From factory farm to food forest: innovatieve concepten in het Belgische voedsellandschap

Traject in het Nederlands en in het Engels (de kennis van Nederlands is vereist)

How will we feed 10 billion people by 2050? This is a question that has been receiving a lot of attention recently. This track will investigate what is needed to feed an ever increasing world population in a socially and economically just and environmentally sustainable way. What are the challenges upon us? How are those challenges framed? How is the Global South affected? Do we need to radically invest in innovative technologies like vertical farming and lab meat or should we look for a solution in natural systems such as permaculture and agroforestry? 

In this year’s masterclass, two parallel tracks will tackle these issues by focusing on different aspects of the food crisis theme. After setting the stage in a common session that introduces the topic and raises the main issues, the track of the IOB will focus on global narratives to food production, while the track of Act4Change will focus on technological innovation and new forms of food production in Flanders that could drastically change the future of food production.

The track of Act4Change will examine local companies and initiatives that tackle the food crisis each in their own way. Several Belgian start-ups and companies have launched projects in recent years that use innovative technology to change our food system. Different concepts such as vertical farming, cultured meat, aquaponics and agroforestry are addressed. Through a number of fascinating sessions, we give the floor to experts from different backgrounds: research, agricultural sector, retail and civil society.

In the joint closing session, stakeholders from different fields (policy, civil society, research, agricultural sector, multinationationals) will be invited to debate different approaches to future food challenges. The focus will be on technological developments (such as GMOs, lab meat, vertical farming, aquaponics) versus behavioural changes and more agro ecological ways of producing food (permaculture, agroforestry, plant-based diet, low-tech solutions).

For this track, we are looking for participants who: 

  • Are passionate about sustainable food systems, with a critical eye on agro-industrial narratives;
  • Are interested in the nexus between global and local food systems;
  • Love to listen to a good debate and would possibly also like to participate in it ;
  • Are sufficiently proficient in English in order to listen to spoken English and preferably also to express themselves in English. For the track of Act4Change: also sufficiently proficient in Dutch in order to listen to spoken Dutch and preferably able to express themselves in Dutch.

Note that you do not need particular (professional) experience on this topic to participate in this track. However, in the participation form we ask you to motivate why you are interested in participating. Further do we expect that you are willing to prepare yourself for the weekend by reading or watching videos we have communicated to you. 

Keep an eye on this page for further updates on confirmed speakers and activities!

Act4Change

Act4change is a safe haven for social worriers and change makers. We evolve to make the transition towards a sustainable future. We gather the social change makers of today. We make worriers into social warriors by connecting, inspiring and by offering knowledge and skills. There's a change maker in each and every one of us and we can't wait to hear your ideas. Act4change runs on young heroes (m/v/x) who gratuitously engage themselves for a livable future. They are the power that makes Act4change a safe haven for sustainable projects. Act4change, that is also you. Every contribution is welcomed and appreciated. Help us in building tomorrow's society.