"Communicating to Inspire Change:" JCU Successfully Concludes Workshop on Food Security and Sustainability

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From July 13-17, John Cabot University and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) co-sponsored a week-long workshop, “Communicating to Inspire Change: Food Security and Sustainability.” The goal of the short course was to allow students to:

  • gain experience in learning and interacting with peers and professionals in an international, English language-based environment;
  • be introduced to key empirical information used to assess Food Security— learn to find and evaluate data;
  • understand the scientific, economic, social, and political issues surrounding food security so as to develop a context and framework for continuous learning;
  • develop English communication skills, for information and advocacy, with visualizations, written summaries, and oral presentations.

The workshop included 19 participants from four different countries, and presenters from JCU’s faculty and FAO experts. The lively, interactive daily activities covered a variety of topics, including an overview of big data and world hunger; communicating for change; and economics, social structures and cultures of food security. The week culminated with participants working on group projects in which they designed strategic marketing campaigns to raise awareness of food security and hunger. Their projects included a campaign to encourage Italian restaurants and customers to reduce food waste; a service to connect local food growers with tourists; and a living food barge on the Tiber River that would employ migrants.

Communicating to Inspire Change Workshop

Communicating to Inspire Change Workshop

The interactions between the participants, whose backgrounds ranged from professionals to Ph.D. students, and the expert presenters proved to be an energetic exchange of ideas and worldviews. Some participants commented,

  • “Every presentation was interesting. Overall the course was really well structured, and both the speakers and students very prepared.”
  • “Many of the topics were truly inspiring. Getting out of this course you really feel like everyone should know about food security-related issues. The variety of ‘points-of-views’ was also a strength of the course.”
  • “The professionalism of the speakers was what kept me interested. Thanks to the experts strong background in the subject, I expanded my knowledge a lot, even though the course was short.”
  • “I really enjoyed the free environment of the classroom. I thought the speakers and the students were very motivated.”

Thanks to all the participants who made the workshop a great success. JCU would also like to thank FAO for providing technical support and experts who contributed greatly to the learning content. We look forward to repeating this successful program in the future.