The ScaleSchool Methodology by Open Team : in Theory and in Practice at the organic farm selected in Nepal
Article written by Open Team Director, Joanne Schanté
Have you heard about the ScaleSchool program that we are developing at Open Team? The way it works is that we select, optimize and replicate high-impact solutions for the planet, that can contribute to solving climate change and social issues on a massive scale. Our goal is to transmit the knowledge and amplify the impact. This can be a real gamechanger, as you can read here in a previous news article.
We’re starting with a first solution: switching a single hectare micro-farm to an organic farm, inspired from the first project selected: Spiral Farm House led by Sudarshan Chaudari from Nepal. The project is based in the South region of Saptari just one hour North of the Indian border, in the rural municipality of Aginsaer Krishnasarban (a special municipality whose goal is to become the first 100% organic municipality of Nepal!).
How does the program work more concretely?
We gather a highly-motivated group of social entrepreneurs who will learn how to replicate the solution, thanks to a combination of online MOOC and onsite training. We bring in the right partners to help them build capacity as a cluster. With the feedback of the first batch of replicators, we are continuously improving the training for the next batch, and so on.
The first project replicated by the ScaleSchool is the organic farming switch, and then we will apply our replication methodology to other high impact sustainable projects (reducing use of plastic, sustainable energy, etc.)
What’s the end goal?
If we want the solution to be replicated on a large scale, starting in Nepal, then in the surrounding countries and then worldwide, we need to face the facts: we need a market to buy the products, which in this case is organic produce. You can train as many farmers as you wish, but if nobody buys it, it’s useless.
So, a big part of our work within the ScaleSchool program is to enable the identification of the best potential market and then to gain access to that market. This implies working with the existing local organizations and stakeholders in place (NGOs, cooperatives, municipalities) to build an adequate infrastructure made by locals for locals, where they can sell the organic produce in the nearby markets and cities.
The first concrete result of the program will be when the first produce of the replicators is actually sold on the market.
What have been the first steps in our roadmap?
- Mapping the project needs and implementing the pre-requisites to deploy the program (team, reliable internet connection, reliable energy with a solar panel…)
- Recruitment, onboarding and anchorage of our Startup Manager in Nepal, Sonja
- Analysis of the farm way of working and the local ecosystem (community, culture…)
- Gauging community interest through outreach
- Development of local partners
- Recruitment of natural leaders stemming from the local community
- Reinforcing the entrepreneurial capacity of the project holder
What’s coming next?
We are enter a key phase for the operationnalization of the program in Nepal. Next steps include:
- Launching a market study with local NGOs and university students to analyse (1) the consumer’s knowledge and willingness to buy organic produce, and (2) the current production ecosystem (distribution system, livelihood of existing conventional farmers, study on what prevents them from switching to organic…)
- Selection of other advanced organic farm initiatives in Nepal that will be co-tutors of the training (via a call for project) and sourcing of experts worldwide
- Building the training (onsite and online with the MOOC)
- Selection of first batch of replicators and start applying the first training steps to production
- Building the local structure to facilitate market access
To learn about how the program unfolds step by step, we will be regularly sharing updates on the advancement and methodology on our News Portal! We’d love to get your reactions and ideas, to enrich the whole process along the way! Contact us here