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Ep3: Lauren Baker on Connecting Local and Global Scale to Place

Episode summary

How do people and organisations work to transform the food system? Are there effective strategies to connect local movements across the globe? And is it the size or scale of their operations, that connects them to each other, or is it something else?

Lauren Baker, director of programmes at Global Alliance for the Future of Food, has been working to transform the food system for decades - in Canada, Mexico and across the world. While Lauren's work may focus on a more local or regional scale, she regularly traverses scales, reflecting how individuals and local food networks are embedded in larger systems, connected to broader political economic dynamics.

In our conversation, we discuss Global Alliance’s theory of transformation, the importance of relationship building in food systems work, and why Lauren finds it's essential to link local and global scale to place.

[ Transcript available ]

About Lauren Baker

Dr Lauren Baker, Director of Programmes for the Global Alliance for the Future of Food has more than 20 years of experience facilitating cross-sectoral research, policy and advocacy for sustainable food systems in non-profit, academic, business, policy and philanthropic contexts.

Lauren’s expertise ranges from researching agricultural biodiversity in Mexico to negotiating and developing municipal food policy and programs. At the Global Alliance, Lauren’s work is focused on the intersections between food systems and health, climate change, agroecology and true cost accounting.

Previously, Lauren led the Toronto Food Policy Council, a citizen advisory group embedded within the City of Toronto’s Public Health Division, and was the Founding Director of Sustain Ontario — the Alliance for Healthy Food and Farming. Lauren teaches in the Global Food Equity programme at the University of Toronto, and is a research associate with Ryerson University’s Centre for Studies in Food Security.

Background reading and resources

Eating outside the box (Johnston and Baker, 2005)

Transgenic DNA introgressed into traditional Maize (Quist and Chapela, 2001)

Beacons of Hope projects: Andhra Pradesh ; Lagos Food Bank ; The Common Market

Global Alliance theory of transformation

Organisations and terms


Who is ANEC? (en español)

What is a Milpa system?

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