The themes of the Foodathon are:
Policy coherence for food production
Policy on all geographical levels is key for food systems, as it provides rules, regulations and strategic directions for agricultural development in both developed and developing countries. Policy thus affects decisions and shapes the way the international community responds to new challenges for food production caused by a changing climate and increasing societal complexity. As such, there is a growing need for more coherence between different policy fields, a necessity to harmonize the problem framing of different political regimes, and a need for the alignment of the interests of different stakeholders involved. It is within this theme that you will work on creating a response to such essentialities.
Food security and genetic diversity
Genetic diversity is a very important element of food production. With a high diversity in varieties and breeds of seeds, the world is better able to cope with changes in climate, environmental degradation and providing nutritional security. Nevertheless, globalization is putting stress on this genetic diversity by increasingly creating monocultures in our food systems. Hence, within this theme you will think about how we can make better use of the existing genetic diversity today, but also how to safeguard this diversity for the future.
Sustainable Dietary patterns
Sustainable Dietary patterns are those diets with low environmental impacts that contribute to food and nutrition security and to healthy lives for present and future generations. In the last decades, globalization and urbanization are initiating the switch of dietary patterns towards more energy dense and poor nutritious food, involving a higher intake of saturated fats and sugars and a lower intake of dietary fibres across the world. This phenomenon is also known as “Nutrition in Transition”. Use this theme to tackle the problem of such non-sustainable dietary patterns.
Rural-urban linkages for food security
A trend that puts a lot of stress on the current food system in the world is urbanization. While urban growth increases a demand for food, this demand will be difficult to meet in the future as young people also leave for the city, lowering the capacity to produce food in the rural areas. Simultaneously, broken value chains cause weak coordination between the urban and rural area. Tackling the challenges that arise from the changing interaction on food between the rural and urban area will be central under this theme.
Financing Mechanisms to achieve Zero Hunger
Efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals are largely dependent on the financial resources allocated to them. Developed countries’ pledges constitute the core of these financial resources. However, new patterns of world economic development, paired with decreasing government budgets in developed countries, call for new financial tools to be developed to meet the increasing demand of resources needed to achieve SDGs. Under this theme, you will design innovative financial mechanisms that challenge the status quo of development practice, in order to effectively achieve SDG 2 Zero Hunger.
Circular Food Systems
Achieving food security, adapting to and mitigating climate change, and halting biodiversity loss depend all on the current food system becoming circular. Circular food systems require natural resources to be effectively used and managed, on-farm residues to be treated as sources of added value instead of waste, supply chains to be constructed in light of emerging global consumption patterns and consumer behaviour to adapt to new challenges. Unsustainable farming techniques, fragmented and uncoordinated supply chains as well as unsustainable consumption habits are all aspects you will face in designing solutions under this theme.