EAT, BI Norwegian Business School and consulting firm Kearney are supporting the UN Food Systems Summit in 2021 by hosting a virtual global case competition for academic institutions and the public. The aim is to generate game-changing solutions to challenge the status quo in the world’s food systems.
Food production and waste are the main causes behind severe environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity and up to a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, unhealthy food is now deadlier than alcohol, drug and tobacco combined. Today’s food systems require an urgent upheaval. Its redesign is a unique and powerful opportunity in the efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris agreement.
The focus of the case competition lies at system-level changes that can contribute to a shift to healthier and sustainable consumption patterns while optimizing environmental resource use in food production, processing, and distribution.
“We all have to eat and everyone on this planet is a stakeholder in the global food system. Yet today, the food system is failing both our health and the environment, and the science shows that we cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals nor the Paris Agreement without fixing it. That’s why the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit is both a Solutions Summit and a People’s Summit, and why the five Action Tracks are crowdsourcing game changing ideas and solutions from around the world as we speak,” says Dr Gunhild Stordalen, Founder and Executive Chair of EAT and Chair of UN FSS Action Track 2.
“The younger generations are particularly important, as its their future, and why BI, Kearney and EAT have launched this Case Competition to support the Action Tracks. I can’t wait to see what brilliant ideas and solutions that will emerge from this competition,” Stordalen adds.
In 2021, the UN will convene a Food Systems Summit as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The Summit’s Action Tracks offer stakeholders from a wide range of backgrounds a space to share and learn, with a view to fostering new actions and partnerships while being aligned with its objectives.
Between the 5th and 21st March 2021, students from around the globe will compete to present the best and most innovative solutions that pave the way towards healthy and sustainable food consumption. In addition to cash prizes of $20,000, representatives from UN’s action tracks will initiate discussions with member states to incorporate the best solutions into final action track submissions.
“We believe that today’s students, which represent the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders, can be a driving force in finding solutions that may provide long term economic, environmental and societal value at a large scale. This case competition is a call to action for students and people worldwide to put their skills to the test to solve one of the most pressing challenges facing society, namely our food systems and the need for system transformation,” says Inge Jan Henjesand, President at BI Norwegian Business School.
The Food Systems Summit is for everyone, and its success relies on people everywhere getting involved and sharing their views. To foster further public engagement, the partners are also introducing a Public Jam session, where everyone can join the competition alongside students to compete for the top price and representation at the summit.
“We are thrilled to partner with the EAT Foundation and BI Norwegian Business School to drive this exciting Global Case Competition and Public Jam, and especially proud to be a part of providing students and the public the opportunity to be a part of shaping novel solutions for the UN Food Systems Summit,” says Geir Olsen, Partner and Head of Europe in Kearney.
The first round of the competition is held from the 5th to 7th March as a weekend virtual hackathon, where teams of students are given a case related to the summit’s action tracks.
Each team has 24 hours to develop a solution they will present to a panel of judges. 10-12 teams move on to the second round of the competition to be held on 21st March, where they will compete alongside the four best teams from the Public Jam session.
All winning teams from the first round will further develop their respective solutions in cooperation with a consultant from Kearney.
Representatives from UN’s action tracks will incorporate the best solutions into further discussions with member states and final action track submission.