I care about food, but where do I start?

Up. Start. Upstart?

I bet you’re thinking that it sounds a little like the next yo pro’s tech platform promo. Maybe, but no. Upstart is your toolkit to engaging your community and addressing an issue in our food system, that is somewhat, or a lot, broken. For me, it was the perfect opportunity to become proactively involved in an area that I cared a hell of a lot about (our food system!) but hadn’t yet found the community or the resources to know where to begin. This is where Upstart works its magic.

But I’ll let you discover that side for yourself…

Let’s break it down into how it actually plays out

You (and me): “I love food, I like talking about food, I like other people that like food, I like making other people care about food, I want other people to think more about their food, but WOW, WHERE ON EARTH DO I START?”

YFM: Inspiring young people, knowledge, know-how, ‘food world’ networks, the “yes you can!” that you need.

YFM + you + more people like you + food Issue + designing a project that addresses said issue = Upstart

Personally, I like to think of Upstart as a little like a team decathlon. Weird comparison I know, but post-Upstart, you’ll understand, and you’ll also learn that YFM loves a good analogy. Brilliantly – and luckily for you – it’s split into parts, each of which focus on a different core aspect of the event, i.e. Marketing & Comms, Logistics, Content, and so on. This means your energy and skills to are devoted to one (or a couple of) subsection/s of your project. You’ll be working in a small team which makes up your larger Upstart chapter. So, your fellow Upstarters might be jumping hurdles to get the venue sorted and ticket sales grooving while you’re throwing the javelin to make sure that you can assess the impact of the event. But you all reach the finish line together, hurray!

Yes, you read correctly; you’ll develop and employ a specific skill set of your choosing, learn a ridiculous amount about our food system and get your hands dirty (maybe even get some soil on them…) with other rad, young food heads? Yep, and only ‘til stocks last, I’d be snapping up a spot quick sticks.

So, Upstart is kinda like a decathlon, kinda like making a sixteen-course dinner, or running a marathon. Except that you’re doing it with mates who are cheering you along the way, running a few kms for you and whisking the eggs while you’re blanching the beans. Teamwork at its finest. And at the end, you’re left not with sweaty socks or red wine stains on your carpet (although I’m not ruling those out). But instead the sweet satisfaction of having empowered yourself, and your fellow Upstarters, to take meaningful action for a better food future.

Written by Claudia Lang, Claudia was a member of our Session 2 Upstart team in Melbourne.

Find out more about Upstart here.

Nellie Thomson