Welcome to the OSN Network Challenge Member Portal!
Step into Your Leadership Role – Begin Your Journey Here
“What do you want to do this year” – kind of a cliff to jump from, so here’s 4 key guides to download to help you along.
The 2024 OSN Network Challenge Syllabus offers a structured and comprehensive guide for participants in the Network Challenge program. This syllabus is divided into several key sessions, each aimed at enhancing participants’ skills and knowledge in various aspects of soil health and network building.
- Orientation Session (January 19, 2024): An introductory session to acquaint participants with each other and the agenda.
- Educational Workshops:
- How to Keep Learning (January 24, 2024): Focuses on adult learning, network building, and facilitating discussions.
- How to Do Research (January 31, 2024): Covers the basics of conducting on-farm research and designing research trials.
- How to Handle Haters (February 7, 2024): Teaches navigation of different personalities and conflict management.
- How to Tell a Story (February 15, 2024): Guides on effective storytelling, understanding audiences, and media literacy.
- How to Manage Life (Early March 2024): Focuses on goal setting, visualization exercises, and time management.
- Special Events:
- OSN Reunion and Pitch Event (February 22, 2024): An in-person gathering for networking, pitching project ideas, and structured networking with special guests.
- Additional Resources: Participants have access to a wealth of resources on the OSN Member Resources website, including handbooks, project examples, presentation templates, and more.
- Networking Opportunities: The syllabus encourages active participation in the OSN WhatsApp group for ongoing collaboration and discussion among network members.
This syllabus is designed to empower participants with the tools and knowledge necessary for successful engagement in the OSN Network Challenge, fostering a dynamic community dedicated to improving soil health and agricultural practices.
1. Make Your Plan for Impact
Handbook to Leadership and Change:
During a foundational virtual conference held from March 1-9, 2021, the Ontario Soil Network (OSN) united a new cohort of proactive farmers and experts for an engaging online dialogue. This wasn’t your typical conference; over 35 hours, participants delved into networking, leadership, and sustainable soil practices through a lens of collective action and community engagement.
🌱 Inspiring Action Through Leadership:
The discussions underscored the importance of collaborative leadership and communication in advancing soil health. It’s about leading by example, fostering a supportive environment, and sharing success stories that resonate and inspire within the farming community.
🤝 Networking: The Heart of Change:
OSN’s conference highlighted that true innovation stems from connections. Whether it’s sharing a drink or exchanging ideas, the power of networking in knowledge transfer is undeniable.
🔍 Redefining Research:
The cohort explored how to bridge the gap between research and practical application. Their conclusion? It’s about creating partnerships that bring farmers’ experiences into the research fold, ensuring that studies are relevant and actionable on the ground.
💬 Communication That Connects:
Good communication starts with listening. By embracing empathy and understanding, the OSN aims to foster conversations that lead to meaningful change, not just within individual farms but across the entire agricultural landscape.
🌟 A Call to Individual and Community Action:
This handbook is more than just a summary of discussions; it’s a call to action. It’s about recognizing our individual power to influence change and the amplified impact we can have as a collective. The OSN believes that if we wait for external change, it might be too late. But if we act—both individually and as a community—we can make a substantial difference.
Let’s Talk Soil Discussion Facilitation Preparation:
This guide provides versatile facilitation techniques for organizing impactful ‘Let’s Talk Soil’ discussions. It includes:
- Lightning Consults & Wise Crowds: Fast-paced, focused group consultations and deep-dive troubleshooting sessions.
- Appreciative Interviews & Fishbowl: Engaging formats for sharing success stories and exploring soil health practices.
- Open Space & ORID Method: Flexible structures for large group discussions and structured conversation flows.
- 15% Solutions: Identifying immediate, actionable steps towards soil health improvements.
Perfect for OSN members planning to host soil health discussions or workshops, this resource offers practical advice to ensure dynamic and productive conversations.
OSN Facilitation Guide
This guide offers a comprehensive approach to facilitation, ideal for OSN members aiming to effectively lead group discussions and meetings. Key points include:
- Role of a Facilitator: Emphasizes guiding a group through a process to achieve shared objectives while promoting participation, understanding, and creativity.
- Preparation: Stresses the importance of familiarizing oneself with the discussion topic and group dynamics, including agenda setting.
- Establishing Structure: Guidelines for setting clear timeframes, outlining major topics, and participant introductions.
- Curiosity and Engagement: Techniques for stimulating discussion through open-ended questions and encouraging participation from all group members.
- Rhythm and Timing: Tips for managing conversation flow and adhering to time constraints.
Additionally, the guide includes links to valuable resources for further exploration of facilitation techniques, making it a vital tool for anyone tasked with leading group discussions within the OSN network.
Network Challenge – Let’s Talk Soil Pitch Preparation
The “Let’s Talk Soil Pitch Preparation” document is a crucial resource for members of the OSN Network Challenge. It provides a structured framework to help participants effectively plan and execute their projects with the following considerations:
- Project Description: Clearly define the aim of your initiative. Explore various formats like learning groups, events, research projects, digital content, or podcasts, ensuring the focus remains on soil health and network building.
- Community Impact: Address the needs and importance of your project in your community. Identify the specific problems it will solve and its unique approach.
