From food futures to food action – investigating the link between foresight and policy

In the face of an uncertain future, more and more people working on the challenges of future food and nutritional security are turning to foresight – a field encompassing various methods for exploring diverse future worlds that might come to be.  However, while foresight can often help think about the future, it does not necessarily provide a link with planning and actions. This link between exploring future contexts and considering future actions has to be created somehow. If foresight is used without any understanding of the best way to combine exploration and action, policy makers, researchers, leaders in the private sector and societal organizations who use it run the risk of repeating common mistakes and missing out on the full potential of foresight processes. Continue reading “From food futures to food action – investigating the link between foresight and policy”

Syria and Sustainability: Bombs, bullets and bio-diversity, let’s move beyond ‘precision’ warfare and ‘precision’ farming.

In light of current debates on climate change negotiations, but also on warfare in Syria, Terry Marsden wrote an opinion paper on moving beyond a technological ‘fix’.


The current debate about bombing again is really so tiresome. At the same time the Climate talks are starting. The overwhelming evidence shows (for well over a century), that bombing never works and creates far more problems than it resolves. It just creates an elitist movement of memorials; and it generally pleases and satisfies the politicians. But it is old-fashioned ‘fordist’ technology relying upon old -fashioned nation states. We don’t need to rehearse the arguments again here; but I would like to suggest a way of progressing a far better link between war, terror and bio-diversity. In fact reversing the order of these three words would really help.  Continue reading “Syria and Sustainability: Bombs, bullets and bio-diversity, let’s move beyond ‘precision’ warfare and ‘precision’ farming.”

Building a Common Food and Nutrition Policy: asking the new structures question

Terry Marsden revisits the opinion paper he wrote earlier this month on a common food policy and reflects on the ‘new structures question’. If you would like to comment on this please join us in our discussion on #commonfoodpolicy on Twitter or Facebook.

Since my first intervention calling for a radical reorganisation of the CAP, both in terms of individual responses and further reading, I am increasingly struck by the significant weight of evidence calling for more policy integration around food. This includes various EU Foresight reports. In debating these proposed changes and policy needs it is perhaps important not to rush into concerns about changes in actual policy instruments and structures, but first to more fundamentally consider and debate some of the principles which lie behind a ‘new deal for food’ in Europe. One key area is to re-position rural development concerns right at the heart of the debate. Talking to colleagues this week at the ‘kick off’ meeting of the new EU ITN Network (SUSPLACE) in Wageningen, and visiting a multi-functional ‘care farm’ in the process, made me reflect upon the renewed need to establish and embody a firm EU policy regime around multifunctional rural development, very much along the lines of the ‘new rural paradigm’ thinking coming out of the OECD, and various academic writings over the past decade[1]. Continue reading “Building a Common Food and Nutrition Policy: asking the new structures question”

A Common Food and Nutrition Policy for Europe?

TransmangoThe EU-project TRANSMANGO is focussed at sustainable pathways to changing the food system. This project aims to combine and integrate different theoretical approaches to gain insight into Food and Nutrition Security (FNS). In light of that, TRANSMANGO’s Terry Marsden has written an opinion paper about transitioning from the CAP to a Common Food and Nutrition Policy to start the debate. Join us on twitter and Facebook by using #commonfoodpolicy.

Having been fortunate enough to have attended and participated in several international conferences and working groups over the spring and summer of this year, and had a change to explore and discuss the current ‘state of play’ in what seems to be the increasingly dysfunctional global food system, I have recently begun to seriously reflect on European policy, and the questions of radically changing the current EU CAP into a Common Food and Nutrition Policy. This was mentioned by Damien Canare, from Montpellier at a meeting of the FLEDGE research programme in Waterloo in September this year, and in my preparation and discussions for a presentation on the TRANSMANGO EU project at the Agriculture and Urbanising Society Conference in Rome thereafter.
Continue reading “A Common Food and Nutrition Policy for Europe?”

Presentations at conferences and debates by TRANSMANGO

The TRANSMANGO consortium has been present at quite a number of conferences and debates in the last year. Amongst them the Metaforum with Olivier de Schutter, the ESEE 2015: Transformations conference, and The Agriculture in an Urbanizing Society conference.

Here we have presented posters and deliverables and hosted a TRANSMANGO session. Abstracts of the Agriculture in an Urbanizing Society Conference can be found here. The complete book of abstracts of the ESEE 2015 conference can be downloaded here.
Continue reading “Presentations at conferences and debates by TRANSMANGO”