Cumulus Green 2024

Honorable Mention


Angelica Cianflone, Marla Nichele

Free University of Bozen, Italy

Lokall is a solidary-based vegetable delivery service, that answers to the pandemic related needs of three different communities: It creates accessibility to healthy food for those in need, a feeling of belonging for those who were isolated, and new revenue for farmers that could not sell their products anymore. It is run by students and volunteers and strives to make local organic food accessible to all while spreading the importance of ethical, sustainable and local food production.

This community-organised vegetable box delivery service is reducing social, environmental and economic injustices that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. The service is based on synergies between producers, community and territory, creating a system that takes responsibility for each other’s needs:

Fairness: The community service was launched in the first COVID lockdown to help farmers navigate the transitional regulations and avoid food waste despite the closure of markets.

Through Lokall, a new infrastructure was quickly built where consumers take responsibility for reducing the work and precarity of farmers by organising marketing, sales and urban distribution voluntarily as well as by helping on the fields when needed.

Accessibility: It’s economically inclusive to different incomes and abilities by offering a range of value exchanges based on labour and money. For those in immediate need, vegetables are provided completely free of charge through community-based solidarity.

Community: In order to counteract the isolation that has been pertinent in the last two years, a community is the foundation of Lokall, creating positive interactions among all its participants. Providing the framework for transdisciplinary and participatory development, Lokall invites everyone to participate according to their possibilities and interests.

Communication: To spread appreciation and knowledge about ethical, sustainable and local food production, collective learning events and knowledge exchanges are organised and findings are communicated over social networks.

The project combines theoretical and practical approaches in order to analyse the state of the art of niche food economies and networks. Through the implementation of the service in the context of Bozen-Bolzano, high levels of reflections and first-hand experience have been acquired. This has been possible also through the merge of transdisciplinary approaches, which in detail has led to:

  • Understand sustainability in all its dimensions
  • Integrate approaches and skills from multiple disciplines
  • Facilitate social dynamics, participatory processes, and teamwork in productive ways
  • Apply social science methods in research and design processes
  • Work with diverse experts, organisations, communities, and individuals
  • Make complex issues tangible through design, visualisation, and storytelling

These learnings have contributed to the creation of a manual, which has been used to encourage Lokall-like initiatives in other universities. The prospect is to foster the necessary discussion in order to collectively make food consumption ecological and social. Together, we strive for holistic sustainability based on ecological and social values. Holistic sustainability can, however, only be reached by including everyone, also those who cannot afford it.

By addressing the need for diverse consumer-producer relationships on several layers, niche innovations are encouraged that ideally contribute to system transformation through their prospective adaption to the mainstream.