By Jennifer van de Ligt, Ph.D.
“Food is the moral right of all who are born into
this world.” – Norman Borlaug
Humanity is facing a daunting challenge that, if not ad- dressed now, will rise to epic proportions. The chal-
lenge: Ensure food security while volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambigu-
ous (VUCA) challenges arise at a faster rate than ever expected. If we contin-
ue down the same path that we’re operating on today, a food system crisis will
cripple our ability to feed Earth’s estimated 10 billion people by 2050.
How do we effectively avert this looming crisis while also ensuring
a robust, healthy planet for our children and grandchildren?
We must be willing to break boundaries—boundaries that cur-
rently exist in our food system that inhibit us from more effectively collabo-
rating, innovating, and discovering better paths to address today’s and
tomorrow’s challenges. We must shift from compartmentalized, special-
ist, and siloed thinking and approaches to embrace a broader food systems
mindset. A mindset centered on navigating our roles and choosing our actions
within the food system through a holistic lens that promotes better outcomes
at the personal and organizational level as well as locally, regionally, and glob-
ally for the food system.