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31 May 2021

I interned with SIANI through FUF. Here is how it went.

Photo: Jonathan Cotte.

The Swedish Development Forum (FUF) is an independent non-profit with the purpose to inform, raise awareness and generate debate about global development issues and Sweden’s role in the world. It is a network that works with capacity-building activities for its active members, builds and spreads knowledge on global development via various events, and writes and publishes articles on contemporary development issues.

FUF strives to equip and empower the Swedish public with knowledge about global development issues with an idea that when people are better informed, more of them will act for a just and sustainable world, both on a personal level as well as by making demands from authorities. The forum discusses and debates Sweden’s role internationally in media, politics, culture and education.

FUF also mediates internship opportunities to their members who are doing their university studies. During an internship, members receive capacity training from FUF alongside other interesting invitations to events and workshops. FUF takes good care of the members who do internships, and provides them with helpful information, feedback, and support. Most importantly, FUF offers a network where one can talk to and engage with other students who are also doing internships to share your experience or concerns.

My internship at SIANI

Through FUF I got in contact with SIANI and joined their team for 6 months. During my internship worked with media and communication, where I have helped with web development and management and created web stories and social media postings. I have helped the SIANI team to convene various events, like the series of Sweden’s Global Food Systems Dialogues held as part of the engagement in the UN Food Systems Summit 2021. During these events, I helped with notetaking, mediated group discussions and supported with logistics of hosting a high-level international event for over 100 people on Zoom.

One of my main priorities during the internship was Instagram, where I pioneered a new kind of content, which we call “cards”. These posts usually involved 3-4 cards made with the online design tool Canva and communicate key messages in a concise, comprehensive and fun manner. The cards have an attractive design and break down complex information into easy to grasp and understand soundbites. Instagram can be a tricky platform when it comes to science communications, especially when you do not have an opportunity to travel to do fieldwork,  but  I believe, cards contributed to more follower engagement since it is more comfortable to read from the cards than from just a wall of text. During my time at SIANI, we got 50-70 new followers on Instagram and multiple shares of my cards posts through the accounts of other organizations.

Another project I have been involved in during my internship is the creation of a video series called “Growing Together” where young and senior people who work with or study in the field of sustainable agriculture learn from each other in a dialogue and share their experiences. I also helped SIANI with the evaluation of its Expert Groups stream of work, where I provided feedback and suggestions.

Being an intern at SIANI helped me to gain knowledge of the agricultural sector in Sweden, but also around the world. It has given me a better perspective of how work related to food security and food systems can be done, and how it can help achieve a more sustainable and just world. It has given me insights into how having a dialogue between people and countries is important in order to agree and form collaborations.

Being an intern at SIANI has been a wonderful and insightful experience where I have learned a lot and also been able to work with helpful and friendly coworkers. Agriculture and food are connected with so many other areas of our life, and as we all eat food every day, we all need to understand these areas better. It really is a food-for-thought kind of work and I am truly happy got a chance to intern with SIANI.

If you want to apply for an internship at SIANI through FUF, you can find more information here.

Written by Jonathan Cotte, an intern at SIANI. Jonathan is studying peace and development at Linneus University.