Article 13 recently hosted the second in a series of futures workshops (with SAMI Consulting) which bring together industry experts, professional futurists and representatives of Generation Y to explore the Generation Y Perspective. This second workshop focused on the Future of Food and the ‘drivers’, the ‘trends’ and the ‘bends’ as we look forward to 2020, 2030 and 2050. To receive a copy of the final report and/or register for future Generation Y events please contactJimo@article13.com
In the first of two blogs, we share some of the emerging insight and findings from the workshop
Step 1: The uncertainties. We began by scoping the questions and uncertainties which Generation Y feels will shape the future global food system…
1: The human population in 2030: How big will the population grow? How will we deal with the growing ‘grey’ population? Will ‘south to south’ replace ‘south to north’ migration (e.g. increasing movement between developing and emerging economies)? Will ‘suburbia-ism’ reverse urbanisation?
2: The global geopolitical system: How will global and regional conflict impact global food chains? Will this uncertainty trigger a resource scramble in Africa?
3: Our relationship with food: How will the increasing affluence in the BRIC and MINT economies impact food consumption? Will globalisation herald an ever-great variety and innovation of foods or a global ubiquity (e.g. the cheese burger)?
4: Growing enough food within ecological limits: How will more frequent and severe weather events affect food supplies? Will water scarcity, decreasing soil fertility and droughts make some land uncultivable? Can we address the loss of farming skills?
5: The sources for our food: What will the public’s reaction be to synthetic biology and new food technologies? How will farmers grasp the digital technology revolution to optimise cultivation? Will new models of production emerge e.g. indoor, vertical, small-scale farming?
6: Technology and food: Who will we trust in a truly social world, where rumours and news spread instantly? How will developments in 3D technology and demands for personalisation influence our food habits?
Step 2: Building the scenarios. In an era of such uncertainty, it is implausible to predict one single future. Instead the delegates were asked to identify the two key questions which are the least predictable and therefore the most critical to understand when building robust scenarios for the future:
1) Question 1: Will the food system in 2050 be global or local?
2) Question 2: Will behaviours and values have adapted to the challenges of the food system by 2050?
Based on these two questions, four scenarios were developed.
COMING SOON! The four scenarios are currently being shared with experts from the Strategic Planning Society (click here to register), to add further depth and also examine the different implications, we will be publishing the final scenarios in August.
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