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Network Leadership Institute FAQ's

If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us directly.

When can I apply?

The application period happens each year during the month of May, announced through FSNE's email newsletter and social media feeds.  Decisions on applications are made by the end of June and the program starts in September (see below). 

What is required of participants?

Participants must demonstrate willingness and desire to fully engage in the work of the Institute. In particular, participants should be prepared to grapple with questions of race, equity, and justice in the food system. Individuals must be available to attend all Institute sessions and complete a few hours of work between sessions.  

What expenses are involved?

There is no cost to attend the FSNE Network Leadership Institute, but admission is competitive and participants are required to attend all sessions. We have budgeted the program so that shared overnight accommodations and all meals during the Institute will be covered. Participants are responsible for covering their own transportation and miscellaneous expenses; limited scholarships will be available to cover travel expenses based on need.

How much food system experience is required?

There are no specific pre-requisites but this Institute is designed to support emerging leaders who may be new to food system work, regardless of age or background.  However, if you have been involved in some aspect of the food economy for a while but now find yourself needing to develop new skills around facilitation, engagement, network-building and leadership in a new way, the Institute could also be a great fit for you.

How much food system knowledge is required?

The assumption is that you will already have some connection to, and understanding of, the food system in New England. This opportunity does not require expert level knowledge, however.  Please note that this program does focus on leadership development, network-building and related skills, not the technical aspects of food systems like production, distribution, etc.  There are many other organizations already offering technical skills related to aspects of our food system.

What topics are covered?

The Intitute program this year will cover topics such as:  FSNE's vision, panels on "what's moving" in the regional food system, race & equity issues in the food system, systems and networks, facilitative leadership skills and activities, network weaving, designing engagement strategies, communications strategies and skills, self-preservation and self-care skills for leaders, understanding leadership styles, engagement in our collective regional goals. Please note that we seek to improve the Institute every year and some new or adjusted material may emerge for the coming season.

How many people are accepted?  How many apply?

This session is limited to 18 people to ensure the kind of experience that is most likely to result in effective learning, capacity-building and connection among the participants.  To date, we have received between 45 and 80 applications per year.

Are the Institute gatherings family-friendly?

At this time we do not have the ability to accomodate children or other family members. Currently, the program is designed to be a "retreat" experience for individuals so that they can go more deeply into the work of food system leadership development.

Are the locations accessible for people with different physical abilities? Food preferences and restrictions?

Yes, all the locations meet the requirements for ADA accessibility.  If you have any special mobility challenges or needs, please contact us to discuss. We will check in with all accepted candidates regarding food preferences and restrictions prior to confirming arrangements with all the program locations to make sure needs are met.

In what language will the Institute sessions be conducted?

The sessions will be conducted in English.  We do not yet have a budget for interpretors.

When, exactly, are the sessions?

All sessions take place over three days (including two overnights).  Typically we will begin around noon on the first day and finish by around 2:00 pm on the final day of each session.  Full details will be distributed to the cohort of participants well in advance for planning purposes.  

Dates: September 24-26, November 13-15, January 15-17

Locations: to be confirmed (but each gathering will be at a different location in New England)

Please note that space in this program is limited and that being accepted into the program means that finite resources are being commited to support your leadership development path; your commitment to attend and participate in all sessions is important. If any challenges to your participation arise along the way, we ask that you communicate with one of the facilitators as soon as possible to address challenges and ensure your ongoing presence in the program.

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