The video below contains a quick overview of how and when collective action is most effective. It includes the the very important lesson that many collective action solutions require only some to contribute. In other words not every single person must shop weekly at farmers markets for markets to become game-changers in their community or for necessary policy changes to be enacted. (Network theory is probably the best set of tools to understand who the connectors are in our communities and how to engage them deeply for those first tier changes to happen.)
Social norms, legal sanctions and tax incentives are used in this video as examples of encouraging collective action; obviously much of our food work focuses on the first of these at this point.
Even as our networks search for the right mix of approaches to reach larger groups, we need to remember to keep our work as local as possible since each market or initiative can become a place of dynamic collective action with great potential for innovative ideas to mature and to actually take hold within people’s lives.