- Resource Planning: Outline the financial needs and delineate tasks and responsibilities. Identify where the OSN can assist, what you will handle personally, contributions from your resources, and support needed from others.
- Timeline and Milestones: Establish a comprehensive timeline for your project. Break down the process into phases with clear deadlines and start dates to ensure a smooth, stress-free progression to completion.
This guide not only aids in pitch preparation but also ensures that all aspects of project planning are considered for a successful and impactful outcome.
Network Challenge – Let’s Talk Soil Event Preparation
The “Let’s Talk Soil Event Preparation” document is a comprehensive guide for OSN Network Challenge participants planning a Let’s Talk Soil event. This guide outlines a step-by-step approach to ensure a successful and impactful event:
- One Month Before the Event:
- Set the date and choose the location.
- Contact potential special guests or speakers, including CCAs, neighbours, or OSN members.
- Develop an event itinerary.
- Coordinate with OSN Coordinator or Strategist for support.
- Plan advertising strategies and estimate attendee numbers.
- Arrange necessary site logistics, including audio/video equipment and facilities.
- A Few Weeks Before the Event:
- Assign responsibilities for tasks like food arrangement and guest invitations.
- Conduct a yard cleanup and location setup.
- Confirm details with special guests/speakers, including their specific needs.
- Manage RSVPs and adjust plans accordingly, including seating and handout printing.
- The Day Before the Event:
- Complete final cleanup and setup.
- Finalize refreshment arrangements, including pickup and delivery.
- The Day After the Event:
- Reflect on the event’s success, attendance, key messages, and areas for improvement.
This guide, funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, is designed to help OSN members host successful and engaging soil health events.
2. Explore and Discover
OSN Project Showcase: Get a glimpse into the diverse and innovative projects undertaken by OSN members. Click through our interactive carousel for ideas and inspiration.
If you want to host an event/discussion, or give a presentation – have a cheat sheet!
OSN Presentation Template with Tips & Tricks
Get ready to share your soil health journey or project with the OSN community using our specially designed presentation template. This template not only provides a structured layout to organize your content but also includes helpful tips and tricks to make your presentation engaging and impactful. From advice on how to keep your slides concise to effectively sharing your successes and lessons learned, this guide has everything you need to convey your message clearly and inspire your audience. Perfect for anyone looking to present at conferences, meetings, or within the OSN network, this template ensures you’re well-equipped to tell your story.
Blank Presentation Template for OSN Members
Kickstart your next presentation with our blank OSN Presentation Template. Designed for maximum flexibility and ease of use, this template serves as a canvas for your ideas, allowing you to freely customize and tailor your presentation to fit your specific needs. Whether you’re sharing insights on soil health practices, pitching a new project, or leading a workshop, this template provides a professional and coherent structure that you can adapt. With a few filler images included for formatting inspiration, you have the freedom to add your content and personal touch, making your presentation both informative and visually appealing.
Connect with Each Other
3. Join Our WhatsApp Group for Real-Time Discussions and Updates!
Stay connected with the community, share insights, and get instant access to OSN resources and support:
- Tap on the link below from your mobile device.
- Confirm your intention to join the group.
- Start engaging with fellow OSN members instantly!
Don’t miss out on the conversation and opportunity to network with peers dedicated to improving soil health.
4. Revisit the Network Challenge Training Sessions
After each live session, we will update this space with valuable resources and a recording of the session. This ensures that you have access to all the information and can revisit the material at your convenience. Check back here to refresh your knowledge, catch up on what you missed, or dive deeper into the topics discussed.
Stay engaged, keep learning, and keep growing with the OSN community!
OSN Values and Code of Conduct Overview
The Ontario Soil Network (OSN) outlines its foundational values and codes of conduct, serving as a guiding compass for staff, volunteers, and participants. This document emphasizes the importance of integrity, inclusivity, and respect in all OSN activities. Key highlights include:
- Let’s Talk Soil, Not Smack: Emphasizes treating everyone with respect, dignity, and fairness, fostering a non-judgmental, open, and transparent environment.
- Diversity as the Network’s Strength: Recognizes the inherent diversity within the network, valuing different perspectives and experiences as a source of innovation.
- Home-grown Inclusivity: Focuses on creating welcoming and comfortable environments for all, listening actively to stakeholders to foster a sense of belonging.
- Integrity in Governance: Upholds the highest ethical standards to maintain public confidence in the OSN’s honesty and fairness.
- Real Accessibility: Balances personal connection, spontaneity, and individualism with structured, visionary, and persistent accessibility to all stakeholders.
- Excellence in Connectivity: Prioritizes excellence in poicy, program design, and delivery, emphasizing engagement, collaboration, and teamwork.
- Privacy and Confidentiality: Maintains the security and confidentiality of employee records, unpublished financial information, and stakeholder data.
- Environmental Stewardship: Promotes soil best management practices in line with sustainability pillars, balancing environmental and economic factors.
- Security and Safety: Commits to preventing and addressing workplace harassment and violence, ensuring a safe and productive environment.
- Code of Conduct Compliance: Encourages addressing ethical issues through dialogue and mediation, ensuring fair and respectful resolution.