To the heart
Visionaries, experts and changemakers from different backgrounds came together to talk in harmony about the future of food and agriculture. The group came to striking insights and raised new points. The attendees brought diverse perspectives and interests; from the owner of Kwekerij de Westlandse Aardbei and a Wageningen agronomist, to strategists from an equity fund, LNV officials and representatives of crop organizations. After a round of introductions - they had never sat at the table with each other before - moderator and co-initiator of Stop the Food Fight, Joris Lohman, introduced the question; 'what are you worried about?' A question that appeals so directly to the heart made everyone pause for a moment. Biodiversity, lack of water, health, pressure on space, loss of prosperity and peace, data neglect, impoverishment of knowledge, acting without historical awareness, course set by most powerful parties - then it sounded.
"A question that appeals so directly to the heart made everyone pause for a moment.
Concerns were dissected, participants looked at root causes and connections. A voting session brought focus to the discussion, which continued with the question, "What do you see as a possible solution?
Self-interest or beyond
A major point of discussion became the distribution of functions around the globe. Where do you "do" what? Which things do you want to give a place, and for which things is there no room (anymore)? What is essential, what is nice to have? Knowing that the pressure on the earth is great, and space is limited, choices have to be made or compromises made. Who or what is decisive in this?
Imagine the emergence of a group specializing in a model of harmony, serving the common interest: the harmonizers. The think tank questions this; won't such a group feel elevated above other groups, and start acting out of self-interest?
'Having a conversation in this way is what we need. This may be in a small way, but I hope and think we will do this on a large scale.'
Knowledge and friend
The group is unanimous about the importance of knowledge and education, while at the same time stating that knowledge is not "value-free. The wish unfolds that opposites learn from each other, and that the 'best solutions' from and in different schools of thought are combined on the way to the future. Joris concludes with the encouragement, "Having a conversation this way is what we need. This may be in small ways, but I hope and think we will do this on a large scale.