Amplifying actions for food system transformation: insights from the Stockholm region
Food is essential to people and is one of the main ways in which people are connected to the world’s ecosystems. However, food systems often cause ecosystem degradation and produce ill-health, which has generated increasing calls to transform food systems to be more sustainable. The Swedish food system is currently undergoing substantial change. A varied set of local actors have created alternative sustainability initiatives that enact new ways of doing, thinking, and organizing. These actors can increase the transformative impact of their initiatives through multiple actions and a variety of amplification processes.
We analyzed the actions adopted by 29 food initiatives active in the Stockholm region using information available online. We conducted 11 interviews to better understand the amplification processes of speeding up (i.e., accelerating impact), scaling up (i.e., influencing higher institutional levels), and scaling deep (i.e., changing values and mind-sets). Our results indicated that the initiatives mainly seek to stabilize and grow their impact while changing the awareness, values, and mind-sets of people concerning the food they consume (scaling deep). However, these approaches raise new questions about whether these actions subvert or reinforce current unsustainable and inequitable system dynamics.
We suggest there are distinct steps that local and regional governments could take to support these local actors via collaborations with coordinated forms of initiatives, and fostering changes at the municipality level, but these steps require ongoing, adaptive approaches given the highly complex nature of transformative change and the risks of reinforcing current system dynamics.
Research news | 2023-06-08
Envisioning alternative futures helps rethink human-ocean relationships
Imagining sustainable futures for the high seas may inspire change today, according to a recent study.
Research news | 2023-06-02
More freshwater experts needed in the IPBES biodiversity panel
Centre researcher Jan Kuiper lists why and how more freshwater experts could contribute to the Intergovernmental Science–Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
General news | 2023-06-01
Centre researcher Juan Rocha elected into Young Academy of Sweden
Centre researcher Juan Rocha joins the Young Academy of Sweden, a junior version of the prestigious Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, for a five-year term
Research news | 2023-05-31
Groundbreaking study quantifies safe and just Earth system boundaries
International commission proposes new safe and just boundaries for maintaining a healthy planet and protecting people from significant harm
Research news | 2023-05-25
AI could create a perfect storm of climate misinformation
The speed and the way misinformation about climate change and sustainability issues moves around the world is rapidly changing. Now, the Centre presents a new synthesis on AI and climate misinformation in connection to the Nobel Prize Summit 2023, "Truth, Trust and Hope"
Research news | 2023-05-22
Financial actors and academia join forces to build back biodiversity
Today is International Biodiversity Day! This year with the theme “From agreement to action: build back biodiversity”, and for us, that is a good reason to highlight the potential of the finance sector in reviving biodiversity