UPDATE: Local Food Launchpad 2016 has finished, but our participants are just getting started. Check out their projects and see what’s next here.

Local Food Launchpad 2016: Pitch Night

Known as one of the world’s most liveable cities, Melbourne is Australia’s fastest growing capital city, with a population expected to reach 8 million people by 2050. To support a city in which all can thrive, we need a food system that is healthy, sustainable, secure and socially inclusive — from paddock to plate. Not only is this good for people and planet, a vibrant local food system is also good for business, and provides a foundation for a resilient future.

To improve Melbourne’s food system, and sustainably grow Melbourne’s local food economy, City of Melbourne, Doing Something Good and Open Food Network this year offered a ten week accelerator program to support the development of socially innovative local food enterprises and community projects. Now in its second year, The Local Food Launchpad, works with passionate and visionary Melburnians to grow their capability to innovate, creatively solve complex issues, build partnerships, design strategic interventions and scale their social, environmental and economic impact through a diverse range of ventures and activities.

This year’s participants will be launching social enterprises, workshop programs, mini-documentaries, local food promotion campaigns, community growing programs and small scale farming opportunities. In addition to working to improve our food system, many of these initiatives are also seeking to address key issues affecting our cities most vulnerable, including the long term unemployed, newly arrived refugees and our growing number of homeless people. The innovative operating and business models are being developed to be replicable and adaptable, and hold real potential to make change at scale.

Grab your ticket now, and be part of a very special night with entrepreneurs, change agents, policy makers, strategists, innovators and community leaders from across Victoria.

Join us for the Local Food Launchpad 2016 Pitch Night, and hear 11 big ideas from 15 passionate, creative and innovative Melburnians working to shape a healthy, secure, sustainable, resilient and socially inclusive food system. Find out what they learned and the opportunities they identified through market research, customer interviews, prototyping and user testing, and hear how you can be part of their vision for a better food future, and grow a thriving local food economy for all.

The night will feature special guest speaker Russell Shields, Manager of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s Food Justice Truck with an inspiring view of the future of local food. You’ll also get to meet other attendees from some of Victoria’s most innovative social enterprises, and enjoy fresh, tasty finger food lovingly prepared from the good people at STREAT Catering, and funky mocktails from locally grown and foraged ingredients thanks to the brilliant folk from Trolley’d.

If you’re interested in developing your own local food enterprise or community project, want to know how you or your organisation might support others to improve Melbourne’s food system, or learn how you can sustainably grow your city or town’s local food economy, please join us for an inspiring and thought provoking evening.


Date: Thursday 13 October

Time: 6:00pm-9:00pm
(presentations start at 6:30pm SHARP)

Venue: ArtPlay, Birrarung Marr
(behind Federation Square)

Cost: FREE

Getting There: Directions

About our Guest Speaker

Russell Shields is the Food Justice Truck Manager at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

He is also the founder of The Community Grocer, a social enterprise initiative that aims to improve access to fresh affordable food for people living in public and social housing via a community led weekly fruit and vegetable market.

In 2013 Russell was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study `International models of food rescue and community food initiatives that address food security for vulnerable populations’, and is a member of the City of Melbourne Homelessness Advisory Committee and , StreetSmart Grants Committee.

Local Food Launchpad 2016 has been produced by Doing Something Good in partnership with City of Melbourne and Open Food Network. Learn more about Local Food Launchpad 2016 at http://doingsomethinggood.com.au/local-food-launchpad-2016/

LFLP16 Partner Logos