Complex, interconnected challenges require a systems approach to collaboration, innovation, and action 

By providing a neutral, unified platform, we bring together value-webs of ‘unusual suspects’ to identify points of commonality around complex issues and guide them toward practical solutions that have potential to transform not only their own individual and organizational operations, but the entire food and agriculture system in Illinois. Whether engaging in half-day events on an emerging trend or in ongoing collaborative workshop series on critical cross-sector challenges, participants take part in specialized processes to share knowledge, examine root barriers, identify best practices, and develop new approaches that are more resilient, sustainable, and equitable for all.

Core elements of ILAFA’s approach to systems-level innovation and action-focused collaboration include:

  • People: Targeted group of relevant stakeholders to examine a complex topic and stimulate forward-thinking solutions;
  • Method: Refined methodology that ensures dynamic conversations, deeper understanding, and actionable recommendations;
  • Research: Generated background materials, best practices, systems context and other information necessary to empower stakeholders;
  • Facilitation: Expert facilitation using systems change tools and frameworks to create meaningful and productive interactions;
  • Connection: A diverse coalition of stakeholders with a shared interest in the topic;
  • Record: Synthesized proceedings to capture insights and new ideas; and,
  • Implement: Advanced post-discussion through a framework for action and evaluation.