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What competences are needed for the food system of the future?

After laying the foundations for designing successful co-creation projects in 2018, the Fit4Food Budapest community is up for a fruitful 2019. We kicked off the year together with community members from various parts of the local food system. Representatives of CSOs, businesses, research and educational institutions and policymakers came together to discuss what steps we should take together in 2019.

In order to place the local vision of the food system, and the potential leverage point we had previously identified into the global context, we started the day working with trends and breakthrough areas.

Out of the extensive list of breakthroughs that have the potential to radically transform our food system, the team identified three areas to be exceptionally relevant in the local reality:


  • The emergence of new value systems
  • Community-driven social innovations and social entrepreneurship
  • Empowered and aware consumers



During the second half of the morning, we focused on identifying the competencies and skills that are currently underrepresented in education and/or practice, and need to be urgently development in order to reach our local vision and the desired transformation in the food system. Among the 30 competencies that the group considers to be the most important, there are personal (self-awareness, self-confidence), social (cooperation, flexibility, empathy, etc.), learning (openness, adaptability, etc.), cognitive, problem-solving (complexity management, ability to take initiative, etc.) and professional and technical competencies (such as financial knowledge, and the ability to  involve stakeholders in research planning and data collection processes, etc.).

Out of the identified 30 competencies, the team selected the following four as the basis of the idea generation process on educational modules: analytical thinking, collaboration, future planning and responsible long-term thinking, and the ability to learn.

The group came up with various exciting possible ideas regarding the concrete aims, format and target group of the course that we plan to develop. However, some common themes and attributes could be identified. Regarding the possible intelligence styles,  interpersonal intelligence and natural intelligence emerged as primary concerns for development. Applying an interdisciplinary, or even transdisciplinary approach when possible, and focusing on the development of the ability of system thinking emerged as crucial aspects in order to support future course members in approaching the food system in its complexity.

Furthermore, there was a consensus among the participants that it would be important to maintain and further develop the emerging network and community.

To this end, an online closed group has been set up to facilitate communication between actors active in different areas of the food system and to facilitate the development of new collaborations.

It is still possible to join the initiative of Fit4Food Budapest! Get on board and join the co-creation process of state-of-the-art educational modules and become part of a community that strives for the sustainability of our local food system!


Szakál Diana