From 5th to 7th of March 2024, FOSTER participated in the FOOD 2030 Networks Conference on Transformative Food System Innovation in Brussels, Belgium.

The aim of the conference is to set the scene for more collaborative approaches towards innovating the future agriculture and food system. Farmers, entrepreneurs, policymakers, researchers, living lab representatives and other food system innovators are invited to join the FOOD 2030 Networks Conference under the auspices of the Belgian EU Presidency.

FOSTER was represented by the project members:
Project manager of FOSTER Kerstin Pasch (DIL) talked about reorienting innovation towards food system transformation;
-Rosina Malagrida (IrsiCaixa) represented her living lab in the Food 2030 Living Lab Network;
-Thom Achterbosch participated in the session on financing innovation in farming and food systems;
-Kerstin Cuhls raised her voice in one of the plenary sessions: “For transformation, we need to know more of the directions of the transformation and the long-term view. Think from the future.”

Framing of the conference
“Our current agriculture and food system is not sustainable – it threatens our health, destroys our ecosystems and contributes to climate breakdown.
If we do not act now, we will not be able to provide prosperity, wellbeing and food security for farmers, food producers and citizens in the future.
We cannot rely on incremental innovation, where technologies and efficiencies are slightly improved to solve the multitude of critical challenges and wicked problems that we are facing.
We need transformative innovation based on an inclusive systemic approach to ensure a just transition that is fair for everyone and enables a good life for all within planetary boundaries.
Living labs, communities of practice, and other co-creation initiatives bringing together innovators and other relevant stakeholders from rural and urban communities will be essential for supporting such transformative food system innovation.”

More information about the conference:

Focus Groups with the Change Driven Initiatives of FOSTER

Focus group sessions were established as part of a baseline assessment of the change-driven initiatives (CDIs). The aim of this baseline assessment is to understand the CDIs’ ambitions, their theories of change and activities, to examine their target stakeholder groups, and their embedding in networks, and to understand relevant knowledge sources, how CDIs access knowledge and interact with the K&I system.

Six CDIs of FOSTER are organisations, foundations and associations working on food systems from numerous perspectives. They vary in their goals, activities, target groups and sizes. Each of the initiatives is embedded across different parts of the food system. Some of them are largely linked to digital agriculture, others aim to preserve their local traditions and support local production and consumption. Some of them hold ambitions of being a platform for stakeholders, where they can work on their own projects.

Within FOSTER, each CDI works in tandem with an academic partner (AP), who act as translators between CDIs and the formal academic system, as well as facilitators during the knowledge coproduction process. These focus groups were organized by academic partners in cooperation with CDIs and included three to six CDI members. In total, five focus groups sessions took place.

The aims of the focus groups were:

  • To solicit and deeply understand CDIs claims, concerns and issues from within their own worldview;
  • To create the research steps adopted for the particular case studies;
  • To support the ongoing relationship-building between the academic partners of FOSTER and CDIs.

A brief summary after each session was written. Information from the focus groups was analysed and insights from the sessions were used for the further identification of the CDIs´ knowledge gaps and needs. 

Please find more information in the Deliverable “Consolidated status assessment report for 6 CDIs”.