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Friday, June 23, 2017

The innovation workshops

Posted by steve on December 4, 2010

I thought I’d take you through the workshop we did in Copenhagen. It was dialogue about sustainably securing food and water for the whole world I’ll post the invitation then the write up, Hope it is of interest!

THE INNOVATION WORKSHOPS
BACKGROUND
Corporations are anxious to be involved in improving people’s lives directly. After all, many would say the main business of business is providing people with the essentials of life. Prosperity comes when basic needs are met and with prosperity markets and opportunities grow. At the same time, this challenge is not being fully met – people are undernourished, in poverty and threatened by the effects of climate change, resource depletion and economic downturn.
Much great work is being done by initiatives and NGOs who understand the day to day realities of bringing the world into a sustainable development. But they need help.
PURPOSE
This innovation workshop brings together corporations ready to engage their CSR efforts into meeting water and food challenges together with the top sustainability initiatives from the Award’s applicants. These stakeholders will be meeting with the next generation – students from Copenhagen University – to work on a vision of a planet fed and sustainable.

OUTPUTS
The aim of the workshop is to increase awareness of opportunities and perspectives from each of the participants. And we aim to produce a vision that will inspire people along with the initiatives we present at the ceremony. This vision, put together by applicants, sponsors, students and others will be the driver for our work with next year’s Award

This is a report from our innovation workshop.

The task was to imagine that world hunger is eradicated. Everyone goes to bed on a full stomach. The year is 2021. Sitting at round tables covered in paper, delegates were asked to think back from 2021 to today and answer “ how did they do this?”

It was a great experience to have the privilege to facilitate the workshop, as I went around the tables I saw people from many different walks of life – retired people, students, activists, business people, ordinary workers – discussing how food and water could come to all. And I saw how they were eagerly sharing perspective. It was I believe a valuable exercise to get such a diverse range of people, – CEOs from global corporations, Rotarians, students from Copenhagen University studying agriculture, nominee representatives, and some supporters of charities like the Prem Rawat Foundation – all to discuss the situation from their particular viewpoint and together envision a sustainable future for coming generations.

Here is a summary:

Population pressure became critical

Either there was a food crisis or there was a near crisis.

The food provision system was recognized to be fragile and incapable of supporting everyone.

Trade barriers and unfair subsidies were removed as a first step.

People all over the world started to change their habits, less food was consumed and wasted, and less animal protein was used.

The move to local food production was stimulated by high fuel prices and the recognition that local food is more resilient.

Permaculture was introduced on a wide scale.

An appeal to stakeholders works. Land assets are released, and with low- input approaches, reforestation starts along with soil improvement.

The realization comes that this is not a technology issue but an attitude one. This gives hope, as people realize we have all the tools we need.

In East Africa, population in urban areas rose from 4.3 to 10 million. However, a change of attitude focusing on food security and dignity spreads hope to urban areas. Large scale sanitation with nutrient recycling is introduced to ensure land productivity and weigh up against crippling fertilizer prices.

Finally in 2021 everyone is getting what they need. Food and water to the world’s population, and nature is stewarded in a way that enables it to provide for future generations.

I hope this is fairly accurate as a summary of what people wrote. It is certainly inspiring as a “first take” on how it could really happen. I will add more notes as I get more photos and input.

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