Over half the world’s agricultural production comes from only three crops. Let’s bring greater agrobiodiversity to global supply chains.
Our FACT (Food, Agrobiodiversity, Clarity, and Transparency) Activator believes that the marketplace can accelerate change in our food systems by providing purchasers (and consumers) with more information and visibility into how food is grown, produced, and comes to market.
A well-told story helps buyers across the value chain make purchases aligned with their values and support the food system they’d like to see. In pursuit of this vision, international food and agriculture experts defined 10 Principles for Agrobiodiversity, conducted three transparent supply chain pilots—fonio in West Africa, small millets in India, and amaranth in Mexico—and built Supply Chain Self-Assessment Tools to support food companies in using more diverse ingredients.
An evidence-backed, place-based, market-driven model to rapidly transition agriculture to more regenerative practices.
While the principles of regenerative agriculture are universal, their application varies not only by region, but sometimes even farm to farm. The REGEN1 Activator gathered nearly 100 experts across the value chain in Northern California to develop a regionally-focused supply chain tool that will help purchasers reward farmers and ranchers for their regenerative practices. Their work is supported by a fully integrated communications strategy that introduces consumers to the environmental co-benefits of regenerative agriculture, including sequestering carbon to help mitigate climate change.
The battle against climate change is mainly fought on land. While it’s easy to focus on changing the environment where we live and work, to truly take action we need a global approach that includes our oceans.
The Greener Blue Activator brings together interdisciplinary, multi-sector stakeholders to develop a framework that accounts for the ecosystem benefits and effective carbon capture of “regenerative aquaculture” systems, educates both consumers and purchasers so they can better support producers that practice “regenerative aquaculture”, and
establishes a market-driven strategy to more effectively communicate the potential for macroalgae in commercial systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and replace petroleum products.
Food-related chronic diseases are the biggest burden on healthcare systems. What would happen if we treated food as medicine?
Healthcare providers currently spend much more on treatment than prevention. What if more programs helped patients eat better by improving access to nutritious and affordable food before their patients got sick? Would providing patients with food at a free or reduced cost before they develop chronic diseases lower healthcare costs? Our Food Is Medicine Activator examined four promising programs: medically-tailored meals, fresh food “farmacies,” produce Rx, and teaching kitchens, then built an interactive FIM Hub to share their findings.
How important are national dietary guidelines? What nations advise their citizens to eat can impact the entire planet.
Nutrition and climate experts from across the globe looked at dietary guidelines in Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, and the Nordic countries to explain how food choices impact our personal health, the cost of national healthcare, the environment, climate change, and cultures. To make their findings accessible to all audiences, they put a face on data by turning their work into an interactive game for desktop and mobile users.
Can we create a universal visual language to describe our food systems, one that bridges cultural barriers, increases consumer literacy, and helps shift the marketplace?
Our Food Clarity Framework Activator brought food experts together with designers to devise a visual language that unites worldwide food system stakeholders to improve communication and collaboration. Their work has now become FOODICONS, an international design challenge sponsored by The Lexicon, Adobe, and the Noun Project.
An activator devoted to food packaging, because it's not only important what we eat but what our food comes in.
An international team of scientists, life cycle assessment experts, plastic pollution activists, and food service supply chain purchaser are identifying contaminants of concern in single-use materials to accelerate a shift toward reusables in the food service industry.
Our formula: bring together the leading food experts, unite them on real solutions, then transform their ideas into freely available tools for the world to use.
I. We already have the answers.
The key to solving our food systems’ greatest challenges are already known, so it’s not the case of finding the right answers. Instead, it’s an implementation problem. The key actors needed to solve the myriad problems we face simply can’t find each other because our supply chains are opaque. Activators can bring together these domain experts to collectively problem solve and find solutions that would otherwise remain beyond reach.
II. Find the willing and the able.
It’s not enough to gather a collection of passionate people willing to tackle our food systems’ greatest challenges. Nor is it enough to identify the right individuals with the requisite skills. Instead, you have to find those that possess both the willingness and the ability to lend their expertise in a collaborative environment, over an extended period of time, to build the necessary tools.
III. Can we find a cure for blindness?
Our global supply chains are blind. We have no idea who grows our food, where it comes from, or what methods are used. We believe that a connected market, one based on the principle of transparency, allows food purchasers to make decisions that are both aligned with their personal values and the missions of their companies. Changing our food system begins with putting as much information into the moment a purchase is made as possible.
IV. Build. Break. Pivot. Repeat.
Our invitation-only activators gather exceptional people from across the value chain and ask them to collaborate on tools to address thorny problems faced by our food systems. Their path to success is never a straight line. In fact, it may require changing direction, suddenly pivoting to address new roadblocks or retracing steps to revisit previously discarded—yet ultimately superior—ideas. It’s an iterative, collaborative process, one where the best idea wins.
V. No white papers. No policy briefs.
Working groups usually end up making white papers, simply because the single skill each member possesses is the ability to write. Unfortunately, the world doesn't need any more PDFs or bullet-pointed executive summaries. What they want are tools that increase literacy and fluency across the value chain to help everyone support the world they want to see. Our researchers, designers, animators and filmmakers help turn these ideas into tools for action.
VI. Collective impact as a force multiplier.
Good ideas are of little value when they're disconnected from concerted, collective action. Our activators gather domain experts, align them on shared principles, then help them establish their own collective impact cooperatives to jointly address some of our food systems' greatest challenges. When it’s time to share these bold new ideas, our activator members learn to leverage their own ecosystems, creating powerful force multipliers for distributing their work.
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