Training Future Actors in the Food System: a new collaborative cross-institutional, interdisciplinary training programme for students

Kelly Reed (Lead / Corresponding author), Rosemary Collier, Rebecca White, Rebecca Wells, John Ingram, Barbara Haesler, Martin Caraher, Tim Lang, Alex Arnall, Raquel Ajates Gonzalez, Harley Pope, Lauren Blake, Roger Sykes

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    Abstract

    There is an urgent need to train a cohort of professionals who can address and resolve the increasing number of fundamental failings in the global food system. The solutions to these systemic failings go far beyond the production of food, and are embedded within broad political, economic, business, social, cultural and environmental contexts. The
    challenge of developing efficient, socially acceptable and sustainable food systems that meet the demands of a growing global population can only be tackled through an interdisciplinary systems approach that integrates social, economic and environmental dimensions. The new crossinstitutional training programme, IFSTAL (Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning), is designed to improve post-graduate level knowledge and understanding of food systems from a much broader interdisciplinary perspective, which can be applied to students’ own studies. Ultimately, these graduates should be equipped to apply critical interdisciplinary systems thinking in the workplace to understand how problems are connected, their root causes and where critical leverage points might be. This article outlines the programme and presents a review of its first year (2015-2016 academic year).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)201-218
    Number of pages18
    JournalExchanges: The Interdisciplinary Research Journal
    Volume4
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2017

    Keywords

    • Food security
    • Systems thinking
    • Virtual learning envionment
    • Pedagogy

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