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Design Council Scaffolding

Seedlings on Windowsill

The sixth step in the start-up phase of food council development is to design a loose structure, the scaffolding, of the council. This structure will evolve as the council grows and expands, and an initial frame is needed to get things started.

What do we mean by scaffolding?

To further describe the idea of a council, the organizing group identifies the approximate size of the council and the membership makeup. As with all other parts of the organizing group’s work, it should remain relatively general, leaving details for the council to determine itself.

What does the scaffolding look like?

An emerging pattern is for the council to serve two structural roles: as a liaison to local government and the larger external context of the community, and as the leadership committee for a larger network of people operating on sub-committees. In this way the council is both a small group and the gateway to a large network.

Defining the main purpose of each tier in the structure is important. It helps to narrow down who might participate at each level. The organizing group, however, needs to remember that ultimately this structure will be refined and retooled by the council itself once it enters the growth phase.

What else should you consider?

The number of people serving on the council can grow over time, especially with the creation of committees. Ultimately, there can be room for anyone who wants to participate on the council to do so in some capacity.

Tools & Resources

The following tools and resources are helpful in thinking about the possible structure for a council.