Video Forum, Food Inc.
- 2.19 Video Forum Food Inc.
- 1. What
- 2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?
- 3. How
- 3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design
- 3.2. Questions for the unified survey
- 3.3. Analysis of the results in the survey
- 3.4. Incentives
- 3.5. Relationship with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)
- 3.6. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?
- 3.7. Document format
- 3.8. Copyright license of your report
- 4. Time-sheet / Chronogram
- 5. References & Links
- 6. Students involved in this action
This action involves hosting a video screening and forum for the film Food, Inc. directed by Robert Kenner, which deals with the American food industry, specifically issues such as organic and local foods, genetic engineering, pesticides and the overall environmental impact of the industry. To make sure students will come it is important to pick out specific scenes in the movie that are the most important and pertinent to shorten the required time of the forum. After the film there will be a discussion based on topics covered in the film and how they relate to students every day lives.
2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?
First and foremost this film should change the attitudes of students who watch it. The film covers a wide variety of elements that deal with the American food industry, many of which were discussed in sustainability class, but the visual element of the film will further convince students to choose sustainable options. For example, the film encourages people to choose local and organic produce instead of produce grown far away and imported to areas and food grown with pesticides possibly harmful to the environment. Since most locally grown produce is provided by LOIS (locally owned and import substitution) businesses the film can also reinforce the idea of resilience that comes from these businesses over TINAs (There is no alternative).
2.1. SWOT Analysis
Strengths- convenient (IES is easy for all students to meet up at); multiplier effect: students will hopefully implement the information and purchase local/ organic food, keeping their money in the community; purchasing locally limits pollution caused by transportation of products; information is applicable world wide: students can invest in their local produce when they return home from Barcelona
Weaknesses- people believe organic produce is more expensive; by choosing to purchase only local foods, some products are not in season year round (crops are only planted and harvested and certain times during the year)
Opportunities- chance to meet other IES abroad students and bond as a community; received a prize purchased from an organic produce stand by me; educate students on the benefits of organic farming and purchasing local produce
Threats- not enough student interest: will students be willing to give up their free time to attend the screening? The food incentive may not be enough; lack of advertising could make it so students are not even aware of the screening
2.2. Feedback loops
Reinforcing- The more knowledge students gain about a sustainable food industry, the more likely they are to make similar sustainable choices when it comes to their own food options. And the more students who make sustainable food choices will increase the knowledge about sustainable food for those around them, who then have more knowledge about the sustainable food industry themselves and can then make their own sustainable choices.
2.3. Potential Benefits
The main benefit of the video forum is the information that students will gain from watching the film. It will educate them on healthy, environmentally friendly and sustainable food industry choices that they may not be aware of. It exposes information about the food industry that students may not have known, and would not have learned about if they had not attended. Also the IES community could be strengthened if a number of students attend the event. Lastly, during the forum part, students will have the opportunity to share ideas about how to make sustainable choices (ex. Sharing knowledge about local farmers markets if students live near each other, restaurants that only serve local/organic food, etc.)
2.4. Potential Costs
I was able to purchase the movie on my iTunes for the screening to show the students and also purchase the food prize that students will get for attending the event. The only cost to the students who attend is their time and I believe it will be worth their while.
To host a video forum, a documentary must first be selected and should relate to a concept discussed in class. Food, Inc. is a perfect example because it relates to sustainable food choices. Then advertising for the forum must be sent to the students of IES and if possible to students at other programs (this could be a possible improvement for future semesters). This is easy to do via email and using electronic advertising avoids wasting paper for flyers. A day before the video forum a reminder should be sent to students to maximize the participation. Also, a classroom to host the forum must be secured through IES to ensure there is no confusion or double booking of a classroom. On the day of the forum the snacks and prizes being used as incentive must be purchased, but remember to bring your own grocery bag, again to minimize the waste of materials. When students arrive, a brief overview of the documentary should be given and a quick explanation of how this relates to the IES sustainability class. Then screen the selected and pertinent clips. After the screening a discussion is opened up to all those in attendance but the host should have a few questions prepared to ensure that there is something to start the talking. In a perfect world, a large audience would want to attend the discussion but this is not a feasible goal. Regardless, those who do attend should feel that it was well prepared and worth their time.
3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design
There will be no direct waste to come from this action since the only advertising will take place through email and online. The food snacks and prizes were purchased with a reusable grocery bag to avoid the use of a disposable plastic one.
3.2. Questions for the unified survey
Since I changed my action after the implementation of the survey my question was not on it, however I would have asked:
How interested would you be in attending a short video forum with other IES students about a more sustainable food industry?
What types of prizes/ incentives would have to be in place for this event to be worth your time?
3.3. Analysis of the results in the survey
Based on the question asked by the other student who organized a video forum it was found that 45% of students said they had no interest in attending a video forum. 10% choose a 2 on a scale of 1-5, stating they had very little interest. 25% chose a 3, meaning some interest. 10% said they were interested, choosing a 4 on the scale. No students were very interested by selecting a 5 on the scale. When looking at these numbers though, be aware that of the close to 400 people who received the survey, only 20 people completed it, so the survey results may not be representative of the population.
To encourage people to attend the event organic food purchased locally will be provided for them to take home after the event. Unfortunately, this may not be enough to generate a large audience because as mentioned above it is hard to persuade students to attend educational events outside of class.
3.5. Relationship with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)
Members of the sustainability club have an obvious interest in learning more about sustainability and how to apply it to their lives, so hopefully the members will be interested in attending the forum. To ensure that they can, the event should be held on a day when there is no meeting so there is no timing conflict. Also, if students who are not members of the club attend the forum they may be interested in learning more and be inclined to attend the next sustainability club meeting.
3.6. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?
In order to ensure that this action (or a film with a similar message) is continued in future semester the documentary should be screened at one of the orientation meetings held in the first few days of class. This way, all IES students would see the film and would not have to give up an additional time slot to view it. If one orientation session was made just a half an hour longer, the entire IES student body would be made aware of the benefits of local and organic food. If this proposal does not go through, then hopefully a student from next year will take this action as their continued action and improved upon what has been done this semester.
3.7. Document format
There was no document for this action.
3.8. Copyright license of your report
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike- I choose this format because it allows future students to view and share my work and also have the freedom to alter and evolve my action as long as they credit my original work
4. Time-sheet / Chronogram
March 2011- Host of video forum selects documentary pertaining to sustainability
Week before Spring break 2011- Host of forum sends message to IES student list serve informing them about the event
April 25, 2011- Host of forum sends reminder of event to IES community
April 27, 2011- Host of event hosts the film screening and forum at IES abroad in the third floor study room
5. References & Links
Kenner, R. (Director/Producer), & Pearlstein, E. (Producer). (2009). Food, Inc.
(Documentary). United States: Magnolia Pictures.
Survey data information taken from video forum survey questions provided by Sean Tubridy and his new action page.
6. Students involved in this action
Kelsey MacDonald organized the video forum on my own and hope that a number of students, including those in our class, will attend the event.
Assignment 4: Peer review form
Grades for this action report (From the PROFESSOR)