Transition Pathways

Current configurations of food systems face complex challenges that necessitate transformation. This KB motif addresses the need for interactive knowledge and tools to support stakeholder involvement and commitment during the transition process. To this end, we will use an analytical framework based on the food system approach and create a practical guide for transition pathways including examples of the motifs, tools and multidisciplinary knowledge available at Wageningen Research.

Current configurations of food systems in many regions of the world are hampering the simultaneous realization of the SDG’s on Zero Hunger, Responsible Production and Consumption, and Climate Action. Transitions to more sustainable and effective configurations are needed to address pressing issues like increasing (urban) population, changing societal demands and climate change. This KB project investigates how to effectively support and facilitate transition processes, specifically how to involve and activate stakeholders.

One of the instruments is the collaborative construction of transition pathways, making clear how the goal of more sustainable food system (without hunger) might be achieved. This requires a transdisciplinary approach, drawing on and integrating different scientific disciplines, tools and methodologies. The project will build upon international experience as well as Wageningen UR’s own portfolio to produce a framework that describes the food system challenge, explores different transition pathways, and gives inspiration for the use of different tools and approaches.

The project aims to describe and analyze cases of effective transdisciplinary work as well as provide advice on how to conduct such work in various contexts. The targeted regions are primarily those that suffer from high rates of hunger and malnutrition as well as from unpredictable water supply (i.e. semi-arid and other regions severely affected by climate change, primarily in Asia and Africa).