Leaders from business, start-ups, academia and research institutions are meeting at the Xynteo Exchange/Norway to advance a new growth model fit for the 21st century. At the heart of the Exchange is a series of Studios, where we will bring leaders together to try to develop commercial solutions to human problems.
The demand for food – with an even greater emphasis on the nutritional value – is projected to increase by 50-70% between now and 2050. The world cannot increase food production simply by sticking with a business-as-usual model, as current methods use too much land, water, energy and inputs, and are responsible for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, we are also producing too much of the wrong kind of food, with both malnutrition and obesity as the results. At the same time, many of the 500 million smallholder farmers and their families still live in poverty.
A transformation is unfolding across the food system. New technologies, whether digital or biology-based, will allow us to produce more food with less inputs. Sustainable food production is an important part of the solutions to improve human health, combat climate change, improve livelihoods, and protect the planet’s biodiversity, soils and water resources. Effective action will require science-based solutions and new forms of partnerships and models of collaboration. There can be no food transformation at scale without better crop nutrition. Yara sits at the heart of this food revolution – working to shape the market for science-based, sustainable crop nutrition.
At the Xynteo Exchange this year, Yara will host a Studio working to find solutions related to feeding our growing global population sustainably. Leaders from business, government, civil society and start-ups will work together to develop solutions to problems that span across technology adoption, transparency in the value chain, policy frameworks, consumer awareness and stimulation of demand for greener solutions. We believe knowledge grows, and that a collaborative society has the power to grow a brighter future and deliver global change.
On day one, we will interrogate the complex nature of five real-world problems, and explore how our capabilities could be brought to bear in solutions. On day two, we will identify potential interventions within these problem areas, with the aim of developing early-stage concepts for projects that can deliver both human and commercial value. Finally, we will select the most promising concepts to take to the Marketplace.
Location: MESH co-working space, Tordenskiolds gate, 0160 Oslo
Svein TORE HOLSETHER
President and CEO, Yara International
Traditional thinking is often to keep doing things the way they have always been done, not to rock the boat (so to speak). Maybe that has worked so far. But if we choose to sit still in that boat, it will capsize!
During the studio, participants will split into five breakout groups to roll up their sleeves and work together on different challenges related to responsible food systems. Read more about each of the problems we’ll be tackling together below:
TRACEABILITY IN THE FOOD VALUE CHAIN THROUGH COMMON SUSTAINABILITY STANDARDS
Much-needed improvements to environmental, social and financial sustainability across the food value chain are not possible without a system to trace and better understand where food comes from, its means of production and its impact on the environment and society.
The challenge: How might we improve shared value creation across the food value chain through improved traceability according to common standards?
ADOPTION OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE THE LIVELIHOODS OF SMALLHOLDERS
Digital technology has the potential to transform the lives of smallholder farmers by sharing and building knowledge, overcoming productivity challenges, and reducing market inefficiencies, but regulatory gaps and poor infrastructure limit its impact.
The challenge: How might we overcome the systemic challenges to incentivising and scaling the adoption of digital technology, in order to better match technology and innovation to farmers’ needs?
INCENTIVISING A SHIFT TO GREEN PRODUCTS/PRODUCTION
The production of more sustainable agricultural products could drastically reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture and is now technically feasible, but in many cases the associated high cost, regulatory uncertainty and limited consumer demand inhibit widespread adoption.
The challenge: How might we develop new business models and identify key drivers to incentivise a shift to implement and scale sustainable agricultural technologies and facilitate risk-sharing across the value chain, from inputs (such as fertilisers), to finished food products?
PROVIDING A MORE EFFECTIVE ECOSYSTEM TO DEVELOP SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION
Platforms for showcasing green solutions such as Innovation Norway’s www.theExplorer.no can play a pivotal role in helping these ideas achieve scale in global markets, but first we need a deeper understanding of what is required for Nordic green solutions to succeed.
The challenge: How might we better leverage platforms to foster sustainable innovation from the Nordics and help connect investment, innovation, markets and customers to help reach economies of scale for new products?
A NEW DYNAMIC GENERATION OF AGRI-PRENEURS IN AFRICA
A new generation of young agri-preneurs is needed, yet they must find how to succeed in a context not conducive to entrepreneurship, with few support and finance structures, and all the inherent systemic challenges facing agribusinesses in Africa.
The challenge: How might we strengthen the ecosystem for youth entrepreneurship in Africa’s agri-food sector, both to increase job security and satisfaction and to increase local agricultural value addition?
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