Friday, November 9, 2012

The Global Center for Food System Innovation (GCFSI)

Today USAID - US Agency for International Development - has launched the Higher Education Solutions Network  (HESN). A program aiming to facilitate - through research and education - the application of science, technology and innovation to development problems worldwide. Ambitious!

Seven consortia were funded with grants between 10$ Million and 25$ Million- led by UC Berkeley, MIT, Duke University, William & Mary College, Texas A&M, Makerere University (Uganda) and Michigan State University . They are going to constitute seven development labs, each one with a specific mission.

As partner with Michigan State University, Wageningen University has constituted the Global Center for Food System Innovation (GCFSI) as a development lab. The Center will engage with stakeholders worldwide to:
- Discuss common strategies to tackle two "world megatrends": 1) Climate Change, Population Growth and Land Use, and 2) Rapid Urbanization and Change of Consumption Habits;
- Implement a strategy for Skills Evolution - both technological and social skills - of the current and next generation of world leaders to tackle these world megatrends appropriately.  

I will be part of the Executive Committee, the Private Sector Engagement Committee and the Skills Evolution Committee. For the time being, I will be funded with 260,000 EUR in 5 years covering 30% of my wage, travels and research costs worldwide. I start feeling the pressure!

There will be a number of opportunities of collaboration with colleagues within our Management Studies (MST) Group at Wageningen University and in our networks and with interested BSc, MSc and PhD students. I will keep you posted. Go ahead and ask me if you want to know more now.

The event had extensive media coverage. GCFSI coordinators met with Hillary Clinton at the US Department of State. See Berkeley and W&M newsletters.

Read the full story at: http://www.usaid.gov/hesn