How do we create a sustainable food system in the face of growing population pressures, changing weather patterns, declining natural resources, and a sharp decline in soil health?
This is one of the questions asked at the second annual National Sustainable Food Summit in Sydney, where visionaries came together for dialogue about how we can co-create the future of Australia’s food system. It should be no surprise that information technology played a central role in the conversation. Peer-to-peer sharing, traceability and enterprise software are just a few of the ways technology is catalyzing a flexible, resilient and sustainable food system. With food tech as a catalyst, the possibility of an interconnected web of localised food systems within a bigger global food system seems possible.
Aside from the fascinating conversations, great connections and pretty tasty conference food, there were a fair few insights into where the food system will be moving over the course of the next 20 years or so. The following is a summary of these insights. Several of the attendees were also live tweeting the event on the hashtag #FoodSummit and #SFS12. You can check out the Storify from the event here.
The early keynote by Jeremy Rifkin was one of the talks which set a lot of the context for the conference, and while it’s fairly lengthy, there are some great insights about economic trends which are worth a watch.
Take a look at more of the notes, podcasts, videos and other Food Summit resources collated by the 3 Pillars Network.
The summit felt like a positive reinforcement for a project that my company Bucky Box has already committed to. It was a great learning experience to push the boundaries of our knowledge, and a great opportunity to share space with so many other who had a similar vision of a decentralised food system. We are really excited by some of the projects which are happening around Australia, and indeed around the world as we speak .
I recently spoke at the Changemakers Convention in Christchurch, New Zealand, where people from around the country outlined their passions, visions and actions in their chosen area of interest. We spoke about “Food Security and Resilience in an Uncertain Future”, which led us to deliver a ‘state of the nation’ of how our food system currently teeters, some examples of food system fragility (largely taken from our blog about disasters and resilience), and the bright future that is emerging with technology enabling new ways for our food system to thrive.
For now, it’s back to work on supporting our fantastic beta customers, and spreading the word to more local food distributors who might make use of our system – please feel free to share with your networks if you might know someone who would like to change the food system for the better!