Rethink Food to Remake the World
Food is the nexus of society. With food we embody our values and connect with nature. We meet our physical needs and nourish creativity and community. Each time we gather around the table, we honor the past, experience the present, and prepare for the future. The importance of thinking about the future has never been greater. Today’s planetary challenges present a call to rethink the food system that we cannot ignore. From breakthroughs in personal health monitoring to the sprouting of rooftop aquaponics, now there are unprecedented opportunities for all of us to remake food and remake the world.
We created Rethink Food to Remake the World, a guide to help you create lasting and impactful change for the food system and beyond. Drawing from our ongoing research on the future of food, we chose five innovation zones to help you find an entry point for change. Use this guide at a hackathon (like we did in partnership with Bibimbap and the Future Food Institute in Bologna), a local food meetup, a city planning meeting, or in schools. Now is your chance to make the future!
Consider the five innovation zones—governance, economies, cultures, ecosystems, cities—that are ripe for change in the coming decade. If what French sociologist Claude Levi-Strauss wrote is true—that food is a “language through which society unconsciously reveals its structure"—how can rethinking food provide new pathways to remake our world?
- Governance and policies that shape the food system have the opportunity to promote more participatory, open, equitable practices.
- New models pioneered in the food system have the potential to reshape entire economies.
- Resilient food ecosystems provide the foundation for economic, social, and environmental resilience.
- Ensuring availability and access of food in rapidly growing cities—where the more and more of the population will live—will underpin our future education, work, health, and social structures.
- New food experiences introduce new ways to connect with each other, new opportunities to encourage healthy choices, and help us celebrate cultures.
Once you choose your entry point, it's time to roll up your sleeves and make the future:
- Gather ideas, data, information, and a team.
- Peel back the layers of complexity and map the network of stakeholders and potential impacts.
- Chop through existing assumptions and move different pieces of your idea around. What new partnerships can you form? What gaps can you fill?
- Cook your idea—let it simmer. What new flavors emerge? What’s missing? Ask others to taste your creation and then go back through the process to make it even better.