Course Details - Resilient and Sustainable Food Systems for a Food-Secure Future

Insecure food systems

The world is changing and is becoming more unpredictable and uncontrollable. This holds for both social and natural conditions, with climate change and globalisation being major drivers of change in the world. People around the world are increasingly exposed to extreme weather events, economic crises, food crises, disease epidemics, social instability and political conflicts. The resulting insecurity not only affects the global social and economic systems, but also (local) food systems and their farmers who stand at the basis of food production.

Farming & food security in a changing world

Insecurity is inherently linked to farming. Increasingly farmers and other food chain actors are dealing in many ways with multiple and simultaneous shocks and changes affecting food systems. While coping with increased insecurity, the agricultural sector also needs to face future challenges of feeding a growing and urbanising population with changing dietary demands and at the same time reduce the environmental impact of agricultural activities. This requires sustainable intensification (getting more from less), with reduced vulnerability to perturbations. With these increasing uncertainties and future challenges in prospect, there is the need for development of resilient and sustainable food systems that can cope with unexpected shocks and ensure a food secure future.

Food systems approach

This course aims to offer a systems thinking and systems dynamics approach on agriculture as well as skills and tools to design innovative, resilient and sustainable food systems. It looks at how to balance between producing food, managing natural resources, dealing with uncertainty and providing an livelihood base for the rural population. It will move beyond the technical realm looking also at the role and involvement of public, private and civil stakeholders for inclusion of social, environmental, economic, and political aspects.

Course setting

As a participant you receive an extensive, interactive and participatory training where theory is merged with practice. Course activities will comprise lectures, discussions, group work, case studies, assignments and excursions. Both core and cross-cutting topics will be covered during the course. The programme is flexible to suit participants’ needs and participants’ case studies are the basis of the group work. Furthermore, this course creates a unique opportunity to meet with course colleagues from around the world, with similar interest, and to share experiences and learn from each other.

Courses are currently online

Our courses are currently online and follow this format:

  • Pre-course assignments for you to get to know WCDI and for us to get to know your work environment and your expectations in relation to the course;
      • Interactive plenary sessions where we share contents, review assignment and facilitate exchanging experiences. During those interactive sessions we work with a number of online tools like Google Jamboard, Mural and Mentimeter;
  • Group work either online or offline where you with other participants address a specific question or do an assignment. Results of these assignments are also shared and discussed during online sessions;
      • Individual assignments where you will read literature, watch videos, and do excercises on your own. These assignments are an essential part of the learning and most of them count for getting the certificate. They are meant to introduce or deepen knowledge and make the link between theory and your own situation. These assignments are reviewed either by peers or facilitators.

In some, but not all, courses we go on virtual field visits – showing you ‘live’ situations in the field, or with companies or organizations that we collaborate with. We offer coaching trajectories where we support you one-on-one or in small groups to review your individual learning paths in the course and help with any basic questions you may have.

Online platforms: zoom and TalenLMS

Internet connection is important for the completion of the course. Not sure about the connection in your area? Send training.cdi@wur.nl  an e-mail about your situation.

We use Zoom as a facilitating platform for all our online courses. Our courses take place in general over a 6-8 week period to make the workload and time you spend online manageable.

Our online learning system is TalentLMS. Everything you need — our course programme, chatrooms, assignments, background information are in this system. TalentLMS is easy to operate, can also be accessed by your phone and has an on-and offline functionality. We even organize a technical check-in before the course starts, to test your facilities and get familiar with the tools.

Course planning and certificates

The courses workload is approximately 16-20 hours a week (2-2.5 workdays).

The exact data of your course will be available 2-3 weeks prior to the start of the course. If you’ve successfully completed your course we send you a digital certificate.

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