Call for partners: worldwide learning network of future Urban Food Leaders


Call for partners: worldwide learning network of future Urban Food Leaders

Are you a future leader in urban food system development and are you looking for partners world wide? Join us in our programme!

Marian Stuiver from Wageningen University & Research and Sabine O’Hara from the University of the District of Columbia together with WorldStartup and SharedStudios aim to start a worldwide network of learning, doing, exchange and support.

Call for partners

We aim to bring together agricultural, social, economic, circular and environmental expertise to help design solutions for and provide stakeholders with a solid scientific basis to deal with these challenges.

If you are a student or young urban entrepreneur looking to contribute to fairer and more sustainable urban food systems, you are invited to become part of a larger international community of impact-driven changemakers.

Why join?

  • Receive coaching and feedback via existing connections with start-up accelerators, incubator programmes and private sector experts for developing your impactful innovations and get support to develop viable business models or project plans.
  • Share your own experiences, knowledge and creativity with other international innovators to use and co-create solutions for your specific challenges.
  • Access the latest innovations and scientific results through the connections with students and academic research
  • Get fast access to partners and potential customers to validate your solution and explore how you can scale your meaningful business.

We will connect with each other and new stakeholders to exchange experiences and inspiration using a.o. the network of Urban Greenhouse Challenge, WorldStartUp, Shared Studios and the College of Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences in Washington DC, Washington to create meaningful connections between people separated by geographical and cultural distance.

Towards resilient urban food systems - Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

Developing sustainable and resilient urban food systems (conform SDG 11) is essential to ensure food production and nutrition security (contributing to SDG 2). For an urban food system transition, it is important to recognise that the system is wider than just agriculture and food. The urbanizing world brings challenges, such as the need to find new ways to access food, energy, water and land and new policies for regulation. We need design of food systems, stakeholder involvement and innovations to feed growing urban populations. This requires a deep understanding and knowledge of natural resources, distribution chains, public, private and civic interactions and geographical contexts.

About Marian Stuiver and Sabine O’Hara

Marian Stuiver (Wageningen, the Netherlands) and Sabine O’Hara (Washington DC, the United States) have submitted a Vision to the Rockefeller Food System Vision Prize for a resilient, environmentally sustainable and socially just food economy for the Washington DC region.

O’Hara and her team live in Washington D.C and work/study at the newest of the UDC Colleges: the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES). CAUSES is dedicated to the green innovation economy and to build capacity in the DC metro area. UDC is an Historically Black College and University, the only public university in DC, and the only exclusively urban land-grant university in the US.

O’Hara developed the Urban Food Hubs model in 2013 and soon CAUSES began to build the Hubs in some of the most underserved DC neighborhoods. The team works with neighborhood residents, elected local representatives (ANCs), different DC agencies like DOEE (energy/environment), DCHA (housing) and DOH (health), several non-profit organizations like Dreaming Out Load, DC Urban Greens, and DC Central Kitchen, local schools and private sector organizations such as the DC Arch Angels and Kakovitch Global Business.

Stuiver and her team work at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in the Green Cities programme that focuses on building resilient cities worldwide with stakeholders from industries, non-profits and government. WUR aspires to be 'the place to be' for engaged international scholars and students looking to “explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Stuiver’s team combines knowledge and expertise on urbanisation, landscape architecture, bio-based economy and food technologies.

Worldwide peer-to-peer learning

Besides a Vision for Washington DC and its region, Stuiver and O’Hara aspire to create worldwide learning with Washington DC as the inspiration.

The central component is that young people meet and work as peer-to-peer learning facilitators to create capacity in local communities around the world. We aim to speed up change and leverage successful experiences and best practice models. Students looking to contribute to more just and sustainable food systems will be invited to join our network. The first generation of students will become effective mentors of others and part of a larger international community of changemakers. Via start-up accelerators, incubator programs and private sector experts, they will receive coaching in developing impactful innovations, viable business models or project plans.