Following is an end-of-the-year update from my nonprofit program Change Food….
As Change Food approaches the end of our first fiscal year (which is July 31st), we are taking the opportunity to look back at what we’ve achieved. We’re proud to have spearheaded another successful TEDxManhattan event, as well as organizing our first Change Food Salon, “Storytelling & Food.” We’ve also begun taking steps to implement future projects, including a video library, education kits, organizational database and statement of principles.
Change Food’s projects all support the overall goal of raising awareness of problems with our food system, as well as offering potential solutions. For more information, see our Projects page.
TEDxManhattan was once again a resounding success in 2014. This year’s event had a capacity audience of 375, as well as more than 13,000 individuals who watched the live webcast, and 150 viewing parties were held around the U.S. and overseas. Total video views for all TEDxManhattan talks from 2011 to today are approaching 6 million. Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook summed up TEDxManhattan’s impact when he said on stage, “This institution, TEDxManhattan, has changed the food movement.”
TEDxManhattan’s social media reach continued to grow as well, thanks to our dedicated team of volunteers. More than 65,000 people were reached via Facebook during TEDxManhattan, and 10,285 tweets were sent with our hashtag, #TEDxMan. We had an estimated total Twitter exposure of nearly 8 million.
We also moved ahead with new projects. Change Food hosted its first Salon, “Storytelling and Food” on May 27, 2014. The event, which attracted a capacity crowd of 80, was co-hosted with Foodstand, a project of the company Purpose. The salon gave a platform to five artists working in diverse media to bring attention to issues around food. Videos of the talks are on our YouTube channel.
Educational kits are being developed around various TEDxManhattan talks, with the goal of making the talks more useful as teaching tools. These kits will include study guides, discussion questions and materials, and links to further information. We are finalizing our first two educational guides around Peter Lehner’s 2013 food waste talk and Megan Miller’s 2014 talk on eating insects. We worked with The Creative Kitchen and Edible Schoolyard NYC, respectively, to develop the guides.
We put together a plan, and are now seeking funding, for the Change Food Video Library, which will consist of the best short-length videos about issues around sustainable food and farming. These will come from a variety of conferences, events, organizations and outlets. We will also pursue partnerships with organizations that have high-quality video content; for example, we have formed a partnership with Anna Lappe’s Real Food Media Project.
We also developed a plan for the a Sustainable Food and Farming Database, a national, interactive database of sustainable food and farming organizations, where groups will be able to connect and interact with each other, share ideas and ask for assistance. It will also allow groups to develop joint projects and allow the movement to create a bigger groundswell around critical issues.
We are involved with the formation of AgArts, an effort by various individuals in the food/farming/art world to develop an organization that will help use the arts to promote issues around food and farming. Examples of this are Matthew Moore’s and Sam Van Aken’s talks at TEDxManhattan 2014. A creative brief and strategic plan are in the early stages.
At TEDxManhattan 2014, Diane Hatz called for the food movement to come together and sign a Statement of Principles pledging that groups will make more of an effort to work together collaboratively and to help each other. The Statement is currently being finalized and will be circulated and online shortly.
(This was copied from Change Food’s 2013-14 Year in Review page.)