In March 22-23, 2017, international experts on food and agriculture gathered in Oxford to explore how foresight and scenario analysis for food systems could be improved. The workshop concluded that to support achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals there is a need to substantially strengthen food systems foresight analysis at all scales and to improve the linkages between scientific analysis and policy dialogue with stakeholders. Participants noted that much valuable work is currently underway but recognised that this is often fragmented or one-off and lacks coordination.
Participants in the Oxford Workshop saw value in enhancing food systems foresight through a globally coordinated initiative and agreed to support its development. Five areas of action for the initiative were identified and are summarised in the box below.
Focus of the Foresight4Food Initiative
- Global Mechanism: Establish a global mechanism to support ongoing food systems foresight guided by institutions and platforms with mandates for working on food and
- Dialogue: Strengthen global and national level dialogue that is informed by foresight studies between foresight providers and users, i.e. policy makers, business, civil society and science
- Community of Practice: Strengthen and broaden the community of practice of science institutions and private sector research groups working on food systems foresight, with special interest for looking at the diversity of approaches and promoting best
- Dashboard and One-Stop Shop: Create a food systems foresight resource portal that enables easy access to key foresight studies, information and syntheses, and which provides an updated “dashboard” of key concepts, methods, indicators and
- Capacity Development: Develop the capacity of key providers and users of foresight information at local, national, regional and global levels, and across a range of time frames and jurisdictions.