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Table 1 T-lab 1

From: Planning for change: Transformation labs for an alternative food system in Cape Town, South Africa

The first T-lab was conducted at Grootbos Nature Reserve, 150 km outside Cape Town, from 27 to 30 November 2016.
The T-lab was designed as a multi-actor innovation process with the goal of better understanding pressing issues in the local food system, building coalitions of change, generating ideas and commitment, and testing these ideas on the ground.
There were 35 participants in total; including chefs, researchers, artists, food activists, producers, retailers, food innovators, an anthropologist, food scientist and an artisanal baker. Four researchers from the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition (CST) at Stellenbosch University, the Southern African Food Lab (SAFL), and Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) facilitated the T-lab.
The T-lab had three phases
1- Seeing the system: which included a learning journey en route to the venue and a guided tour of the areas foraging for edibles in the Fynbos landscape and learning about the indigenous flora (Fig. 1).
2- Visioning a better future: which involved participants foraging for things (e.g. kitchen utensils, cutlery, stones, twigs, leaves and fruit) to create a vision of their desired food future through the creation of an “artefact”. The Three Horizons framework was also employed as a device to see how we could get from present roles and routines to a more transformed system (Fig. 2).
3- Committing to actions: which involved the participants offering what they were able to do differently to spur the change they wanted to see and to forge networks and relationships with some of those in the room and beyond in order to effect change.
Challenges included a sense of uncertainty from the participants on some aspects of the T-lab process, and how it had been conducted. Other concerns were that the objective of the event had not been clearly stipulated, and the language used during presentations was overly theoretical in nature.