In October 2017, the Future Food Institute and the Lexicon of Sustainability convened the first Future Food LEXICONLab, a master class featuring participants from around the world. The goal? To create an exhibit for the G7 Summit in Bergamo, Italy showing what a food system centered on the needs and desires of people might look like.

The storytelling side of the project was led by Douglas Gayeton, co-founder of the Lexicon of Sustainability. He shared with participants the Lexicon’s unique storytelling methodology, an approach to advocacy that mixes pictures with words to craft powerful stories about how to transform our food system.

LEXICONLab course participants then collected food stories from their home countries and brought them to the Future Food Institute in Reggio Emilia, Italy, where the FFI led them on a deep dive into the role people can play in building more resilient, participatory food systems (see a richly-detailed Storify post depicting FFI’s engaging approach here).

Their stay in Reggio Emilia culminated in working with Gayeton to transform their photographic experiences into an art exhibit called “People Practice Power” that premiered in Bergamo October 11-13, 2017. After stops in Bergamo and Bologna, the show is now traveling across Italy and Europe. To bring it to your community, write us here.


Future Food is an entire ecosystem that uses food innovation as a key tool to tackle the great challenges of the future, through connecting with the world while promoting the local territory. This comprehensive ecosystem centers around education, the Future Food Institute Trust, through its precious global partnerships, the Food Innovation Program and the numerous international training projects, provides a true platform of positive cross-pollination and continuous inspiration.

The Lexicon’s award-winning storytellers transform insights from experts in food, farming, water and energy into an enlightening dialog with ideas that can help save the planet. We collaborate with government agencies, universities, foundations, television networks, publishers, non-profits, community organizers and sustainability advocates from around the world. Learn more about us here.

Future Food LexiconLab Manifesto

Viola Baerwald (Germany), Alberto Miti (Italy), Julia Mauroy (USA/Japan), Matthew Wootton (UK), Julia Scherzl (Germany/Ireland), Donato Notarangelo (Italy), Elena Valeriote (USA), Giuseppe Bruno (Italy), Laura Pirro (Italy), Anja Bergersen (Norway), Caterina Romanelli (Italy), Paula Villa (Colombia), Martina Malucchi (Italy), Souzanna Ioakeimidou (Greece), Angelica Trinchera (Italy).

“The Future Food LEXICONLab is an investigative project featuring an international community of food scholars, storytellers, researchers, journalists, advocates, food industry experts and designers. In dialogue with case studies from various countries, we explore issues ranging from sustainable food production, ways of understanding the connection between people and nature, behavioral change, branding, policy-making, and food security. Our conversations are helping us to form new perspectives on the food system, encouraging us to clarify and develop our own values as well as enact them in new ways.

“Our conviction is that the source of change lies in the practices of everyday life. By reconnecting to our food system in ways large and small, we can educate and empower ourselves to make sustainable choices. Furthermore, we can begin to cultivate approaches to questions of life and the environment, which offer an alternative to those of the industrial food system. These philosophies emphasize the importance of participation over passivity, access over exclusion, synchronization with nature over domination, sensory connection over disconnection, collaborative notions of power over structures of control, and working with imperfect processes over linear progress. We believe that the best way to explore and develop these philosophies is simply to tell the stories of the people who are spontaneously putting them into action.”