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The Rockefeller Foundation Recognizes Top 10 Visionaries Transforming the Future of Food Systems Across 8 Countries

New York, January 7, 2021 – Ahead of the first-ever United Nations’ Food Systems Summit, the Food System Vision Prize announced its top 10 “Visionaries” who offer solutions to complex food system challenges across six categories: environment, diets, economics, culture, technology, and policy. These winners will each be awarded $200,000 in recognition of their bold ideas for tackling some of the world’s most pressing food systems challenges.

The Food System Vision Prize is sponsored by The Rockefeller Foundation and powered by SecondMuse and OpenIDEO. Winners were selected from a pool of more than 1,300 applicants from 119 countries who responded to the prize’s call for researchers, nonprofits, businesses, governments, and other groups focused on food system-related challenges to submit ambitious and attainable plans for regenerative, nourishing food systems by the year 2050.

“It’s possible to create food systems that nourish people and protect the environment, ” said Roy Steiner, Senior Vice President, Food, The Rockefeller Foundation. “The Food System Vision Prize supports these diverse, game-changing solutions and hopes that they can inform an inclusive dialogue of how to transform the ways in which the world produces and consumes food at the upcoming United Nations’ Food Systems Summit.”

Later this year, The United Nations’ Food Systems Summit will gather key players from the worlds of science, business, policy, healthcare, and academia, as well as farmers, indigenous people, youth organizations, consumer groups, environmental activists, and other key stakeholders. Attendees will be focused on the same goal – to advance concrete actions and solutions that can bring about tangible, positive changes to the world’s food systems.

The top 10 Visionaries were selected based on their potential to inspire real, positive, and bold transformation within specific food systems. Collectively, the Visions include over 100 solutions capable of boosting resilience and future-proofing food systems to tomorrow’s shocks, which the Covid-19 pandemic has proved to be essential.

“As we shift from reacting to the effects of Covid-19 to rebuilding a future that is built on self-reliance and resilience, these Visionaries are beacons of light and living models of a better tomorrow,” said Kristin Coates, Senior Director SecondMuse. Sara Farley,  Managing Director, Food Initiative at The Rockefeller Foundation agrees, “Each of them shows us that through collaboration, design, and planning, we can be prepared for future shocks and we can thrive in the face of challenges. But more intrinsically, we can all be protagonists in our own future.”

“Systems change work cannot be done by a few organizations working in silos. The Finalists represent efforts that have coalesced many voices and perspectives — a key ingredient for systems-level transformation,” says Matt Ridenour, Food Portfolio Lead at IDEO.

The full list of 10 Top Visionaries includes:

  • Arakunomics: Focusing on the regions of Araku, Wardha, and New Delhi, India, this Vision empowers tribal communities and seeks to ensure environmental sustainability, fair profits for farmers, and food and nutrition security for all.
  • Lima 2035: This Vision for Lima, Peru imagines a regenerative and nourishing food oasis by 2035, intending to secure climate-resilient running water for all in Lima’s fragile desert environment, returning it the green Eden that it once was.
  • Re-rooting the Dutch food system – from more to better: This Vision from the Netherlands outlines a transformed, circular Dutch food system that safeguards natural resources, promotes a healthier and more sustainable plant-based diet, and recycles unavoidable losses and wastes.
  • kwayēskastasowin wâhkôhtowin: This Vision from Canada’s Prairie Provinces aims to create a just and sustainable agrifood system while addressing the process of decolonization and reconciliation between Indigenous and settler populations.
  • 7Gen Food System: Led by the Sicangu Lakota people, this Vision for the Rosebud Indian Reservation of South Dakota, USA outlines a regenerative agricultural system that creates economic opportunities for tribal members; increases the accessibility of locally produced, nutrient-dense foods; and re-establishes the Lakota as primary stewards of the lands.
  • Food Innovation Nervecenter: This Vision from Lagos, Nigeria, identifies six key food challenges for the region, from food waste to aging farmers, and outlines a multi-faceted plan to build a more regenerative and nourishing food system to meet them.
  • Eat Right: This Vision from New Delhi, India, looks to create a national movement toward healthier diets through a systems-based approach of reducing food waste, improving hygiene and sanitation across the value chain, and increasing access to and affordability of healthy foods.
  • Restoring Nairobi to “A Place of Cool Waters”: This Vision for Nairobi, Kenya aims to develop a more equitable, just, and sustainable urban space, where access to nutritious food is a reality for everyone.
  • Stone Barns Center: This Vision from the Hudson Valley in New York, U.S. seeks to bring about a new food culture—rooted in the ecological, nutritional and communal potential of organic agriculture—through groundbreaking culinary experimentation.
  • From Mama’s Kitchen to Metropolitan Beijing: This Vision from Beijing, China imagines a plant-based dietary transformation for the world’s most populous nation, contributing to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.

About The Food System Vision Prize
The Food System Vision Prize was conceived and sponsored by The Rockefeller Foundation and powered by SecondMuse and OpenIDEO. The Prize aims to amplify the discourse on the state and the future of the world’s many food systems.  It seeks to empower communities globally to develop actionable solutions and become protagonists in their own food future. For more information about the prize and to meet the Visionaries visit rockefellerfoundation.org.

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 rockefellerfoundation.org and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.

About SecondMuse
SecondMuse is an impact and innovation company that builds resilient economies by supporting entrepreneurs and the ecosystems around them. They do this by designing, developing, and implementing a mix of innovation programming and investing capital. From Singapore to San Francisco, SecondMuse programs define inspiring visions, build lasting businesses, and unite people across the globe. Over the last decade, they’ve designed and implemented programs on 7 continents with 600+ organizations such as NASA, The World Bank, and Nike. To find out more about how SecondMuse is positively shaping the world, visit www.secondmuse.com.

About OpenIDEO
Today’s complex challenges require the creativity of entire networks: better ways to share ideas and coordinate action around the globe. OpenIDEO—IDEO’s open innovation practice—changes the way the world addresses tough societal issues, enabling people everywhere to come together, build on the ideas of many, and apply human-centered design to drive innovation where it’s needed most. In partnership with leading organizations, OpenIDEO helps entrepreneurs, inventors, and creatives connect with experts, activists, and policymakers, building social innovation ecosystems online and in cities worldwide. Since 2010, the OpenIDEO community has grown to engage hundreds of thousands of people around the world, tackling nearly 80 topics ranging from food waste to girl’s education to Ebola, and generating more than 20,000 ideas for good. To learn more, check out https://www.openideo.com.

PRESS CONTACTS:

John Spangler
Director, Communications and Advocacy, The Rockefeller Foundation
jspangler@rockfound.org

Simone Byrd
Global Marketing and Communications Specialist, SecondMuse
simone.byrd@secondmuse.com

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