The future needs you. 

Cafeterias and more importantly students like you play a vitally important role in our food systems and the health of our society and planet. You are the next generation of consumers, producers, and decision-makers, and your voice is important.

The Lunch Club is a group of students making positive change by designing the equitable and sustainable cafeteria of the future.

Why Should I Participate?

Through The Lunch Club process you will:

  • Learn how to think like a designer
  • Gain an understanding of systems thinking
  • Develop skills in building empathy, critical thinking, brainstorming, and ideation
  • Access and use a set of interactive creative tools
  • Have an opportunity to be a change-maker in your food systems  

How does it work?

The Lunch Club Platform is free and open to all high school students who want to help design a better cafeteria. The platform will guide you through taking on the role of a food systems designer to explore your current cafeteria before creating a future vision. You will then share this vision with decision-makers and collaboratively develop a plan for making it a reality.

This platformed is designed to be flexible. Although we recommend that this process be completed over the course of the school semester or trimester, there are no grades here. You can engage with the platform at your own pace.

Part 1: Getting Started

1.1 Selecting Your Toolkit

Choose which Lunch Club toolkit is best for you. You can request a physical kit by mail, access a digital version online, or download and print the kit as a PDF.

15 min.

1.2 Finding a School or Community Sponsor

Identify and engage with a sponsor who will help support you and provide feedback as you go through the design process.

1-2 hours.

1.3 Design Kickoff Meeting (Optional)

Schedule a video call with a member of The Lunch Club team to answer any questions and help get you started. 

1 hour.

Part 2: Thinking Like A Designer

2.1 Pre-Survey

Take a short survey before you get started. You will be asked to complete a post-survey when you complete The Lunch Club platform. 

10 mins.

2.2 The Future Needs Designers

Learn about the design process, systems thinking, and get started with your designer’s toolkit. 

2 hours.

2.3 The Value of Values

Explore a brief history of design, and identify what your values will be as a designer.

2-3 hours.

Part 3: Discover

3.1 Exploring Food and Health in Your Local Area

Take a scan of health and food issues in your area using the resources available to you. 

2-3 hours.

3.2 The Cafeteria System

Start practicing your systems thinking skills by diving into how cafeterias function as a complex system. 

30 mins.

3.3 Mapping Your Cafeteria

Create a multi-layered map of your school’s cafeteria system, and reflect on what you’ve discovered.

2-3 hours.

3.4 Stake Out Your Stakeholders

Create a stakeholder map for your cafeteria. 

45 mins.

3.5 Engaging Stakeholders

Interview your peers and other stakeholders to gain insights from others for your design vision. 

2-3 hours.

Part 4: Make

4.1 Generate Ideas

Play the Cafeteria Futures Ideation Card game and start generating ideas for your cafeteria design vision. 

45 mins.

4.3 Identify Your Area of Focus

Decide what you want to focus on for your cafeteria design vision using all the information you have collected.  

2-3 hours.

4.3 Collaborating for Change

Organize a meeting with your stakeholders to brainstorm a plan for creating change in your cafeteria area.  

2-3 hours.

4.4 Measuring Success

Create a rubric for measuring successful change based on your meeting with stakeholders.

45 mins.

4.5 Design Visioning

It’s time to put all the pieces together and create your design vision for the future of your cafeteria. 

2-3 hours.

4.6 Check-In Meeting

Check-in with a member of The Lunch Club team to discuss your progress!

30 mins.

Part 5: Share

5.1 Sharing Your Design Vision

Choose how to share your vision with the world! 

Up to you!

5.2 Post-Survey

Complete the short survey you took at the beginning of the process and compare your results!

10-20 mins.

5.3 Reflection

Reflect on your experience with The Lunch Club process. 

1-2 hours.

Want to see what other students are designing?

Explore student cafeteria visions created during our design research process.

Ready to start designing?

Register now to get started!