To feed more than 10 billion people within our planetary boundaries by 2050, while ending hunger and tackling unhealthy diets, we will have to fundamentally change the food system, requiring co-ordinated and large-scale action by all stakeholders across multiple axes. In support of this mission, One Young World was a key partner for the Bold Actions for Food as a Force for Good Summit which took place from 23-24 November 2020. The Summit marks a key milestone leading to the UN Food Systems Summit in 2021.
The fully virtual Summit convened leaders from governments, business, civil society, international organizations alongside innovators, financiers, experts, scientists, entrepreneurs and youth to initiate and accelerate action for food systems transformation.
Check out the highlights from One Young World-hosted sessions below.
Session 1: Opening Plenary, A Vision for Food Systems of the Future
One Young World's Co-Founder & CEO Kate Robertson took part in the Summit's first Plenary Session.
Additional speakers included:
Dominic Kailash Nath Waughray, Managing Director, World Economic Forum
Alan Jope. Chief Executive Officer, Unilever
Sabrina Dhowre Elba. United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Goodwill Ambassador
Massimo Bottura. Chef and Owner, Osteria Francescana
Geraldine Matchett. Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Royal DSM NV
Estrella Penunia. Secretary-General, Asian Farmers' Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA)
Agnes Matilda Kalibata. Special Envoy, United Nations Food Systems Summit
Sunny G. Verghese. Co-Founder and Group Chief Executive Officer, Olam International Ltd
Session 2: Mobilising Investment for Agri-Entrepreneurs
Investment in farming and agribusiness offers a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs, funders and governments alike. But how easy is it for young entrepreneurs to secure the capital necessary to enhance and grow their operations? We heard from leaders in the industry who shared their practical insights into searching, securing and maintaining investment in their businesses.
The session was jointly hosted by One Young World, The Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN) and Generation Africa.
Moderator: Safoora Biglari. Director, Community, One Young World
Matthew Shakhovskoy. Director, Global Development Incubator
Saskia Hoebée. Associate, Five Seasons Ventures
Schandorf Adu Bright. Business Development Manager, Jetstream Africa
Amanda Namayi. GoGettaz Lead, Generation Africa
Bonolo Monthe. Co-Founder, Maungo Craft. UN Food Systems Summit Youth Champion
Matthew Shakhovskoy: Just like we saw with the emergence of Silicon Valley, we need a massive investment in the ecosystem that comes around entrepreneurs ready to work out the risks facing agriculture. We need much more risk capital, particularly at early stages, and sophisticated support systems. We need it both at a global level and a local level. Each country needs to locally develop entrepreneurs and create their own resilient food systems.
Saskia Hoebee: Put your money where your mouth is. We need more requests from consumers to pay fair prices. There is a consumer willingness to pay more, so we need to take advantage of that for the wider system.
Amanda Namayi: Collaborate more, break down silos. Let financiers talk to smallholder farmers. Let the engineers talk to insurance service providers. It takes collaborative effort to transform the food sector, and we can’t do it on our own.
Schandorf Adu Bright: The need to promote food security is on us young Africans. All the solutions are there, the challenge is the distribution and getting African entrepreneurs to pick up. We need to build a movement.
Bonolo Monthe: Young entrepreneurs and farmers need to be part of the conversation, we are the future we are waiting for. Encourage sustainable food and business practices, we need partnerships across the private sector, governments, investors, farmers.
Session 3: Our generation’s challenge: getting young people back into farming
Populations are growing, the climate is changing and food insecurity is an increasing threat. The farming and agricultural industries rely on this young generation to carry the torch, but they are heading to urban areas in droves. They are leaving their farming communities behind in search of ‘better’ opportunities. How can we reverse this trend? We must ignite a movement to get young people back into the sector, scale up innovations in farming to address the growing challenges and produce nutritious food. Hear young leaders who are working to breathe new life into the sector, protect farming and transform livelihoods.
Hosted in partnership with the Scale Up Nutrition movement (SUN), UN Major Group for Children and Youth (UNMGCY), and UN Food Systems Summit Secretariat.
Moderator: Ella Robertson. Managing Director, One Young World
Keithlin Caroo. Founder & Executive Director, Helen's Daughters & One Young World Ambassador
Tolulope Aina. Founder, Tolulope Foods and Farms & Coordinating Ambassador for West/Central Africa, One Young World
Pornthida Wongphatharakul. Co-Founder, Siam Organic & One Young World Ambassador
Webster Makombe. Nutrition & Hunger Activist & SUN Alliance Representative
Jannes Maes. President, European Council of Young Farmers & UNMGCY Regional Focal Point for Europe
Jannes Maes: Acknowledge the diversity of farming systems across the globe and make sure young farmers are empowered to come up with their own positions, so once they are sitting around decision making tables, they can effectively contribute to the conversation.
Webster Makombe: We need to grow ourselves out of poverty in low income countries. We must focus more on farming, not just subsistence farming, but mainly commercial farming.
Tolulope Aina: The future of food lies in the hands of the youth. The youth need to be considered in every decision that has to do with food security and systems.
Pornthida Wongphatharakul: We must ensure farmers are proud of who they are and their contribution to our world.
Keithlin Caroo: We need to remember our farmers are the agents of food security. They are the ones we must thank when we eat our food every day.
Session 4: Solutions Session: The leaders transforming farming & agriculture
This generation of young leaders are our greatest hope for an improved global food system. This session hosted pitches from the finalists of the One Young World Food Systems Solutions Challenge, which was open to One Young World Ambassadors across the world developing and implementing solutions to improve livelihoods in agriculture, and enhance food security and nutrition.
This joint-partner organized event was co-led by the World Economic Forum, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Farmers Organization, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Unilever, PepsiCo, Royal DSM, Rabobank, Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, Wageningen University & Research, the Government of The Netherlands, and One Young World.