Conferences + Intensives

Sustainable Food Systems Leadership Institute

MANP’s Sustainable Food Systems Leadership Institute (SFSLI) is designed for leaders from across Maine with common interests in seeing and helping to create a food system in Maine that is local, strong, sustainable, just and healthy for all.

This program is founded on a philosophy that the best way to do this is to connect and support the people and the parts within the system so that they have the knowledge, skills, relationships and leadership sensibility required to successfully manage and support rapid transformation.

In Maine we have many young people who are contributing to an amazing array of food projects, yet too often we are so busy in our work that we are unable to take the time to connect together and develop deeper collaborations. SFSLI is creating a space for young leaders to explore possibilities together, to gain skills and to develop the relationships that are already resulting in resilient food projects in Maine.”  


Program Format + Goals

The Sustainable Food System Leadership Institute (SFSLI) curriculum seeks to strengthen Maine’s local food movement by offering participants a variety of learning opportunities that focus on core competencies of:

  • Network Development: Building the network of people and organizations working on this issue;
  • Leadership Development: Building leadership capacity (individual, organizational and network/movement);
  • Movement Building: Building the knowledge base, and core competencies related to strengthening the food movement.

The purpose of SFSLI is to prepare participants to effectively find and assume leadership roles in local food systems by creating a learning community that encourages:

  • personal and professional reflection
  • practical skill development, and
  • the expansion of individuals’ networks within and between communities in the local foods movement.

The program is offered through day-long, in-person gatherings, which strive to be interactive and content-rich, with a wide range of guest speakers and plenty of time for participants to learn, teach, connect, inspire and grow from one another.

Alumni from the program remain part of the SFSLI network and are resources for current participants.

Read the full 2017-2018 SFSLI Program Overview.


The 2017-2018 program fee is $350 per person. The application includes the option to request a scholarship, and we work hard to ensure the program is accessible to all.


The next session of the program is scheduled to begin in late October 2017 and run through April 2018 with one day-long session each month. Specific dates are still being finalized. Applications for this next cohort will be accepted until September 15.

  1. First, read the 2017-2018 SFSLI Program Overview.
  2. To apply, please complete this online application by September 15. Applicants will be notified in September, but please don’t hesitate to reach out before then with any questions.

Staying Connected

Alumni of the program are staying connected through Facebook and other reunion events. To get connected with the private Facebook group or connected to other alumni, contact Molly O’Connell.