Session 8 – Flexible Learning


  • This is session 3 of 4 of the Flexible Learning sessions in the course. The objectives of the flexible learning sessions are to provide students with more time to engage with their community-based project and be exposed to different perspectives on the theories and concepts explored in class.


After completing this session, you should be able to:

  • Recognize, manage and control scope change in your project.

Required Readings + Resources

PODCAST: This American Life - Poultry Slam 2011: Act 3: Latin Liver

Begin this week by listening to Dan Barber's story of foie gras: in order to make foie gras — goose liver — the birds have to be treated inhumanely, strapped down and force-fed huge amounts of food. So when Dan, who runs the New York restaurant Blue Hill, heard about Eduardo Sousa, a Spaniard who had supposedly found a way to make foie gras without mistreating the animals, Dan didn't believe it ... until he went to Spain to investigate, and then tries to replicate the program back home (20 minutes).

This week, we will begin to come to terms with major reality of any project - SCOPE CHANGE! Only on very rare occasions do projects unfold as outlined by a project proposal. It's not that taking the time to create a proposal is a waste. It is simply the nature of engaging with complex issues, such as those evident in your community-based projects (and your future career as a professional within the food system). So what do we do when our best laid plans fail us? At what point does a group admit that the original vision needs to be tweaked, revised, or completely dropped?