Panel 16

Developing a robust food system applying a transdisciplinary approach beyond academia

Organizers: Carl Walter Matthias Kaiser (1); Cordula Scherer (2); Agnese Cretella (3)

1: Centre for the Study of the Sciences and Humanities, University of Bergen, Norway; 2: Centre for Environmental Humanities, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland; 3: Department of Philosophy and Communication, University of Bologna, Italy

Topics: Ecological transitions and climate justice; Knowledge co-creation, citizens science, co-design processes, material publics and grassroot innovation; Food networks and governance in postpandemic times; Building alliances in public participation and engagement

Keywords: Just and sustainable food systems; Transdisciplinary research; Food governance; Food futures

The current food system needs restructuring and innovation, locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. While knowledge is required to transform peoples’ food-ways to sustainable production and consumption, the traditional role of the sciences as instigator and premiss-supplier of transformative social processes cannot be maintained. As STS research has convincingly shown (Jasanoff et al 1995, 2004, 2011, 2016), in the age of post-modernity we need to turn to a co-creation of actionable knowledge by utilizing citizen science (Irwin 1995) and devise transdisciplinary proposals (ref. post-normal science; mode 2 science) for social change. Innovations come from Living Labs (Westerlund & Leminen 2011) and change is bottom-up, based on participatory action research, and often aiming at identifying local value-based food-identities. This panel is based on the insight that no robust shifts of our food provisioning system will happen unless they start in the minds of the people first, respecting food justice and food sovereignty. To this end, we invite empirical and theoretical contributions exploring innovations to inform on food futures while embracing food heritage including diversity of local value landscapes, which may include (but are not restricted to) the following themes:

(i) Knowledge co-creation, citizens science, co-design processes, material publics and grassroot innovation
(ii) New governance forms targeting ordinary citizens, food networks and governance in post-pandemic times
(iii) Integration of humanistic research into food studies strengthening local identities and values
(iv) Initiatives channeling local diversity in nutritional and dietary needs while tack-ling the challenge of ‘reconciling the economy with our planet’.
(v) Ready-made solution to urban food production and closing biological food cycles