How Young People Can Transform Agri-Food Systems

Human Wrongs Watch

Youth are an indispensable force for change – find out how you can get involved in the World Food Forum.


Young people have made big steps towards a more sustainable future – here’s how you can get involved. ©Unsplash/Chang Duong

(FAO)* — With climate change, conflict, hunger and environmental crises regularly in the news and social media every day, the younger generation is more aware than ever of global issues and arguably also more active than ever. And why shouldn’t they be? It is their future at risk.

Youth have already made significant steps forward in getting climate issues on the world stage and global political agendas – and their voices make a big difference as they fight for their future.

Young people are also key to transforming our agri-food systems for the better, creating a new system that can meet modern challenges and provide nutrition for a growing population.

The World Food Forum (WFF) was envisioned to harness this energy and power. It is a youth-led movement and network to transform our food systems to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 2: “Zero Hunger”.

With events, dialogue and outreach hosted throughout the year, the WFF promotes youth-led actions by boosting awareness, fostering engagement and advocacy and mobilizing resources. Join for the WFF’s first flagship event from 1-5 October.

Here are ways you can get involved in WFF and beyond!

Lead the change 

The WFF’s Youth Action track connects young agents of change, empowers them to engage in global dialogues and galvanizes concrete actions.

Local, regional and global events will feature debates and discussions with youth leaders who will finalize the Youth Action Compendium, a concrete action plan to set the course for the next several years of youth-led food systems transformation. Get involved by joining the WFF’s Youth Assembly from 4 to 5 October during the inaugural WFF flagship Event. 

Empower yourself with education! 

Where does our food comes from? How do we live sustainably? How can our lifestyles reflect our green beliefs?

Knowledge is key if we are to make sustainable systemic changes. Well, now you can boost your knowledge on a multitude of topics.

YUNGA labs are being hosted in partnership with the WFF on a variety of issues from green energy and biodiversity to protecting our oceans and reducing waste. Join these labs to start your journey to become a global citizen who can change the world. Learn more here.

Take part in an WFF Innovation Masterclass or a YUNGA lab to learn more about how you can make a difference. Top: ©Unsplash/Leon. Bottom: ©FAO/Tang Chhin Sothy

Become a master

Rapid population growth, urbanisation, wealth inequality and changes in consumption patterns are challenging our agri-food systems’ ability to provide healthy, accessible and affordable diets.

The WFF Innovation Masterclasses are virtual events where global experts and youth leaders share stories of actionable solutions that can help transform our agri-food systems.

Why not join one? From ‘Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development’ with Kimbal Musk and the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) to ‘From Cup to Bean’ with the Slow Food Coffee Coalition, there’s something for everyone interested in learning both practical skills as well as more gathering more information about the relationship between our planet and our food systems.

Follow the WFF champions

Everyone could use a role model and that’s what champions are for. WFF Champions are exceptional young people from all fields and walks of life, with one thing in common: a passion and commitment to the global movement supporting agri-food systems transformation and a better food future for all.

Olawale Ashimi, who performs under the stage name Brymo, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and recording artist. Meera Dasgupta is the youngest United States Youth Poet Laureate appointed in the history of the country. Natalie Prabha, from Malaysia, is a professional model, stylist and photographer.

These are just a few of the young, handpicked change-makers who have reined in the power of social media to reach wide audiences and influence positive change. Learn more about them and how you can follow them and their actions here.

FAO’s Innovation Awards offer young people the chance to take their business to the next level and help transform agri-food systems. ©Unsplash/John Schnobrich

Get innovative

The FAO Innovation Awards encourage innovation by celebrating new enterprises designed to transform agri-food systems. The award acknowledges not only digital innovation, but also new or existing products or practices that are used in a specific context, to increase effectiveness, competitiveness and resilience.

Winners of the awards, one for excellence in digitization and innovation for sustainable food systems and one for an innovation that specifically empowers youth in sustainable food systems, will receive a cash award to bring their businesses to the next level.

WFF’s Start-up Innovation Awards, powered by XTC also recognize and provide funding to young entrepreneurs to take their agri-business ideas to the next level. Read about the finalists here—and watch the selection of the winner on 2 October.

The WFF and FAO will also be crowning the winners of the first Transformative Research Challenge for young university students and researchers, who will win expert mentorship and the chance to turn their innovative food systems transformation research ideas into sound research papers for a global stage.

Speak up! 

Get involved with one of the WFF’s partners, the FoodxFilm festival! Film is one of the most powerful storytelling tools of our time and an important way to involve young people in addressing the future of food and building sustainable transformation.

Through film, panels and events that will provoke your thoughts, the festival will probe the question: What does a food future reimagined mean for you?

Let’s create a better food future together. Be part of the solution.

Learn more


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