Grow Your Own Leaders

Incredible Edible Lambeth (IEL) has partnered with Lambeth Food Partnership and ImpactHub Brixton to deliver a collaboration & leadership development programme for food activists.

IEL, like many community organisations, has often found itself with too few people, too little time and good people suffering from burnout. So it was with great interest we heard about the U.Lab programme, developed by action researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology that was  being pioneered locally by ImpactHub Brixton. We took part in the first programme and went on to co-create a version focused on food.

We called the U.Lab Food programme Grow Your Own Leaders. It was launched on 9th March, with 68 people expressing an interest in the course which could take a maximum of 25 people. Through a mutual agreement process 25 people have signed up to work together over the next 6 weeks – learn about one another and find ways to work together so that we really can see Lambeth become a more healthy & sustainable borough. But the aim is that many more people will feel a part of the programme – and that after the first few weeks these newly invigorated ‘leaders’ will be reaching out for more people to collaborate with.

Already we have mapped the Lambeth food system and visited a couple of food projects, including Crystal Palace Food Market, nominated for a national BBC Good Food award last year. The visit included some time for ‘listening’ and comparing thoughts and ideas over coffee – not just going to see what it is all about but how to think a bit more deeply about what it might mean in terms of creating a better future.

For more information about the course and to follow it in progress please visit and follow us on Twitter #ulablambeth.