Food Systems: Building Resilience and Partnering Across Sectors

Sunday, February 14, 2016: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Coolidge (Marriott Wardman Park)
The world’s food system faces increased exposure to drivers of change – from natural disasters to economic and political crises, from climate change to resource degradation. Feeding a growing population presents unprecedented challenges for an already volatile system. To increase resilience, researchers need to develop a holistic approach that brings together actors and dimensions from across the entire food value chain. This symposium discusses a method, developed by ETH Zurich, for capturing the complexity of food systems and evaluating their resilience to disturbances using modeling, simulations, and empirical data. This approach gives decision-makers tools to improve food and nutrition security, while supporting social well-being and environmental quality. The data is based on case studies in the U.S., Europe, and Africa as well as experience from the Singapore-ETH center, where scientists are investigating the implication of rapid urbanization on food, nutrition, and security and the resilience of interconnected water, climate, and energy systems. In the U.S., California’s Central Valley grows one-third of the nation’s food in at-risk water and soil systems adjacent to Silicon Valley. The symposium explores how new information technology (IT) and a data-flooded business environment will impact food and agriculture, and demonstrate how IT can support the formation of an ecosystem between industry, investors, start-ups, and food innovators.
Rahel Byland, ETH Zurich
Ursula Oesterle, Mixing Bowl
Ursula Oesterle, Mixing Bowl
Peter Edwards, ETH Zürich, Singapore-ETH Center for Global Environmental Sustainability
Strengthening the Food Security of Rapidly Growing Asian Cities
Thomas P. Tomich, University of California, Davis
New Tools for Sustainable Sourcing of Agricultural Raw Materials
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