friends we believe migrant workers deserve work with dignity and respect!

For more information about J4MW:

jeudi 16 mai
Tammara Soma’s Bio

Dr. Tammara Soma is an Assistant Professor (Planning) at the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. She is Co-Founder and Research Director of the Food Systems Lab ( Dr. Soma conducts research on issues pertaining to food system planning, food equity, social innovation, waste management, and the circular economy.

Jay Garlough

Jay Garlough co-founded Hidden Harvest in 2012. The group rescues fruit and nuts that would otherwise go to waste on public and private property by connecting tree owners with those eager to harvest local food. The bounty from harvest events is shared with the nearest food agency, the homeowner, the harvesters, and the nearest processing partner such as restaurants, small batch processors and craft breweries.



Located right across the street from Saint Paul University, the Ottawa Children’s Garden is a hidden gem of gardening, learning and community.  We’ll tour the garden with one of the garden volunteers to learn about its history and current activities, and maybe even lend a hand in their Spring clean-up. 

For more information:

The South Central Farm is a 14-acre community garden that was established in the ruins of the L.A. riots in 1992. After the lush garden thrived for a decade, the urban farmers were notified that they were being evicted. In a back-room deal, the city of Los Angeles sold the space back to the developer who originally owned it. The farmers mobilize to prevent the onslaught of bulldozers in an attempt to save their beautiful land and the sustainable life it has provided.



Ama Amponsah portraiture
Leticia Deauwo’s Bio

Leticia Ama Deauwo is the Executive Director of Black Creek Community Farm (, an urban agricultural centre in Toronto that engages, educates, and empowers diverse communities, through sustainable food.

She is a long-time resident of Jane-Finch Community and mother of two children who has been a leading social activist work  in Jane-Finch area of Toronto and across the City of Toronto for the past 10 years. As a community resident and organizer, Leticia has been absolutely instrumental in development and formation of a number of prominent community groups and initiatives including Jane Finch On The Move, Jane Finch Action Against Poverty, Jane Finch Political Conversation Café, Black Creek Food Justice Network, Mothers-In-Motion and so on and so forth. Leticia also worked as a Community Development Worker with Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre for many years.

In her capacity as a program worker, then a program manager and now the director of the Black Creek Community Farm, Leticia has shown excellent capabilities to engage residents, allies and other stake holders in struggles for community improvement and social and economic justice including the realization of Food security and food Justice in Jane-Finch. She has helped facilitating the formation of Black Creek Food Justice Network, Black Creek Community Farm Resident Council and has managed to bring together a wide range of allies and supporters together to work for the enhancement of the community farm and the non-profit urban food development in one of Toronto’s most excluded and disadvantaged communities.

Leticia is a member of the Toronto Food Policy Council. She is a now vice-chair to USC Canada and is currently a part-time instructor with George Brown College. Leticia is a recipient of the Arrell Institute, Canada Community Food Hero Award.

vend. 17 mai



In small groups students will map the food landscape of a neighbourhood in Ottawa, investigating issues of food access and food justice.  Using their map as a launching point, they will then imagine and construct their own vision of a just, healthy and sustainable food system.


Sam. 18 mai

Over the past 30 years the food movement has undergone a significant evolution, transitioning from small placed-based initiatives to a complex ecosystem of diverse actors and organizations.  This has resulted in a considerable shift in its orientation towards the state, capitalism and its theory of change. 

Amid concerns that our food system imaginaries are increasingly geared towards individualizing and market-based neoliberal conceptualizations of social change, we’ll explore the tensions and possibilities in using the perspective of ‘commoning and confrontation’ as an innovative and generative way to frame discourses and practices of food system transforming.  What do these concepts mean, and how are they being taken up within our food system and food movements?  What openings and possibilities does it create? What are the tensions and obstacles?