How do we strategize & take lean to scale in one of the biggest, most vital, desperately challenged systems the world has ever known?
“The first step is admitting we have more than one problem.”
~ Jonathan Foley, Environment 360
With a crisis-laden, global food system facing the need of doubling to tripling production in our lifetime, time is of the essence for systems thinking to be applied to this problem, skillfully and immediately. Jonathan Foley is one force for change in the pursuit of doing so I had the honor to hear guest lecture at the University of Washington this week. The challenge he posed: The Other Inconvenient Truth.
Weaved into his narrative were elements of each of BMG‘s environmental drivers – key trends, market forces, macro-economic forces & industry forces. He paints a compelling picture of a broken system, convincing yet hopeful, in also presenting steps to take towards solutions:
Five calls for global action:
- Slow agricultural expansion in fragile, inefficient, unsustainable ecosystems
- Improve yields and close regional yield gaps
- Improve agricultural efficiency while managing inputs & outputs
- Close diet gaps: meat and dairy as supplements not dietary spotlights
- Reduce food waste – 30%+ of all food is lost due to spoilage during production, transport or storage
The task is daunting but the consequences are crucial.
(J. Foley, Nature)
“A magnificent future is up to us” were among his summary remarks, in leaving us with these words:
“Here’s what I’ve decided: the very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness. Enough to eat, enough to go around. The possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyers nor the destroyed. That’s about it. Right now I’m living in that hope, running down its hallways and touching the walls on both sides. I can’t tell you how good it feels.”
~ Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams
What can you do today?