INAUGURAL LECTURE – FOOD SYSTEMS: CHALLENGES, CONCEPTS AND COMMUNITIES
Dr. John Ingram and Dr. Rebecca White, University of Oxford gave the main lecture with an introduction from Dr Nick Brown, Principal of Linacre College, Oxford. Welcomes were also given by Professor Heather Viles, Head of the School of Geography and the Environment at Oxford University, Dr Joe Marshall, National Centre for Universities and Business and Ed Hughes from HEFCE.
The inaugural lecture was a great success with over 250 attendees across the four events (Oxford, Warwick, Reading and a joint City University-LCIRAH event in London). And the post-event nibbles and chat was lively and lengthy. It was fantastic to see people meeting, common interests identified and connections being made.
The lecture was streamed from Oxford to the partner events. The main lecture can be watched here.
Slides from the lecture can be downloaded here: IFSTAL Lecture 1 Food System Challenges
Lecture 2 – WHAT IS SYSTEMS THINKING AND HOW CAN WE USE IT TO CONFRONT THE ‘WICKED PROBLEM(S)’ OF FOOD?
Dr. Harley Pope and Dr. Alex Arnall, University of Reading
This lecture has been ‘chunked’ so that it can be watched in parts. The first section is Dr Alex Arnall setting out why food and its outcomes is ‘systemic’.
The next two sections show Dr Harley Pope unpacking systems thinking.
The final section is the lecture’s discussant, Vimal Karani, a nutrigeneticist, discussing the use of systems thinking in his work.
Slides from the main lecture can be downloaded here: IFSTAL Lecture 2 Systems Thinking
Lecture 3 – FOOD SYSTEM ‘ACTORS’ AND THEIR ACTIVITIES
Dr Barbara Häsler and Lauren Blake from the Royal Veterinary College and LCIRAH gave this fascinating lecture on food system actors and activities, focussing on two staples of the British breakfast plate – eggs and beans. Streamed across the four sites, audience participation was enabled with cross-campus voting on questions throughout the lecture. The lecture was followed by an activity looking at the actors and activities involved in megadairies in the UK.
A video of this talk can be found here
Slides from the lecture can be downloaded here: IFSTAL Lecture 3 Actors&Activities
Lecture 4 – EXPLORATIONS IN FOOD SYSTEM OUTCOMES: FOOD SECURITY, THE ENVIRONMENT AND ECONOMY
Drs Rosemary Collier and Kelly Reed gave us a whistle stop tour of outcomes from the food system, looking in particular at food security, labour in the food system, environmental and animal welfare outcomes. This was followed by lively discussion around outcomes and trade-offs at each campus, and the sugar tax in particular at Oxford.
A video of this lecture is available here.
Slides from the lecture can be downloaded here: IFSTAL Lecture 4 Food system Outcomes
Rosemary Collier and Kelly Reed at Warwick preparing to give the 4th Lecture in the IFSTAL series.
Lecture 5 – DRIVERS AND INFLUENCERS: WHAT SHAPES THE FOOD SYSTEM?
Professor Tim Lang, Rebecca Wells and Raquel Ajates Gonzalez explored what is, and has been, shaping our food system in this fascinating talk. The food system can be seen as a dynamic interacting and contested arena in which drivers and actors shape and pressurise who eats what, when, why and how, and what effects and outcomes they have or try to achieve. Drivers shape systems but also face resistance. Whatever our model of the food system (engineering, biomedical, agricultural, economic or social, etc.), we have to recognise that some forces dominate the world of food. If we want to understand the dynamics of the total food system, we need to map all drivers not just some; so precisely what are these drivers and why do we need to consider them?
A video of this lecture is available here.
Prof. Tim Lang, Raquel Ajates and Rebecca Wells answer questions from across the IFSTAL network using Adobe Connect.
This was the view from Oxford – Dr Rebecca White is typing in questions from the Oxford contingent.
Lecture 6 – ‘STRATEGIES FOR CHANGE IN THE FOOD SYSTEM: NEWS FROM THE FRONT LINE’
We heard from a panel of practitioners working in very different ways and in different parts of the food system.
Barbara Gallani: Chief Scientist and Policy and Sustainability Director at the Food and Drink Federation
Stephen Devlin: Natural Resources Economist at the New Economics Foundation
Angela Wright: Head of Science and Education, Compassion in World Farming
Penny Bramwell: Director of Science, Evidence and Research, Food Standards Agency
A video for this lecture is not available.
Lecture 7 – ‘DECISION MAKERS AND INFLUENCE IN FOOD SYSTEMS – A CRITICAL ENGAGEMENT’
Here we worked as groups within our own institutions to critically engage with different food system governance initiatives (i.e. initiatives that seek to change or reform the wider food system in some way). Prizes were awarded to the best outputs from each institution, and all outputs will be shared on the IFSTAL VLE.
Lecture 8 – ‘FOOD SYSTEM FUTURES: DEALING WITH UNCERTAINTY AND COMPLEXITY‘
Thinking about the future of food systems is fraught with uncertainty. Food systems are large, complex and dynamic; they are strongly interdependent on other dynamic systems. Yet, it is essential that, given rising populations, changing diets, climate change and the food-energy-water nexus, we think about how food systems can sustainably meet future needs, become more resilient, and work towards this aspiration.
So how do we deal with this uncertainty? In this final lecture of the IFSTAL series, we hear from three academics who have been grappling with this question in different ways.
Professor Charles Godfray, co-author ‘Foresight. The Future of Food and Farming’ (2011)
Dr Monika Zurek, Senior researcher at the Environmental Change Institute, Oxford
Dr Joost Vervoort, Senior researcher at the Environmental Change Institute, Oxford
The slides for this lecture can be found here – Food System Futures SLIDES
NB: The lecture starts 20 minutes into the recording