I’m delighted that the new on-line, open education resource, the Food Systems Academy got off to a great start yesterday.
Many thanks to all those who have already tweeted – @FoodSystemsAcad – and blogged about it.
It provides a dozen key-note talks for those in education, citizens groups or individuals concerned about our food future. The initial contributors are Olivier de Schutter, Paul Rogers, Peter Drahos, Elizabeth Dowler, Janice Jiggins, Harriet Friedmann, Malcolm Dando and myself. The talks cover four themes:
- Thinking about food systems
- Patents, power and food – the growing impact of intellectual property
- Food, human security and thriving people
- Gender, nutrition and the right to food
For lecturers and students, the talks can provide a guest speaker in a class at college or university and be an addition to set reading. Sometimes, follow-up question and answer sessions via Skype can be arranged with the speakers.
Voluntary groups can use the talks to provide guest speakers to kick off a discussion. Or you can use them like a book group – listen to or watch one or more of them and come together to discuss your responses.
If you are just plain interested – watch, learn, reflect and connect.
Every talk has its own page where the speakers provide ideas for further reading or websites you might like to check out.
“I am very keen on what you are doing,” says Bill Davies CBE, Distinguished Professor of Plant Biology at the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, UK. “Your cast of contributors is impressive and the views that they record will be authoritative and useful for our teaching here. We have set “The Food System – An overview” as required viewing for our MOOC on Global Food Security and also for our Masters class.* Thus far the material has been well received by the students on both courses. We look forward to seeing more!”
*Some viewers comments:
‘Excellent – very clear and informative.’
‘It’s an excellent resource to introduce the topic of food systems.’
‘Articulate and very well presented.’
‘Loved the visual presentation… Easy to listen to, nonaggressive, non-hectoring.’
Try them for yourselves – and do fill in the 60 seconds survey after each talk and for the website as a whole. And please keep spreading the word.