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Using systems thinking to transform our food: Beans as an analytical lens

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Event date
Event time
10 - 11am GMT+1

Advertiser's description (via Eventbrite)

Given the complex nature of the UK food system, it is clear that interventions to transform it will need to be designed from a systems perspective, i.e. as systemic innovations. Key questions therefore include; what should be the boundaries of the system? Which actors and what perspectives would have to be involved? What collaboration would be needed? How could all the moving parts pull in one direction at once? Who would be the winners and losers?

We will look at a systems approach to food system transformation, through the lens of the BeanMeals project, which was designed to explore systemic innovations using beans as the case study.

The benefits of incorporating more beans into our diets and farming systems are well documented: not only can they contribute to healthier and more sustainable diets and lower shopping bills, but they can increase soil fertility, provide a home-grown livestock feed, and ultimately reduce GHG emissions.

In this webinar, our speakers will use the example of beans to show why thinking about the wider system is so important when trying to create large-scale change in diets and food production.

About John:

Dr John Ingram leads food systems research at the Environmental Change Institute, at the University of Oxford, with particular emphasis on the multiple two-way interactions between food security and environment. Before this he was NERC’s Food Security Leader and he originally trained in soil science. He also currently co-leads The Foresight4Food Initiative, which explores how to improve scenario analysis and foresight (understanding risks and opportunities) for the global food system. He will present thinking based on his research as an AFN Network+ Champion last year and his work on the BeansMeals project. Read his report here.

About Gerald:

Prof Gerald Midgley is a foremost authority on the theory and practice of systems thinking and systemic leadership, and has been researching it for 40 years. His work is transdisciplinary and he has worked across public health, health and social service design, natural resource management, community development, public sector management and technology foresight. He is currently researching how to integrate neuroscience and cognitive psychology into systemic leadership and systems thinking, to address some of the most challenging local-to-global issues of our time. He is an emeritus professor at the University of Hull, and a visiting professor at the Birmingham Leadership Institute at the University of Birmingham.