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A Call to Action: Multigenerational Collaboration for Food Systems Change

Christine Gould — Founder & CEO, Thought For Food

A diverse, multigenerational movement is critical to realizing a more nourishing, regenerative, and equitable food future. Despite often being shut out of conventional positions of power or decision-making seats, younger generations are pushing the world towards progress that serves both people and planet.

From prominent global activists like Isra Hirsa, Greta Thunberg, Xiye Bastida, and Licypriya Kangujam, to millennial and gen-Z Thought for Food® innovators, the next generations of food leaders from across the world are already creating and leading change. It is past time their power be reflected in the makeup and leadership of food systems.

But what can the inclusion of youth look like when it comes to food systems? Here are a few videos spotlighting calls to action from young food leaders, and responses from food innovators around the world:

Fighting Food Waste: Albert Kure, a young food activist from Nigeria is fighting global food waste as a means to reduce both food insecurity and the impact of food waste on climate change. Halfway across the world in the Philippines, Dr. Mudjekeewis D. Santos is working to address the same issue, striving to transform Manila’s dysfunctional urban food system to be cleaner and greener.

Zeroing in on Hunger: Vijay Dialsingh is building a digital ecosystem to solve food insecurity in Trinidad and Tobago. Both he and German youth activist Janina Peter are determined to reach zero hunger worldwide in their lifetime. 

Making Food Fair: Not all food is created – or accessed – equally, a reality that Brazilian youth food activist Ellen Rodrigues dos Santos is striving to change. Jehane Akiki, a food visionary in Lebanon reflects Santos’ passion in her own work bringing refugee and Lebanese communities together to build a regenerative and sustainable food forest farm school. 

Combatting Diet-Related Disease: Matthew Barry and the National Western Center have a vision for resilient, nourishing urban food systems to fight America’s obesity epidemic, an initiative that echoes Swiss activist Victor Koetter’s call to keep nutrition front of mind as diet-related diseases rise rapidly across the globe. 

A Call to Action

These are just a few conceptions of how generations can unite for food systems change. Now is the time to cultivate these connections and the Food Systems Game Changers Lab* is one way to do just that. 

Ahead of the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS), 5 key themes or Action Tracks are being prioritized, each with an array of “areas for collective action.”  These many areas for collective action, or provocations, require innovation, initiative, partnership, and commitment. 

Designed to support these Action Tracks and catalyze collaborative change, the Food Systems Game Changers Lab invites anyone, anywhere to join together to make their voices heard and elevate their ideas for food systems transformation.

Throughout the multi-phased program, participants are provided both the space to showcase their ideas, and the support and practical channels to connect to the partners needed to advance their solutions. Each phase of the Food Systems Game Changers Lab strives to foster collaboration across generations, disciplines, and geographies, cultivating connections like those shown between Albert Kure and Mudjekeewis D. Santos to fight food waste, or Ellen Rodrigues dos Santos & Jehane Akiki to sustainably address food inequity. With these types of partnerships as the keystone of food systems change, the potential of this movement is limitless.

Phase 1 of this multi-phased lab, the Global Open Call, is open now through May 25. The Open Call seeks game changers who have the passion, grit, collaborative-spirit, and determination required to take their solutions—whether ideas, iterations, initiatives, or innovations—forward in partnership with others and share them at the 2021 UNFSS. To capture the full spectrum of solutions and perspectives, from the smallest seed of an idea, to a fully piloted project, and every iteration along the way, the Food Systems Game Changers Lab is casting an intentionally wide net. We’re calling on all innovators, problem-solvers, entrepreneurs, leaders, and changemakers of all ages, backgrounds, and geographies at all stages of the solution-making process.

Submit your innovative solutions today, and build diverse, dynamic alliances to transform tomorrow’s food systems.  

*This is an experiential program, no monetary prize will be given through the Food Systems Game Changers Lab. See the full selection criteria for further information.

EAT, IDEO, Thought For Food, and The Rockefeller Foundation have joined forces with the organizers of the 2021 UN Food Food Systems Summit to discover and support ideas, enterprises and initiatives that have the potential to transform our world’s food systems. The Food Systems Game Changers Lab opens the doors for you to join a […]