Synthesis & Analysis

Harmonizing food systems foresight

There are numerous platforms, initiatives, institutions, and organizations involved in promoting food systems transformation and looking to the future. 2018 alone saw the launch of at least twelve critical reports examining the future of the global food system. These reports and their associated initiatives have contributed significantly to our body of knowledge on food systems foresight.

The Foresight4Food workshops in Oxford and Montpellier in 2017 and 2018 recognized that coordination, synthesis, and curation is sorely needed to support food systems work at global, regional, and national scales. Many foresight exercises tend to be one-off, undertaken by different institutions for different purposes, and do not contain an on-going synthesis of the existing work. Foresight4Food aims to broker the development and help maintain a curated and well-communicated set of foresight information on food systems, assist better connections between providers and users of foresight information and processes, and ensure that duplication of efforts does not happen.

Critically the real value of foresight and scenario work lies in the dialogue, learning, and political influence that occurs when different stakeholder interests engage collectively in well-facilitated processes, backed up with good information. Foresight4Food has a role to play in helping to support such processes, by sharing experiences, assisting with methodology development and help groups gain access to the information and expertise they need.

There is a critical need for knowledge and intelligence that can support the transformative change enabling sustainable development. This requires a better synthesis of food systems foresight work.


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