Food Lab learnings presented at Harvard workshop

Ralph Hamann, Research Director at UCT’s Graduate School of Business and a member of the Southern Africa Food Lab’s advisory board, recently returned from a Harvard Workshop on Cross-Sector Innovation where he presented a paper based on the experiences of the Food Lab.

“Through an indepth analysis of the Southern Africa Food Lab, we identify five dialogic practices – enrolling, hosting, surfacing, regenerating, and reflexivity – that interact to give rise to four institutional accomplishments: increasing boundary permeability, relational depth, value reflexivity, and categorical differentiation. We thus identify and explicate dialogue as an important and distinct mode of agency, especially in the face of grand challenges, and we show how dialogic agency can be sustained even in dialectic encounters. We propose that dialogic agency heightens the social innovation capacity of a given institutional field while dialectic agency constrains that capacity.”

Hamann notes that scholars from across the globe were interested and impressed with the achievements of the Lab to date.