Hi there, I’ve just arrived back from a one month work and learning trip in Germany and Italy. The photos in this post highlight a few memorable moments from the 2016 Slow Food Terre Madre and Salone del Gusto conference in Turin, Italy. I was fortunate to be one of the 55 Canadian delegates selected to go. In 2014 we had only 4 youth delegates go to Terre Madre, while only two years later, we now have over 20 youth delegates. I’m excited to say our Slow Food Youth Network Canada is slowly growing. Check out Slow Food Canada and Slow Food Nova Scotia to see what kinds of things are going on locally.

Arriving at 2016 Slow Food Terre Madre Salone del Gusto– thousands of food producers, leaders, activists await.


Slow Food Leadership Meeting: Models for Change

This workshop opened with Felia, from Hivos International, explaining how we can use the Iceberg systems thinking model to think about Slow Food and creating systemic change. The Iceberg model, in the case of Slow Food, can be used to illustrate how the things we see “above the water”, such as Slow Food events and campaigns , are the most visible parts of change, but in reality, are a very small part of systemic change. She suggests that in order to create lasting systemic change, we must look deeper at where real change happens – below the water.

To illustrate an example of a change model that addresses the Mental Models, Underlying Structures, and Patterns within the Iceberg model, Felia explained how Theory U, or Hivos‘ version of it, can be applied to slow food projects. The model she presented resembles the Business Model Canvas and Social Enterprise Model Canvas in terms of market testing and prototyping, while additional tapping into human emotion and group commitment.2016-09-22-15-33-41

Felia explained how this model works well with both enterprises and not-for-profits explaining how she has used this model to implement a successful food project in Uganda. She explained that this project was successful because the change making group really listened to the community without judgement or jumping to conclusions. After listening well, the group in Uganda found it easier to obtain commitment and build a solution that worked for everyone. I was excited to learn about this model because I can see how I can apply parts of this model to my food community building work.

Sidenote: when I arrived home, my partner Anne Stieger, the facilitating genius and love of my life, already had the Theory U book (affiliate link) on the bookshelf. Of course 🙂

Measuring Success

Next, Felia used the Youth Food Movement Netherlands’ Slow Food Youth Academy as an example of how to measure social project outcomes using Social, Physical, Natural, Financial, and Human Capitals. It was nice to see a Slow Food being measured in a holistic and thorough manner. This event helped me realize that the next step for Slow Food Youth in Canada, that will have real value for young food professionals in Canada and forward the movement, is to start a Slow Food Youth Academy in Canada. More on this topic coming soon.

For lunch, I headed to a plating workshop with a Piemontese Chef Christian Madura, formerly at Noma and Cambio


Canenlloni with crispy bacon, and microgreens. A bean purree to be added next


My attempt at plating: Soy sauce marinated veal with tuna sauce and crumbled egg yoke

My attempt at plating: Soy sauce marinated veal with tuna sauce and crumbled egg yoke

Slow Food Canada Meetup

In the evening, our Slow Food Canada group had a meetup at one of the Canada delegate apartments. Wine, cheese, Italian cured meats, and awesome slow foodies from across Canada  Need I say more?

More adventures coming soon.

Socializing with the Canadian delegates