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Global Food Security Conference 2020 - Catch up with the latest thinking

Siti Khatijah Market, Kelantan, Malaysia. Photo: Alex Hudson / Unsplash

Global Food Security Conference 2020 - Catch up with the latest thinking

Focali intern Jess Haynie-Lavelle was invited by SIANI to attend and report back from the Global Food Security Conference 2020. By reflecting on multidisciplinarity and how to bring about a people-centered approach for sustainable food systems, here's what she found.

With just a few snags the Global Food Security Conference 2020 occurred virtually, broadening not only the access but also the perspectives involved.

As a master student and intern with the Focali network I bring a distinct perspective drawn from a background in social science and global health to the fray. Focali places people at the centre of the initiative to shape a sustainable future. This people-centred approach involves them in interventions from beginning to the end and keeps their concerns at the heart of all the endeavours.

Whilst absorbing world-class knowledge collected from around the world during the Global Food Security 2020 conference, I was struck by a nearly universal agreement with people-centred thinking. However, the methods were not completely aligned, as the way forward appeared divided. Some researchers call for better interdisciplinary collaboration and capacity building, while others think we should avoid private sector action and focus on evidence building as the only reliable avenue of progress.

This brings into question how the transformation of our food system can be sustainably achieved, and how can we be sure to include all people in our consideration?

An interdisciplinary approach is an asset

I was listening to Pierre-Benoit Joly of INRAE explaining that change is a cultural phenomenon, and cannot be facilitated by technology alone. Shifting towards investigating and understanding ‘what the problem is’, as opposed to focusing on the availability of new technology, offers a meaningful way forward. Fundamental to this understanding of culture is improved collaboration between various areas of science, knowledge and experience. By collecting perspectives from different disciplines and sectors, we can integrate various aspects and formulate local contextualized adaptations of sustainable food security strategies.

What is striking to me, as an undergraduate of social science, is how entrenched researchers are in their own disciplines.

Continue reading the full story at SIANI.

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