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Table 3 Key activities during the T-lab processes conducted in the Western Cape

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

Activity Objective
Learning journeys These are important tools in developing the “collective leadership capacity [that draws] together all key stakeholders and involve [s] them in a process that begins with uncovering common intention and ends with collectively creating profound innovation on the scale of the whole system” (Scharmer 2010). Here, they were used to help participants to identify images that epitomise the challenges of the current food system in the landscape between their departure point and T-lab venue, and why.
Foraging and a guided tour of the surrounding area To (re) connect people with the local nature, and to learn about the different wild foods in the area. This was also a good way to get people thinking about some of the resources they may have at their disposal in their own localities.
Provocation with realities of the dominant food system To help participants determine what is wrong with the current/dominant food system, and what about this system can be connected to the alternative food system.
Three Horizons framework This is a heuristic that can help participants to think about transformative pathways towards more desirable futures and how this future is linked to the present (Sharpe et al. 2016). It was used to illustrate how change can be projected from what is to what could be within the food system. It also informed the visioning exercise on alternative food system futures that participants would like to see.
Visioning exercise Participants were divided into groups of six or more to creatively illustrate (using kitchen utensils, cutlery, stones, twigs, leaves and fruit) how they envision future food systems, and what impact their innovation could potentially have (Fig. 2).
Group activities i.e. cooking together, chef cook-off Although not mandatory, group activities such as cooking together were a large part of the T-lab process. Participants were involved in the cooking, cleaning or setting up of tables at all mealtimes. The role of indigenous foods in addressing hunger, food insecurity and nutrition challenges in the Western Cape (and at national level) were highlighted throughout the T-lab process. There was also a cook-off that was a competitive yet playful means of participant interaction (with food and each other) (Fig. 3).