A changemakers guide for future food leaders

January 16, 2017

The urgency for future food leaders is evident. We struggle with enormous challenges in our global food system, such as depletion of natural resources, concurrent hunger and obesity, climate change and soil erosion. Against the backdrop of this crisis, new initiatives, start-ups and networks of changemakers are emerging at the grassroots level with innovative ideas and massive potential to break through. To foster these ideas and support the movement, Hivos created a guide to help changemakers make a valuable contribution to a sustainable food system (download from the right sidebar).

The guide is the result of a fruitful collaboration between Hivos, Slow Food Youth Network and Food Hub at Terra Madre’s ‘Salone del Gusto’ in Turin in September 2016. This was our joint side event for young food activists and sustainable food practitioners from around the world. In a range of meetings, the large delegation of future food leaders shared tools, examples and inspiration, which ultimately formed the basis of our guide.  

The main event, “SFYN-Tank”, brought together ninety-nine future food leaders from thirty-three countries to work on nine issues in the sustainable food domain. The event aimed to get the international group acquainted with design thinking and pressure cooker processes, as a means of getting the most out of multiple brains in a short amount of time. This enable us to trigger fast idea formation and plant seeds of inspiration and collaboration that can grow into more established networks and projects in a later stage.

The guide being launched today consists of both theoretical background and practical methods. as well as inspiring examples and profiles of young food leaders from around the world. It also includes a big library of podcasts and visual impressions of the Terra Madre event.

With this guide, Hivos, Slow Food Youth Network and Food Hub wish to enable young dreamers and doers to accelerate the transition towards a healthy, clean and fair food system. By offering tools and inspiration, making valuable connections and underlining the urgency and opportunities on the horizon, we can expand solidarity and make a difference.

The approach of the guide is reflected in Hivos’ Food and Energy Change Labs and in Slow Food Youth Network’s ‘Food Academies’. The Academies and Labs both take a systems approach, recognising that if our interventions and activism are to be meaningful, we need to embrace complexity and employ a holistic approach to food.