Network Learning Series

Are you part of a Minnesota food network or interested in starting one? Are you curious about how working in a “network” way is different than an organizational or programmatic approach? Do you learn best by reading, discussing and experimenting with peers?

Minnesota Food Charter Network is partnering Johnstad and Associates to introduce a series of network resources for people and organizations interested in building their network literacy. The audience is individuals who are part of a local or regional food network anchored in the Minnesota Food Charter strategies and focused on mobilizing shared action towards healthy food access for all in the state.

The Network Learning Series consists of 5 video conferencing sessions throughout the summer. Participants will read the written materials in advance of the call and come prepared to share in a facilitated discussion. You do not need to attend all the session to participate and the goal will be to build on network literacy and deepen relationships among participants. The summer schedule is:

Session #1: Understanding the Benefits of a Network Approach

Tuesday, June 19th l 11:30 am – 12:45 pm 


Session #2: Understanding Types of Networks

Thursday, July 12th l 11:30 am – 12:45 pm


Session #3: Introducing a Network Approach to Others

Tuesday, July 24th l 11:30 am – 12:45 pm


Session #4: Building Network Capacity

Tuesday, August 7th l 11:30 am – 12:45 pm


Session #5: Tuning-up a Network and Forming or Re-Launching a Network

Tuesday, August 28th l 11:30 am – 12:45 pm



All sessions will use materials adapted from June Holley’s Network Weaver Handbook: A guide to Transformational Networks and available at no cost on the Minnesota Food Charter website

In addition, there will be opportunities to try the exercises or network building practices between our learning sessions. These will be self-initiated based on interests and could take 15 minutes to 1 hour.

Fall Learning Series

The fall learning series will focus on network health and resources individuals and organizations can use to assess and strengthen network health. All the resources were developed by Johnstad and Associates with funding from the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. The fall learning series will be designed in September to incorporate feedback from the summer participants. The intent of the fall series is to introduce specific resources, share examples of food leaders who have tried them as well as use peers to address challenges in building excitement and skill in using data for continuous improvement.

Whether you are part of an existing network or just starting out, you will quickly find out that there is more to operating effectively as a network than you originally thought. The first step is to become familiar with basic concepts that are your gateway to a more useful perspective on networks. Minnesota Food Charter Network, Johnstad and Associates and the Center for Prevention – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota are pleased to offer a series of learning opportunities and resources that you can use in your community and organizational contexts.