In October 2022, Foresight4Food hosted a CFS side event on “Foresight and Future Scenarios for Food Systems Transformation – Building Resilience and Fostering Adaptation to Protect Against Future Crises”. The event was held jointly with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the CFS High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE – FSN).
The event highlighted the importance of taking longer-term perspectives on food systems transformation through the use of foresight and scenario analysis. The work of the Foresight4Food Initiative was outlined and a new programme “Foresight for Food System Transformation – (FaST)” was launched.
The event was moderated by Jim Woodhill, Lead of the Foresight4Food Initiative. He introduced the building blocks of an approach to foresight for food system transformation which has been developed by Foresight4Food. Central to this approach is identifying key trends and critical uncertainties which may influence the future of the entire food system. He indicated how Foresight4Food has been developing and how its overall approach is being tested through work in Africa and Asia.
Ravi Khetarpal, Executive Secretary of Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI), and Chair of the Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR) underlined the continued importance of the agri-food sector for security and development across the Asia Pacific. He emphasised the critical need for multi-stakeholder platforms at national and local levels to help drive the needed innovation for transforming food systems. He saw foresight and the Foresight4Food initiative as a valuable contribution to such processes and welcomed its work in the region. To achieve sustainable and resilient food systems he called for more evidence-based policy making, which relies on good data and the type of integrated qualitative and quantitative analysis which can be offered by foresight.