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Food Systems Game Changers Lab Announces Global Open Call for Innovative Ideas to Transform Global Food Systems in Support of First-Ever UN Food Systems Summit

San Francisco, New York, Basel | March 24, 2021 – Today, the Food Systems Game Changers Lab announced the launch of  The Global Open Call – an invitation to individuals, teams, institutions, companies, and cooperatives everywhere to bring their ideas, initiatives, or innovations for food systems change forward in partnership with others. Select ideas will be featured in a flagship publication, and matched with potential implementation partners or investors alongside the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS). The Global Open Call aims to be the first step in identifying and uniting diverse voices to take action and put forward concrete examples aligned to the UN’s prioritized solutions.

“Today’s food system doesn’t meet the needs of people or our planet,” said Sara Farley, Managing Director of The Rockefeller Foundation’s Food Initiative. “The status quo is increasing diet-related disease and accelerating the effects of climate change, not to mention predicated on inequity. We need an inclusive approach that transforms the global food system to be nourishing and regenerative while advancing human dignity and supporting cultures to thrive.”

The United Nations Secretary-General is hosting the 2021 Food Systems Summit to spearhead transformation of the world’s food systems to work for people, planet, and prosperity by 2030. The event will push beyond the bounds of food and agriculture to include solutions that take into account environment, health, climate, economy, human rights, and more. To that end, the UNFSS seeks to engage directly with diverse communities around the world to bring their ideas and actions to the table, realizing the ambition of being “a people’s summit.”

For the past several months, hundreds of groups have supported the UN Food Systems Summit process by developing calls for solutions around 5 key themes or Action Tracks. As the Summit approaches, these topics are being prioritized under “Areas for Collective Action” for which innovation, initiative, partnership, and commitments are needed. Through the Food Systems Game Changers Lab, even more people across the world are invited to join in this effort, to make their voices heard and ideas visible.

The Food Systems Game Changers Lab is a multi-phase program conceptualized by EAT, IDEO, Thought for Food, The Rockefeller Foundation, and other collaborators, that aims to include anyone, anywhere in formulating solutions to the calls for action that support the UNFSS organizers. Phase 1, The Global Open Call, is hosted by the global design firm IDEO, and seeks game changers who have the passion, grit, collaborative-spirit, and determination required to take their solutions—whether ideas, initiatives, or innovations—forward in partnership with others and share them alongside the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.

“Transforming the food system cannot be done by organizations and individuals working in silos. This call engages the global community to share all kinds of ideas and initiatives—local to global, traditional to innovative—and collaborate to design for impact,” said Rebecca Chesney, Director at IDEO.

Those submitting solutions to The Global Open Call—teams, individuals, organizations, and other groups—compete to become Game Changers who will be invited to continue to the second phase of the Food Systems Game Changers Lab, where they will further refine their solutions ahead of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit. The Food Systems Game Changers Lab brings people into an experiential program, hosted by Thought For Food, that fuses tailored mentorship, facilitation, expert masterclasses, and partnership formation. In Phase 3, their ideas will be featured in a flagship publication released at the time of the Summit and they will be matched with potential implementation partners or investors. Then these new coalitions will begin the work of turning ideas into reality in Phase 4 post-Summit. Throughout the Food Systems Game Changers Lab, participants will work with diverse teams to develop and launch bold and actionable solutions to transform the way the world produces, processes, distributes, and consumes food.

“Systems change demands a new approach: new minds working together in brave ways to build the resilient and inclusive world that we need. We are seeking to engage more than the usual suspects in this first-of-its-kind Food Systems Game Changers Lab. No matter how you’re involved with food—whether you provide, transport, study, invent, or consume it; advocate for, invest in, make policy around, write about, or design for it—you’re invited to be part of the action and part of the solution,” stated Christine Gould, Founder of the Millennial and Gen Z-focused agri-food innovation network Thought For Food and a member of the UN Food Systems Summit Advisory Committee.



About the Food Systems Game Changers Lab
The Food Systems Game Changers Lab is an experiential program that aims to foster solutions for some of the world’s most pressing food system challenges in support of the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit. The Food Systems Game Changers Lab was co-developed by EAT, IDEO, Thought for Food, and The Rockefeller Foundation.

About EAT
EAT is a global, non-profit organization dedicated to transforming our global food system through sound science, impatient disruption, and novel partnerships. EAT works for a future where healthy and sustainable food is affordable, accessible, and attractive to all.

About IDEO
IDEO is a global design company committed to creating positive impact through human-centered design. IDEO works with clients to tackle complex challenges ranging from addressing climate change and building new ventures to helping make organizations more creatively competitive.

About Thought For Food
Thought For Food®️ (TFF) is food and agriculture’s entrepreneurial innovation engine for impact. We work with more than 30,000 next-generation leaders from over 175 countries, and support them in generating and scaling breakthrough business ventures that build sustainable, inclusive, and resilient food systems.

About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power, and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas, and conversations. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.


Media Contacts

Davina Dukuly
Media Relations Manager, Communications, Policy and Advocacy
The Rockefeller Foundation
+1 (646) 465-0885


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