GLOBAL GOALS S02E05: Feeding Our Cities


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Today, urban dwellers are removed from food production, which has widened the gulf between cities and rural areas. Convenience has led to an over-abundance of food, but it is not equitably distributed. Nor is it necessarily healthy. Cooking and eating collectively have also dwindled, and conspicuous consumption has become fashionable. Significant disruptions can make bringing food to cities challenging.

No change is free, and some can have unintended consequences, but our speakers offer some compelling solutions.

Schools must offer experiential education in regenerative, circular agriculture, so that from an early age we understand and appreciate the value of food, and how our choices matter.

Technology and data should be used to help make food systems more resource-efficient. There are solutions such as halophytic agriculture and biomimicry.

Policy has to be inclusive, so that we all have access to nutritious, tasty food. That means thinking about seeds, greenhouses, transport, waters, wet markets and supermarkets. Governments can learn from Paris and incentivise rooftop farming. They can encourage community gardens and biogesters, promote healthy diets and monitor non-communicable diseases. We look at the different approaches in cities as diverse as Ghent and Quito.



Resources:


If you want to find out more about some of the amazing companies and organisations that the speakers mentioned in the podcast have a look at their websites:



SPEAKERS

Author of A Circular Economy Handbook, Consultant and Host of the Circular Economy Podcast Catherine Weetman is an international speaker, workshop facilitator, coach, consultant and host of the Circular Economy Podcast. She founded Rethink Solutions to help businesses, social enterprises and community groups to use circular economy approaches to build a better world. Catherine's award-winning book, A Circular Economy Handbook, explains the what, why and how of the circular economy. The second edition, due out in November 2020, includes a new chapter on packaging, over 100 new examples, and many more updates. Catherine qualified as an Industrial Engineer and began her career in garment manufacturing, before moving onto logistics solution design, project management, business intelligence and supply chain consulting, including senior roles with Tesco, Kellogg's and DHL Supply Chain. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport,  a Fellow of The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), a university lecturer and has a Master's Degree from Cranfield University. She supports the Circular Economy Club as a mentor and Chapter lead for the Tees Valley, in the UK.

HENRY GORDON SMITH

Founder & CEO, Agritecture


Henry Gordon-Smith is a sustainability strategist focused on urban agriculture, water issues, and emerging technologies. Henry earned his BA in Political Science from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, coursework in Food Security and Urban Agriculture from Ryerson University in Toronto, and an MSc in Sustainability Management from Columbia University. In 2014, Henry responded to a global need for technology-agnostic guidance on urban agriculture by launching Agritecture Consulting which has now advised on over 150 projects in over 35 countries.

Founder and Creative Director, Biomimicry Innovation Lab  Richard loves to explore fresh ideas and concepts and is ever curious about the environment around him. He is an award-winning designer and has worked worldwide in cities, manufacturing, food systems and product design. Richard’s passion is to develop innovation models to reduce costs and improve efficiency and resilience in the design and manufacturing process. He taught at some of the top design schools in the world: from The Royal College of Art (UK); The Pratt Institute (USA); Vellore Institute of Technology (India); and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary). Richard is also the founder of the non-profit Biomimicry UK, an equine technology startup, Smart Stable Limited, whilst sitting on several advisory boards. He combines design work with research development via the Design Society and the ISO Standards in Biomimetics.

ALESSANDRO PAREDES

EVP of Agriculture, Vidaluz Development


Alessandro has a BA in Business Administration with a Minor in International Business from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has worked as an arborist in Maryland, interned building earthships in New Mexico, worked in Colorado in the cannabis industry and founded Valley Fresh Micros, an indoor, vertical microgreens farm. He has now joined VidaLuz Development as the executive vice president of agriculture. Alessandro has travelled extensively throughout the world volunteering, working, and visiting unique agricultural operations. The exposure to diverse cultures, customs, cuisines, and traditions across 6 continents have molded Alessandro’s professional and personal aspirations.



Founder and Creative Director, Biomimicry Innovation Lab  Richard loves to explore fresh ideas and concepts and is ever curious about the environment around him. He is an award-winning designer and has worked worldwide in cities, manufacturing, food systems and product design. Richard’s passion is to develop innovation models to reduce costs and improve efficiency and resilience in the design and manufacturing process. He taught at some of the top design schools in the world: from The Royal College of Art (UK); The Pratt Institute (USA); Vellore Institute of Technology (India); and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary). Richard is also the founder of the non-profit Biomimicry UK, an equine technology startup, Smart Stable Limited, whilst sitting on several advisory boards. He combines design work with research development via the Design Society and the ISO Standards in Biomimetics.

NATALY PINTO

Director, Latin America, Rikolto


Nataly Pinto-Alvaro holds a master’s degree in sustainable territorial development from the universities of Padova, Sorbonne and KU Leuven. She has been working in the field of development in rural and urban areas for 15 years. She enjoys learning by doing, creating networks, and starting synergies. Nataly leads the food systems program in Latin America, and she is part of the Food Smart Cities International cluster at Rikolto. The cluster works in 19 cities around the world to foster the exchange of good practices on sustainable production, inclusive business, and food governance. Nataly and his partner just started a regenerative agriculture farm in Ecuador called La Madriguera.


CHARITY


For this episode we will be supporting Nula Carbon by donating £100 for Every 100 Listeners which will allow :

  • 80 mangrove trees to be planted from 4 species

  • 4 community members to be trained to give mangrove awareness

Nula is on a mission to make sustainability accessible and embed positive action into the workplace. Their new platform allows every employee to engage with action from emissions reduction to investing in biodiversity through nature-based solutions to help push forward the drive for a net positive world.



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