From factory farm to food forest: feeding the world in 2050

Track in English

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 IOB will explore alternatives to the more popular narrative to global food production in the future. This will be done by first taking a particular look into how food production is globally linked by focusing on the ‘Global South’. Secondly, we will visit a local initiative to gain insights on food production in the local urban setting of Antwerp.

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. 

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!

Institute of Development Policy

The Institute of Development Policy (IOB) at the University of Antwerp is a multidisciplinary institute involved in academic teaching, scientific research and service to the community in the area of economic, political and social aspects of development policy. The IOB aims to make a meaningful contribution to the realisation of a more just and sustainable world. Apart from high-level research and education, the IOB actively follows and participates in activities in the South and engages in political decision-formation processes from the local to the global level.