The power spoken of here is not “power over” but “power with,” and enables individuals to have more opportunities and choices for their own lives. This enables them to become more fully themselves and to live in a way which better accords with their own values. This power comes from letting go of notions of dominion over nature, and acknowledging impermanence, imperfection, and incompleteness. Doing so enables us to seize opportunities, embrace challenges, and create value from the messy process of change. Those who engage in this dynamic process gain fluency in sustainable practices and create a cumulative effect, which transforms communities, fosters innovation, and increases access to public goods. This leads to stories of empowerment in which people are invited to participate in the new food system and supported in their own journeys of change.
by Alberto Miti
For farmers like the Corradini family, cowsharing offers some financial aid and protection against a variety of factors that challenge their production, ranging from earthquakes to extreme weather conditions. It also enables the farmers to raise their livestock according to their values.
BO.V.E. or bovini vissuti eticamente, is the system of cowsharing implemented by the Corradini family, enabling them to sell beef to restaurants across northern Italy while still in cultivation. This has allowed them to maintain sustainable practices in the face of crisis, and has been invaluable for retaining their autonomy and living in accord to their values.
FATTORIA BIOLOGICA CORRADINI
by Viola Barwald
When Rudolf Cordes first invented the system for harvesting algae years ago he wouldn´t have imagined his daughters to process it into products like caviar and nutrient powders. The family-run business from Northern Germany is the first algae-farm in Europe to produce the plants organically certified. They collaborate with local farmers and help them integrate algae-farming into their agricultural production.
Harvesting microalgae in greenhouses and turning them into a nutritious supplement.
CEO Dungewaser Superfood
“The most inspiring motive for me to choose the family-run algae-farm in Vechtern was that this innovative method felt like a real approach to solve future needs of our food system and that it doesn`t only need scientific research but also patience, passion and the transfer of knowledge in order to encourage change. It is a great power to have gained such mastery in practices and turn it into a solution for global nutrition – that is why the story of Cathleen, Caroline and Chlorella needs to be categorized into the section of power.”
by Matt Wootton
Urban Organic brings bees into the community by providing access to therapeutic and educational experiences in beekeeping and and growing plants. They also transform urban environments by planting bee-friendly flowers.
Bees are pollinators, central to food security, and their numbers are in decline. This poses a threat to the wellbeing of individuals and the international system.
“Getting people involved in improving their environment can make a huge difference to deprived communities. It energizes people to improve their diet and lifestyle and to start other neighbourhood initiatives too.”
Founder of Urban Organic
Blackpool & Fylde, UK
“I really wanted to highlight one of the efforts taking place in my hometown and to tell a story about how responding to global challenges can help us locally. Urban Organic was perfect for this. Through planting flowers in neighbourhoods that have been neglected and giving people more opportunities to connect with nature, Urban Organic are encouraging people to get involved in their communities and take the first steps to participating in their food system.”
by Angelica Trinchera
In Bologna, a small cafe has made a big difference in the lives of the local deaf community. Senza Nome is tailored to their needs, allowing deaf people to act autonomously and fully express themselves in a way that few public spaces manage to do. The cafe is an educational opportunity for Bologna and beyond.
SILVIA, SARA, ALFONSO & FRANCESCO
Owners of Senza Nome
“In my whole life, I never came in contact with a deaf person; to me, it was a completely unknown world. That’s why, when I first walked in Senza Nome, I was amazed on how these people were able to invent, with simple and smart solutions, a place tailored on them – a place where they could be empowered to be themselves.”
by Anja Bergersen
Frognerseteren, Oslo, Norway
The right to roam is highly embedded in Norwegian culture, traditions and in people’s identities. Through mobility and access to land people are given the opportunity to engage and share common goods. The right to roam reconnects people to local resources by giving them freedom with responsibility.
In Norway, laws give people the freedom to move around and stay on uncultivated land – including forests, mountains and the countryside, where you can pick flowers, wild berries and mushrooms.
Frognerseteren, Oslo, Norway
“One of my first memories related to food is picking mushrooms in the forest close to where I grew up. I must have been around three years old, and as I was shorter than the adults I was a master at spotting chanterelles – the gold of the forest. The right to roam is a big part of Norwegian culture and traditions – and a right that is so embedded in the Norwegian way of living that it is easy to take it for granted.”
by Julia Marino
Wabi-Sabi is preserved and expressed through the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Through this art of “slow living,” tea masters such as Soukei and her student Mari host dynamic events between people, matcha tea and the environment. Inside the teahouse, all guests are viewed as equal and invited to discover moments of poetry, power, grace, and beauty.
Like this artwork, the food system and the people participating in it are imperfect, incomplete, works in progress. Whether we see these inherent aspects of life as limitations, or choose to find in them beauty and opportunity, depends on the attitude we cultivate from moment to moment.
Wabi-Sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic, a way of seeing the world through the sensorial, profound eyes of nature. It is a beauty of things imperfect, inclusive, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things simple and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional.
“I think we prefer imperfect than perfect. When we see something imperfect, we feel it’s so beautiful. I’m not sure why, but my teacher [Soukei] said it’s from nature. In the long history of our island country, Japan, we understand ‘nothing is unbreakable.’ The feeling was cultivated from that.”
“I first heard the Japanese word ‘wabi-sabi,’ many years ago while studying design in Ohio. Curious about the mysterious concept, I found myself naming some of life’s ‘imperfections’ – rusty doors, messy first drafts – wabi-sabi, as a way of exploring its meaning. This year, I spontaneously moved to Tokyo and became inspired to re-explore the wabi-sabi worldview in the mindful process of the Japanese tea ceremony. This unfinished artwork is a symbol of the nonlinear journey we are all on, and the empowerment found in recognizing the natural imperfection in everything.”