Daily Archives: January 23, 2020

The Historical Origins, Evolution and Future Dimensions of Africa’s Recurrent Food Crises


“The Historical Origins, Evolution and Future Dimensions of
Africa’s Recurrent Food Crises”

World Food Systems & Policy
MET ML720:
Boston University, 2020

4 February 2020
Timothy C. Weiskel
DPhil, (Oxon), FRGS


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Presentation Slides & Follow-up Resource Material [forthcoming]

See related:

Mapping-Africa-Workshop-smaSee related:

Food System Vision Prize

The Food System Vision Prize is a call to a fragmented system of actors to unite, source, and support positive Visions for the future of the global food system.


Inspirational Visions of regenerative and nourishing food futures for 2050.

Successful Food System Visions will be stories of contrast. They will illuminate the difference between food systems as they exist today in specific places and the Vision for the future in the year 2050 “if we get it right” (science, policy, advocacy, behavior, etc.). Visions will unlock inspiration, knowledge, networks, and innovative solutions that have the potential to transform the future course of humanity and the planet. History shows us that systemic change requires shared direction, time, and collective effort. The purpose of the Food System Vision Prize is to light the way for populations across the globe to realize a more promising, nourishing, and healthy future.

Why Food Systems?

Aside from air, food (including clean water) is the most vital resource for life on Earth. And when you look at the food systems data and 2050 projections, the future does look bleak. But humanity has more knowledge, technology, social intelligence, and human capacity than ever before—all of which can be harnessed to create a food system that nourishes all people, grows the global economy, and nurtures a thriving environment.

A Systems Approach

Envisioning the food system you aspire to build starts with understanding the food systems’ current state, from its stickiest challenges to the potential for its transformation. To do this, you really need to look at the entire system, over and above your unique vantage point—the many stakeholders and processes, the relationships among them, and their influence on each other. When it comes to systems, the whole is much greater than the sum of its many moving parts.

Because envisioning a global food system for 2050 is a massive and vastly complex undertaking, the Vision Prize is focused on reimagining regional or local food systems. By a “system,” we mean the interconnected actors, enabling environment, and linkages that relate to food in a particular Place. Beyond a value chain or supply chain, a food system considers a number of influential factors—political, social, environmental, cultural, technological, etc.—that influence every dimension of food from production to consumption.

We know that our global food system is actually composed of numerous smaller and interconnected food systems. The Food System Vision Prize offers you a chance to define your food system—by climate zones, natural borders, or political boundaries, as well as by the People who inhabit those Places, their cultures, livelihoods, traditions, and beliefs.

As a Food System Visionary, your goal is to develop a Vision that reflects the views and needs of multiple stakeholders within your regional system. With these stakeholders in mind, a Food System Vision is really a story about the future that addresses the following six interconnected themes:

  • Environment
  • Diets
  • Economics
  • Culture
  • Technology
  • Policy

Submit Proposal to the Prize



The race is on for plant based and biodegradable footwear

CGTN America

Jan 23, 2020

Eco-friendly meatless food products shook up the fast-food industry in 2019. Experts say this year’s game-changing trend in sustainable consumer goods may be plant-based athletic shoes.

You and the planet: food

The Royal Society

Streamed live 2 hours ago
Join our panel in Gateshead to discover how the food we eat affects the natural world.
Chef and broadcaster Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall hosts a discussion to get to the bottom of your questions about the relationship between our food and our planet.

World food production grew from 1.84 billion tonnes in 1961 to 4.38 billion tonnes in 2007, yet people still go hungry.

How can we feed the world sustainably and equitably while protecting nature? Would eating less red meat make a real difference? What is the future of farming?

