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Rockefeller Foundation recognizes 10 ‘Visionaries’ transforming the future of food systems

The Food System Vision Prize, sponsored by The Rockefeller Foundation and powered by SecondMuse and OpenIDEO, announced its Top 10 “Visionaries” who offer solutions to complex food system challenges across six categories: environment, diets, economics, culture, technology and policy.

Judie Bizzozero

January 26, 2021

3 Min Read
future food vision

The winners, who will each be awarded $200,000, were selected from a pool of more than 1,300 applicants from 119 countries who responded to the prize’s call for researchers, nonprofits, businesses, governments and other groups focused on food system-related challenges to submit ambitious and attainable plans for regenerative, nourishing food systems by the year 2050. The top 10 Visionaries were selected based on their potential to inspire real, positive and bold transformation within specific food systems. Collectively, the Visions include more than 100 solutions capable of boosting resilience and future-proofing food systems to tomorrow’s shocks, which the COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be essential.

“It’s possible to create food systems that nourish people and protect the environment, ” said Roy Steiner, senior vice president, Food, The Rockefeller Foundation. “The Food System Vision Prize supports these diverse, game-changing solutions and hopes that they can inform an inclusive dialogue of how to transform the ways in which the world produces and consumes food at the upcoming United Nations’ Food Systems Summit.”

Later this year, the UN’s Food Systems Summit will gather key players from the worlds of science, business, policy, healthcare, and academia, as well as farmers, indigenous people, youth organizations, consumer groups, environmental activists, and other key stakeholders. Attendees will be focused on the same goal—to advance concrete actions and solutions that can bring about tangible, positive changes to the world’s food systems.

The Top 10 Visionaries include:

Arakunomics: Focusing on the regions of Araku, Wardha, and New Delhi, India, this Vision empowers tribal communities and seeks to ensure environmental sustainability, fair profits for farmers, and food and nutrition security for all.

Lima 2035: This Vision for Lima, Peru imagines a regenerative and nourishing food oasis by 2035, intending to secure climate-resilient running water for all in Lima’s fragile desert environment, returning it the green Eden that it once was.

Re-rooting the Dutch food system—from more to better: This Vision from the Netherlands outlines a transformed, circular Dutch food system that safeguards natural resources, promotes a healthier and more sustainable plant-based diet, and recycles unavoidable losses and wastes.

kwayēskastasowin wâhkôhtowin: This Vision from Canada’s Prairie Provinces aims to create a just and sustainable agrifood system while addressing the process of decolonization and reconciliation between Indigenous and settler populations.

7Gen Food System: Led by the Sicangu Lakota people, this Vision for the Rosebud Indian Reservation of South Dakota, outlines a regenerative agricultural system that creates economic opportunities for tribal members; increases the accessibility of locally produced, nutrient-dense foods; and re-establishes the Lakota as primary stewards of the lands.

Food Innovation Nervecenter: This Vision from Lagos, Nigeria, identifies six key food challenges for the region, from food waste to aging farmers, and outlines a multifaceted plan to build a more regenerative and nourishing food system to meet them.

Eat Right: This Vision from New Delhi, India, looks to create a national movement toward healthier diets through a systems-based approach of reducing food waste, improving hygiene and sanitation across the value chain, and increasing access to and affordability of healthy foods.

Restoring Nairobi to “A Place of Cool Waters”: This Vision for Nairobi, Kenya aims to develop a more equitable, just, and sustainable urban space, where access to nutritious food is a reality for everyone.

Stone Barns Center: This Vision from the Hudson Valley in New York, seeks to bring about a new food culture—rooted in the ecological, nutritional and communal potential of organic agriculture—through groundbreaking culinary experimentation.

From Mama’s Kitchen to Metropolitan Beijing: This Vision from Beijing imagines a plant-based dietary transformation for the world’s most populous nation, contributing to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.

About the Author(s)

Judie Bizzozero

Content Director, Informa Markets Health & Nutrition

Judie Bizzozero oversees food and beverage content strategy and development for the Health & Nutrition group at Informa Markets (which acquired VIRGO in 2014), including the Food & Beverage Insider, Natural Products Insider and SupplySide/Food ingredients North America brands. She reports on market trends, science-based ingredients, and challenges and solutions in the development of healthy foods and beverages. Bizzozero graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

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