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IFST Szenario Workshop - Collective reflection on the future of our food

On May 13, researchers from the IFST project met with practitioners at Freie Universität Berlin to develop scenarios that show what the framework of our food systems might look like in 2040.

News from Jun 03, 2022

How we will feed ourselves in the future is associated with great uncertainties. Climate change, new technologies, digitalization and economic crises make it impossible to predict with certainty what food production and consumption will look like in 20 years. Precisely because there is great uncertainty here, it is important to deal with it. Therefore, in the research project "Inclusive Food System Transitions", scenarios were developed in a series of workshops that show what the framework of our food systems could look like in 2040. These scenarios can help us identify the consequences of different trends and prepare for associated opportunities and risks. As a result, possible development paths toward sustainable food systems can be identified and explored. Around 30 people from science and practice were involved in this process. Researchers from the IFST project worked together with practitioners and other experts from relevant food systems.

On May 13, the final scenario workshop of the IFST project took place at the Freie Universität Berlin. Based on the previous results, scenarios were generated in several steps and corresponding narratives were developed. IFST researchers again worked hand in hand with practitioners and other experts. This is to ensure that the results are relevant for both science and practice.

In addition to a 'Business as Usual' scenario, which describes only minor structural changes to the status quo, three other scenarios were developed that paint pictures of very different futures. In the first scenario, the renaturation of ecosystems and re-regionalization of economic cycles occurred in 2040. This has been made possible by a "reinvention" of traditional crafts and knowledge, and by lifestyles that are strongly oriented toward sufficiency. The second scenario describes a future in which technological progress and digitalization dominate all areas of the economy and social life, enabling efficient use of natural resources but also control over society. In the third scenario, the year 2040 is characterized by major political crises and conflicts. The associated uncertainties and risks determine everyday life, but also open up opportunities for new and perhaps profound innovations.

The sketched scenarios will now be further evaluated, elaborated and prepared textually and graphically. In the future, a detailed description of the scenarios can then be found on the IFST website.

For further information please contact Dr. Valentin Fiala or Dr. Klaus Jacob.

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