Foodscapes Project Management & Planning (F-PMP) is a graduate course that teaches students the ability to change todays foodscapes through teamwork and projects. The course is part of the 3rd semester of the Master’s Programme in ‘Integrated Food Studies’ (IFS) and runs under the theme of the 3rd semester is “Integrated foodscapes”.
Academic content and basis
In an age where the food environment is constantly changing, traditional ways of organizing change and innovation processes are seriously challenged. Instead of traditional organisations, the efforts to create change and facilitate innovation processes are increasingly organized in “hybrid” organisations. These hybrid social systems have over the past decades come to be known as “projects” – temporary set-ups that allow interventions, changes and innovations to be organized in a temporal, results/task/goal budget oriented way that allow project makers and other change agents in a variety of organisations in the food sector to plan and reach their goals of how future foodscapes should be.
Results-Oriented Foodscapes Projects Management, or in brief F-PMP (Foodscapes Projects Management & Planning) aims at giving the Integrated Food Studies students the knowledge, skills and competencies needed to create innovation and change and organise them in projects - in the food environments that surrounds us – our daily life foodscapes. The course aims to give the candidates the ability to develop the soft skills needed for being able to work in dynamic and amoebic organisational professional environments. The course aims to give candidates the knowledge, skills and competencies that prepare them to lead and participate in different types of innovation and research projects, to initiate fund raising, to understand the “social” dynamics and teamroles, to understand and analyse stakeholders, to understand and plan for handling risks and contingencies. The course looks at project management and planning both from a project manager point of view as well as from a project participant point of view. The course addresses both internal organization projects as well as projects involving third parties. The course gives an introduction to how Information and communications technology (ICT) based tools can be used in management and communication in foodscape project environments. The course covers different types of planning tools and brings in practitioners and academics in workshops to connect to real world type of food projects. In addition the course features excursions to “epicentres” of foodscape projects taking place around the campus.
The F-PMP course builds primarily on two scientific paradigms. The rich, interdisciplinary and diverse research tradition that has developed over the past decades and has become known as foodscape studies (FSS) as well as the strand of management and organizational sociology that is known as Project Management studies. In simple terms, F-PMP deals with the knowledge, skills and competencies that are needed to organize and carry out projects that can develop desired future foodscapes. It aims at understanding foodscapes in order to give students the ability to transform them using the project as a supportive tool and a guiding principle.
The course is based on lecturing and group work. Lectures make up 24 lessons joined in 12 double lessons in September and October. These include on-site lectures, out of campus excursions and F-PMP case workshops. Group work is carried out in two types of groups, one for the session exercises (EXC) and one for the Work Group Assignment (WGA) that is to be handed in by the end of the course as the exam assignment.
Present your best ideas for a project in the students interactive idea workshop
Group matchmaking in progress. The matchmaking aims at letting people meet ideas. To match projects ith people.
The EXC groups are chosen by the course organizer and use the planning of the “foodscape” flavour of the Kulturnat (Oct 14) as the case during the different exercises during the course. The WGA groups will be formed by the students based on interest and preferences, but facilitated by the course organizer through a match making exercise early in the course. The purpose of the matchmaking is to let project ideas meet the students according to their interests. The outcome of that group work is the WGA that is to be handed in as basis for the individual examination. It describes an imagined project chosen from the local foodscape environment and is coordinated with the food & design module, so that students use the same case and the same groups in the 2 modules. The WGA follows the 4WHe model. The WGA builds on data-collection in the local “campus’n community” foodscape environment and emphasises the participatory elements in which users of the environment are used to identify possible action possibilities. The purpose of the WGA is then in written protocol mode of writing to describe the intended project.
Course activities & sessions
The flow of the course sessions follows the Open Architecture Project model (OAP). First the idea of foodscapes is introduced exemplified through the use of the local community foodsscapes in the AAU-CPH neighbourhood: Kongens Enghave. It tracks the theoretical and conceptual foundations for foodscape studies and looks at its important elements: food, people and place. The course introduces the assessment of foodscapes. The course introduces the LC-FAT tool (Local Community Foodscapes Assessment Tool) and similar project planning and screening tools based on the concept of urban songlines and foodscape walkabouts in relation to the local community. These methods are aimed at creating the foundation of citizen and local stakeholder involvement in the project planning phase and in the design of intervention components. The approach is aimed at assessing the agency as well as the structure of the foodscapes in which change is planned to occur. The LC-FAT is an attempt to assess the “affordances” and “action possibilities” of the foodscapes in which change, innovation and interventions is going to take place.
The course then follows the F-PMP/OAP project model – the “project odyssey” – the different steps that project life is organized in. From the idea generation, over the sketching of the budget, finding the funds, writing the project proposal, identifying the problem and its root causes, getting the green light, kicking off the project, analyzing stakeholder relations, anticipating risk and contingencies until finally evaluating and completing the project within the time and budget. The course introduces the basics of project work and what distinguishes it from other modes of work organization. The course introduces an approach that is systems as well as holisticly oriented. F-PMP covers important aspects of project management including a stakeholder theory, theories of contingencies and risks as well as network, communication and motivation theory in order to provide the conceptual and theoretical foundation for the project PMP tools. Lectures (LEC) and exercises (EXC) are the cornerstones in every session. Lectures provides the knowledge of conceptual and theoretical foundations for project work whereas the exercises give students the tools and skills carry out collectively important project analytical tasks. Student engagement in the session is an important part of the course. This is achieved in particular through the exercises and through the oral assignment at the status seminar (GAE). Finally the Written Group Assignment (WGA) aims at giving the students the competencies in applying the concepts, theories and tools into their own project creation. The WGA is the foundation for the examination procedure of the course.
Visiting urban aquaponic project entrepreneurs at Nørrebro. Urban gardening & fish farming is not only about technical skills. Understanding contingencies, stakeholders and fundraising are just as important. Students learn from real foodscape project through excursions.