General Principles of Engagement
D. Hillman Strategies tries to operate in a “Yes, and….” context. Specifically, some guiding principles are:
- Individual empowerment, leadership development
- Big picture context
- Action-oriented, bite-sized steps
- Unpacking cultural myths
- Programs plus policy, policy plus programs
- Trusting the process
D. Hillman Strategies’ work focuses on two content areas:
- Understanding that being a food citizens is a place of personal empowerment and collective action like no other.
- Understanding food and farm systems is a leverage point of concrete consciousness and action-oriented civic engagement like no other.
Complete Food and Farm SystemS
Just like transportation advocates in the 1980s, food policy advocates are now developing a COMPLETE FOOD AND FARMS set of principles.
Technically, a Complete Food and Farms framework would integrate 3 levels of food systems and apportion resources according to each system’s distance from the foundation — the Household’s connection to the earth:
1. Household. The household as the fundamental unit of human society is the fundamental building block of a Complete Food and Farm System.
2. Local food economy. Concentrate on a given community’s ability to feed themselves, day in and day out.
3. Global food economy. Incorporate the global food system as a component that enables any community to
- obtain foods that it cannot grow itself
- obtain foods that it needs in an emergency
Complete Foods and Farms proposes that for every taxpayer $ spent on food and farm initiatives, a majority of that $ should be targeted for re-building household economies and local farm and food economies — the capacity for people in a given household and geography to feed themselves and those in their care.
Place of Personal and Collective Empowerment
Food is not an optional consumer product. Food is a basic need for everyone, but food needs and availability change from one person to another, one family to another, one community to another, one country to another, one stage of life to another.
Our need to eat every day is the most time- and resource-consuming activity that humans do, connecting every area of our personal, cultural, communal, and economic lives.
Food is not just a widget. It is a daily expression of human relationship. Eating well requires a constant myriad of decisions and connections to obtain the most nourishing food every meal, every day, year in and year out. Eating well requires a myriad of daily caring, coordinated activities to enable us to find, produce, harvest, process, aggregate, store, package, distribute, sell, prepare, eat, and compost.
Food is a daily, immediate need that requires every adult’s on-going vigilance, knowledge, and skill to feed themselves and to feed those in their care, in coordination with other adults who must do the same.
Food is a daily pleasure and something that everyone likes to talk about.