How are emerging platform economies and social media opening up new possibilities for transforming unsustainable food systems? Two recent reports offer some possibilities for ‘disrupting the disruptors’ and suggest that without tech sovereignty there can be no food sovereignty.
The first report, Talking Tech with Foodies, shows how the ‘digital revolution’ provokes both hopes and fears among sustainable food system stakeholders. On one hand, grassroots food system innovators understand that emerging digital technologies can help them gain economic efficiencies, mobilize knowledge, develop skills, form networks and enhance producer-consumer relationships. On the other hand, many stakeholders fear being left behind in this fast-paced innovation-driven networked economy. Unless we can put people first, new technologies and platforms will only serve to deepen existing inequities and marginalization we see in the dominant food system we are seeking to change.
But there’s hope!
The second report, Introducing Open Food Network, presents a case study of a new global project—Open Food Network (OFN). This global community begins with the simply stated premise that sometimes; the best way to fix a system is to build a new one. OFN is a global network of people and organizations developing an open source platform to support grassroots food initiatives working to transform the food system. This case study gives you some background to this multi-layered, complex global project that has potential to move the food movement in multiple ways.