Press release

Pupils seek solutions to global food supply problem with new Borlaug Youth Institute

Published on
April 13, 2018

The World Food Prize Foundation’s successful school project is coming to Europe for the first time. On 24 April, Wageningen University & Research will launch the Wageningen Borlaug Youth Institute, which brings together Dutch secondary school pupils at the higher general secondary education (HAVO) and pre-university (VWO) levels to find solutions to the global food supply problem.

The Borlaug Youth Institute is an initiative of the prestigious World Food Prize Foundation, which annually awards the most important prize in the field of food. There are currently Youth Institutes in more than twenty US states. There, secondary school pupils work each year on the biggest challenge facing us this century: how to feed the world fairly.

The lucky generation

With the opening of the Borlaug Youth Institute, Wageningen University & Research (WUR) aims to motivate secondary school pupils to think in a multidisciplinary way and calls on them to make use of modern technologies to resolve the world food supply problem. “Secondary school pupils belong to the lucky generation that has all the resources to solve the problems of hunger, poverty, malnutrition and over-nutrition. And we would really like to impart the belief that they really can make a contribution,” says Professor Louise Fresco, president of the WUR Executive Board.

Borlaug Youth Institute launch

The first European branch of the Borlaug Youth Institute will be launched on 24 April by Louise Fresco at the opening of the Month of Education to mark 100 years of Wageningen University & Research. Secondary school pupils at the HAVO and VWO level will be able to gain inspiration for their profile paper and receive additional guidance from Wageningen students in conducting their research.

Competition: Pupils to advise world leaders

The Wageningen Borlaug Youth Institute will also award a prize. Pupils will be asked to use their paper to advise a world leader, scholar or multinational corporation on the global food supply problem. They can request the assistance of Wageningen researchers and students when formulating their advice. The participating pupils will then have the opportunity to present their advice to national and international experts.

The presentations will take place during the SDG Conference ‘Towards Zero Hunger: Partnerships for Impact’, the global conference on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on 30 and 31 August in Wageningen. The winner will go on a trip to the Global Youth Institute in the United States along with 200 other young ‘leaders of the future’.