The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of the world’s most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence. Visit our website to learn more: https://royalsociety.org/

The Royal Society publishes leading science journals. Stay informed: https://royalsociety.org/journals/

Visit our website to learn more: https://royalsociety.org/ The Royal Society publishes leading science journals. Stay informed: https://royalsociety.org/journals/


More Growth = Collapse


Dec 6, 2019

#ScientistsWarningtoHumanity #ClimateEmergency #COP25

In this program, recorded Wednesday, December 4th 2019 at COP25, we explore the outrageous idea that Nature might actually need space to continue to thrive… for us to continue to thrive. Our guest Amy Lewis, from the WILD Foundation, explains why Nature needs half the Earth to remain viable. And our friends Gert-Peter Bruch and Mindahi Batista, from the Alliance of Mother Nature’s Guardians, discuss the principles of the pledge their members take, and which should rightly be taught in kindergarten.

Corporate Control and the Climate Meltdown


Jan 23, 2020

Dr. Luiz Marques, Professor of Environmental History at the State University of Campinas in São Paolo, Brazil shares an in-depth exploration and explanation of how our current ‘neoclassical’ economic system is responsible for the climate crisis and ecological deterioration, leading to a probable collapse of local ecosystems, and the general inability to grow food for human consumpion. Dr. Marques discusses capitalism as the precursor and root cause of the current environmental collapse tightening its grip on the Earth’s biosphere. He argues that an economy based on continual exponential economic growth, which is entirely the program of our current ‘neoclassical economics’ taught universally in business schools around the world, where nature and the environment are considered mere externalities, is unsustainable. A philosophy professor specializing in logic, Dr. Marques provides the logical connections between current economic systems and ecological devastation.

Trump Brags About Withholding Evidence as Democratic Impeachment Managers Lay Out Case in the Senate

Democracy Now!

Jan 23, 2020

During the opening day of oral arguments in the impeachment trial, President Trump was accused of abusing his office to “cheat an election.” House impeachment managers spent about eight hours on Wednesday laying out their case for why President Trump should be removed from office. The Senate trial comes a month after the House impeached Trump for withholding congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine as part of an effort to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate Trump’s political rival, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. While the impeachment trial was taking place in the Senate, President Trump was across the Atlantic at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he tweeted more than 140 times and dismissed the impeachment trial as a hoax. Trump also appeared to boast about having withheld evidence from the impeachment process, saying, “We have all the material; they don’t have the material.” For more on the historic impeachment trial, we speak with Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor and Supreme Court reporter at Slate.com.

Why are Republicans barring the press from the impeachment trial?

Democracy Now!

Jan 23, 2020

During the opening day of oral arguments in the impeachment trial, House impeachment managers spent eight hours on Wednesday presenting their case to the Senate for President Trump’s removal from office. But while Democrats had the floor, Republicans had control of the frame. Republicans, who hold the majority in the Senate, have placed severe restrictions on media access to the Senate during the trial. “It is really unconscionable, the lack of press access that we are having — and that that’s dressed up as a security problem,” says Slate editor Dahlia Lithwick. “It’s not just that the cameras have been removed from the room. It’s that reporters cannot engage in walk-and-talks and do the kinds of things they should be allowed to do.”

Brazil’s water crisis sparks concern

FRANCE 24 English

Jan 23, 2020

In the Brazilian city of Rio, thousands of residents have been facing a drinking water crisis. Experts have recorded an abnormal amount of geosmin, a substance produced by micro algae that proliferate in water. Authorities and the company in charge of water distribution insist the substance isn’t dangerous. But many residents are complaining of nausea and stomach aches. Our correspondents Fanny Lothaire, Pierre Le Duff and Laura Damase take us to the areas of Rio most affected and also to the source of the problem.

Tim Robbins: Bernie Sanders Is the Best Shot We Have to Defeat Donald Trump

Democracy Now!

Jan 23, 2020

We continue our conversation with Academy Award-winning actor and director Tim Robbins, whose recent projects include the new film “Dark Waters” and a play about immigration called “The New Colossus.” He recently endorsed Vermont senator and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders for president. “I believe he is the only one of them that can defeat Trump,” Robbins says.