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Food Systems and Supply Chains

The pandemic has rapidly exposed the ongoing crisis around food accessibility and nutrition facing parts of society.

Families in low-income regions that depend on daily wages have been driven to food insecurity. At the same time, the supply systems and the people underpinning them have been undervalued and under-protected. These systemic weaknesses will worsen in years to come by climate change.

With large-scale restaurant closures, the coronavirus outbreak has changed the way we consume food. Panic-buying behaviour briefly wiped supermarket shelves clean, whilst stocked now, the supermarkets reassured us it was a demand rather than supply issue. However, a prolonged crisis could quickly put a strain on the complex web of global interactions involving farmers, seasonal workers, food processing plants, shipping and supermarkets.

How do we create a more sustainable and resilient food system that doesn’t give rise to zoonotic diseases and that allows us to produce and consume food in a way that protects our health, remove inequality to food access and protect the natural environment?

These are just some of the possible topics your team might find solutions for, but the scope is much wider.

Find a team. Work on a solution. Make a change in the world and be in with a chance of winning a prize.


Ani Melkonyan

Ani Melkonyan

‌Associate Prof. Dr. Ani Melkonyan is Executive Director of the Centre for Logistics and Traffic, University of Duisburg-Essen and a senior lecturer for the International Master Studies in Sustainable Urban Systems at the same University. Dr. Ani Melkonyan has been active in research and teaching activities in fundamental areas of sustainable development, the urban ecological environment and particularly with her specialization on climate change impacts on food systems. In her research, she is focused on the design of innovative and systemic solutions addressing sustainable economic growth, climate change, sustainable food supply chains, agriculture systems, long-term policy decision making, sustainable and resilient urban infrastructures, air and water pollution, transport and logistical systems and human well-being.

Jon Morris

Jon Morris

Dr Jon Morris is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at TU Dresden, researching sustainability topics relating to strategic management at the interface between business and governance. His research interests include supply chain management, local and regional environmental governance, and resource efficiency. He has worked on projects involving stakeholders to tackle environmental issues in the context of energy efficiency, lifecycle carbon reduction, and business strategies to deal with water management and other environmental related risks.‌

Nora Adam

Nora Adam

As a natural scientist, Nora Adam worked in multiple international and interdisciplinary research institutions focusing on ecology, forestry, and biodiversity research. Motivated by the status of biological diversity on Earth, Nora’s work has largely focused on the consequences of genetic and chemical diversity for the productivity, resistance, and stability at population and community levels. As Partnerships and Liaison Officer at UNU-FLORES, Nora aims at mobilising funds as well as building and maintaining effective collaborations with strategic partners to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. With her technical expertise, she also contributes to shaping the research agenda of the Institute to promote the Nexus Approach towards the management of environmental resources.‌

Robert Biel

Robert Biel

Robert Biel is Associate Professor teaching political ecology and an inter-disciplinary Masters module: ‘Food and the City’ at The Bartlett’s Development Planning Unit, UCL. A practising food-grower, aiming for self-sufficiency, Biel experiments a high-intensity Agroecology, emphasing self-organising natural balances and resilience to climate challenges. His recent books include an open-access Creative Commons e-book: Sustainable Food Systems – The Role of the City (UCL Press 2016) and has written regularly for The Ecologist magazine.

Share ideas

Idea submission is now open! Join our Slack community to post and discuss ideas, get feedback, find teammates and get inspired.

Register a team

Once you’ve found an idea, pull together a team of 3-7 dedicated people with the skills to find a solution. The team leader must now officially register the team through Microsoft Forms.

Submit for evaluation

Upload a video, presentation, document or poster explaining the problem being solved, your proposed solution and how you will make a change in the world.

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