Communicating for Food Sustainability

An online everywhere Mini-Conference hosted by the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA)

November 12-13, 2020

Speech bubble filled with vegetables

Food correlates to a number of environmental issues from land and water use to pollution from pesticides and herbicides. Food production, packaging, and waste all impact the environment. Sustainable perspectives of food may also connect with morality, ethics, and spirituality. Of course, issues of labor and culture surface as well. Individual practices and social structures all come into how we feed ourselves. 

In this mini-conference, we will feature two panels: one focused on academic research and another workshop-style one, which will provide strategies and tactics for on-the-ground action. Presenters come from all over the world and bring a variety of experiences and approach to research. The academic panel includes papers that tackle issues both local and global and investigate how people make food choices, advocate for change, and use public media to communicate sustainability in food systems.

The workshop features presenters who will share their experiences, ideas for initiatives, communication strategies, and investment models for sustainable food sourcing in (hyper)local settings. 

Conference Committee:  Samathana Senda-Cook, Franzisca Weder, Jen Rae and Mark Meisner


1. Hyperlocal food sourcing: trendy or necessary? - Interactive Workshop

Live workshop: November 13 at 04:00 UTC - Check your local time
Panel Chair:
Franzisca Weder

Introduction - “live” from community garden/food hub

  • Franzisca Weder
  • Jen Rae

Initiatives, communication and engagement strategies from a practitioners perspective

Introduction of projects, workshop and training concepts in international cultural and regional settings:

Food hubs

  • Jen Rae, Melbourne (Australia): (Hyper)local food hub, Melbourne

  • F.-Th Gottwald, Munich (Germany): Local food hub, Munich 

Sparking food related conversations in a digitalized world

  • Amanda Katili Niode, Jakarta (Indonesia): Climate smart eating, regional challenges

  • Ana C. Nepote, Morelia (Mexico): New ways to communicate about food sourcing  in a digital world 

Pedagogical approaches

  • Sheryl Cunningham, Springfield, Ohio (USA): Engaging multiple audiences

  • Jennifer Good, Kathleen P. Hunt, Maggie Siebert, Toronto et al (CAN/USA): Teaching through food 


Includes live question and answer session with people in the community & online.

  • Hyperlocality as part of “trendy sustainability”?
  • Why hyperlocal in Covid-times?
  • What and where do we talk about a Covid-19 related disruption (supply chains? panic buying? What about the retailers?)
  • What about “food security”?
  • Why are people more “sustainable” in Covid-/Post-Covid-times? Are they?
  • What are “hyperlocal communication strategies”?
  • How much is/can this be translated into an online world? (adaption strategies?)
  • What skills are needed in local food hubs?
  • Is there something like “public pedagogy” or: What skills can be learned in local food systems/community projects etc.?
  • What are strategies to engage with local councils/governments?
  • What about “investment” strategies (what kind of investment are we talking about)?
  • What about community, cohesion and inclusion – is COVID-19 bringing “values” back?
  • What about social inclusion and gender issues when we talk about sustainability, food & food supply?
  • How can academic works be translated into the hyperlocal communities?

The workshop will be recorded and available to delegates.

2. Advocating for Sustainable Food - Research Panel

Live question and answer session: November 13 at 19:00 UTC - Check your local time
Recorded presentations will be available ahead of time - see note below
Presentations abstracts
Panel Chair:
Samantha Senda-Cook

Awareness of the Need for Transformational Change in Local Food System Participants in Providence, Rhode Island

  • Anna Palliser, Southern Institute of Technology and Wales University

Human-Like Animals? – The Effects of the Animal Rights Organizations’ Approach to Communicate for Reducing Animal-Based Nutrition

  • Tanja Habermeyer, University of Augsburg
  • Rebecca Hellmeier, University of Augsburg

Positioning Community Radio as a Catalyst for Food Sustainability in Kenya: A Review of Milestones and Challenges of the UNESCO Chair on Community Radio for Agricultural Education – Rongo University CANCELLED

  • Enock Mac’Ouma, Rongo University

Overmoralization of (m)eating behavior?

  • Stella Lemke, University of Lübeck
  • Thomas Fenzl, FH Munich
  • Franzisca Weder, University of Queensland
  • Denise Voci, University of Klagenfurt

Presentations will be uploaded a few days ahead of time so delegates can watch them at their convenience. Then, at the time listed above there will be a live question and answer session with the presenters. That session will also be recorded and available to delegates. In addition, there will be a chat stream so delegates can engage with the panelists asynchronously.




The conference will take place on the PheedLoop platform and will also use Zoom. Registered delegates will receive detailed instructions prior to the conference.

We ask that attendees please watch this instructional video from PheedLoop before participating in the conference.

Recommended System and Internet Requirements: Please see these recommendations from PheedLoop concerning recommended setup for the virtual connference.


IECA Members: free, but please do not register unless you are certain you will attend. We have to pay a platform fee for each registration and don't want to waste funds.
New memberships will be available after November 1, 2020 here.

Non-Members: $25

Non-members living in low to upper middle income economies: $12

Registration fees are non-refundable.