Theoretical Framework

Practical Visionaries Field Project 2013 – Theoretical Framework

The 2013 Field Project team drafted a summary of theories and practices that have informed our project goals and process. This paper is divided into three main components – Food System Assessments, Community Economies, and Popular Education. Each component is defined and related theories or models are presented. The following information summarizes the research that the Practical Visionaries Field Project is based on. This research is intended to inform and support the Practical Visionaries Steering Committee member organizations (Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE), Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) and Somerville Community Corporation (SCC)) in their efforts for engaging their communities in conversations about challenges and opportunities for their local food economies. Furthermore, it provides valuable context for any community groups or individuals using the website, curriculum, mapping tools, survey, or other materials we’ve developed. This theoretical background is further supported by the Practical Visionaries Workshop and interviews conducted by the project team, as well as publications included in the Bibliography.

Theoretical Framework – Summary

This paper highlights the major findings of the Practical Visionaries Field Project research related to Food System Assessment, Community Economies, and Popular Education. The concepts, criticisms, and examples presented all informed the final products from the 2013 spring semester and provide a foundation for the next steps in Practical Visionary work related to community food economies and popular education tools. The 2013 Field Project team hopes that this review of theoretical and practical resources surrounding community economies, empowerment, and food systems can support and potentially contribute to productive conversations for Steering Committee partners and other groups.

Please click on the following links to read about the theoretical background of each component:

Community Economy
Popular Education
Food Systems Assessments


The complete document and bibliography are also available in .pdf form here: Practical Visionaries Field Project 2013_Theoretical Framework.