chapter  B5
18 Pages

FOODLINKS

Building Communities of Practice for learning on sustainable food consumption and production
WithSandra Karner, Bettina Bock, Femke Hoekstra, Heidrun Moschitz, Anita Thaler, Han Wiskerke

The dominant ways of producing and consuming food have enormous impacts across various facets of our lives. Food production and consumption are a leading cause of environmental degradation, natural resource depletion, health problems and social inequality. There is an emerging need for more integrated approaches addressing the multi-dimensional nature of food and the sustainability of its production and consumption. Moreover, a stronger collaboration between researchers, policy-makers and practitioners is crucial for aligning efforts and developing joint strategies for the transition to more sustainable food patterns. This chapter captures the experience of the FOODLINKS project, facilitating such cooperations through a series of knowledge brokerage activities over the course of three years. We established three “Communities of Practice” to experiment with various modalities for the exchange of knowledge, experiences and viewpoints on issues of food policy, and to develop new ideas for fostering a more sustainable food system. The activities followed a cyclical iterative process of building a shared interpretation of sustainable food systems, reflecting about future developments, problem prioritization, stocktaking available knowledge, and reflection on learning achieved. The participants learned not only how to more effectively promote sustainable food systems, but also to better link research with policy-making and practice.