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  • 1. Galli, Francesca
    et al.
    Hebinck, Aniek
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. University of Oxford, UK; Wageningen University, The Netherlands.
    Carroll, Bridin
    Addressing food poverty in systems: governance of food assistance in three European countries2018In: Food Security, ISSN 1876-4517, E-ISSN 1876-4525, Vol. 10, no 6, p. 1353-1370Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Emergency food poverty relief is one of the possible entry points to understanding food poverty in affluent societies, whereas the visibility of food poverty relief initiatives has evolved, together with large-scale food recovery organizations and networks aiming at reducing and valorising surplus in food systems. There is a substantial diversity of actors and resources involved, resulting in differently shaped initiatives and programs. It can be described as a continuum encompassing third sector initiatives, large and small businesses, and institutional intervention programs: by bringing together institutions, companies, organisations and civil society, public-private food assistance addresses food poverty in a way that is not viable by any of these actors alone and by adopting context specific governance arrangements. This paper contributes to this debate with the analysis of governance relations in food assistance initiatives across different European countries (Italy, The Netherlands and Ireland). By approaching food assistance from a systems perspective, we further the understanding of these initiatives and their modes of governance. The case studies offer a mapping of food assistance by identifying functions and outcomes, actors and resources involved, and the links the initiatives have to those elements, thus highlighting where collaborative food poverty reduction takes place that goes beyond traditional boundaries. Food assistance initiatives are a civil initiated response shaped by and complementing the social welfare and food systems in which they are embedded. The interpretation of food assistance functions leads to challenging the boundaries of food assistance and potentially triggering innovative approaches to improving food and nutrition security. Discussions show that while they have managed to find innovative and collaborative governance solutions to address the very immediate issues rather effectively, they do not negate the need for food system transformation to address the ultimate reasons for food poverty.

  • 2.
    Hebinck, Aniek
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
    Shaping sustainable food systems: Local participation in addressing global challenges2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The current unsustainable trajectory of food systems puts the social and ecological processes and functions on which human flourishing depends at risk. This last decade has seen, on one hand, continued insistence on transformative action and on the other, uncertainty and instability with respect to traditional, established institutions, such as the state. As a response, new configurations of actors are aiming to participate in food system governance. New governance arrangements that increasingly lean on civic actors are considered as windows of opportunity, but their possible pitfalls have received less attention. This thesis seeks to understand and explain how the participation of new actors in the food system contributes to transformative change towards sustainable food systems. In order to achieve this, this thesis develops and applies a novel interdisciplinary approach, which combines: a food systems perspective, theories concerning food system governance, transformation, participation and the creation of transformative futures.

    The four papers each investigate essential elements for transformative change towards sustainable food systems. Each paper represents different empirical cases, but the papers’ theories build on each other. Paper I starts by setting out a transdisciplinary understanding of food systems in terms of structure and dynamics beyond existing frameworks, built on co-design through a science-policy dialogue. It unpacks the idea of sustainable food systems across four elements: nutrition and diet, economic impacts, environmental impacts, and social equity. Paper II explores food systems change, through the case of food banks in Europe; civil initiatives that address food poverty by handing out surplus food parcels. By comparing initiatives from the Netherlands, Italy and Ireland, their transformative impact on food systems is reviewed. Paper III goes on to interrogate the role of participation in change processes. It does this through an assessment of the extent to which participation is properly executed in policy processes that aim to democratise and ‘open-up’ the making of an Urban Food Strategy. It does so by comparing the case of Eindhoven, the Netherlands and Exeter, United Kingdom. Finally, paper IV is focused on how imagined futures affect participatory change processes. It focuses on the use of future-oriented participatory methods, foresight, and their implications for transformative change. The paper contributes to the field of foresight by formulating several levels of ambition for transformative change associated with foresight processes, and a number of different roles for the researcher to take in processes of change. 

    The papers establish a new understanding of food systems, followed by insights into food systems change, the role of participation in change processes, and how imagined futures affect this participation. Together, they demonstrate the benefits of buildingon food system knowledges from, from different spheres – i.e. public, private and civil as well as across different scientific research disciplines. The thesis concludes that a concrete, actionable understanding of how participatory processes focused on present and future food systems, contribute to transformative change in food systems.

  • 3.
    Hebinck, Aniek
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Wageningen University, Netherlands.
    Galli, Francesca
    Arcuri, Sabrina
    Carroll, Brídín
    O'Connor, Deirdre
    Oostindie, Henk
    Capturing change in European food assistance practices: a transformative social innovation perspective2018In: Local Environment: the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, ISSN 1354-9839, E-ISSN 1469-6711, Vol. 23, no 4, p. 398-413Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The food system's decreasing ability to deliver food security has led to the emergence of food assistance initiatives. Food assistance is highly contested; as some argue, it is a failure of the state, while others regard food assistance to be an extension of the welfare state. Either way, research suggests that actors within food assistance are rethinking their role in the food system. In this paper, we study three food assistance initiatives, in the Netherlands, Italy and Ireland, that perform new food assistance practices while embedded in specific institutional contexts, and analyse their potential to transform the food system, drawing on Transformative Social Innovation theory. Building on transition and social innovation theory, this recently developed theory distinguishes different levels within systems, named shades of change, that are associated with societal transformation. By exploring these shades of change in the analysis, we describe aspects of the initiatives' novel practices, and in relation to the initiative and institutional relations their motivations and expectations. We compare the three cases and discuss how food assistance practices relate to and change (or do not change) the food system. In particular, we elaborate on how these three food assistance initiatives contribute in various ways to local food and welfare system innovation. In doing so, we offer a novel perspective on food assistance initiatives. We argue that they show dynamics that have the potential for more substantial transformation towards food security over time, by building momentum through small wins.

  • 4.
    Hebinck, Aniek
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Wageningen University, The Netherlands.
    Page, Daphne
    Processes of Participation in the Development of Urban Food Strategies: A Comparative Assessment of Exeter and Eindhoven2017In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 9, no 6, article id 931Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Urban food strategies are increasingly being used as means to address a multitude of challenges presented by food system failings. The use of participatory approaches has become common practice in the field of urban food systems planning. These approaches are believed to democratize, legitimize and increase effectiveness of addressing challenges. Despite these promises, they have also been viewed as problematic for being unbalanced and lacking accountability. This paper sets out to compare the creation and use of new participatory spaces in two initiatives in two European cities in their on-going attempts to formulate urban food strategies through multi-actor processes. This is explored through operationalisation of two key concepts essential to participatory approaches: participation and accountability. As such, the paper addresses how participatory processes for urban food strategies can be conceptualised when policy making involves the interplay of actors, knowledges and spaces. We conclude that within the two cases, ample attention is given to get a cross-section of the types of participants involved, while accountability is an aspect still under-represented. Based on the two cases, we argue that incorporation of accountability in particular will be instrumental in the development and implementation of more mature urban food strategies. However, it is essential for participatory processes to not completely break from more traditional policy processes, at risk of limiting progress in strategy development and deployment.

  • 5.
    Hebinck, Aniek
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. Wageningen University, Netherlands.
    Vervoort, Joost M.
    Hebinck, Paul
    Rutting, Lucas
    Galli, Francesca
    Imagining transformative futures: participatory foresight for food systems change2018In: Ecology & society, ISSN 1708-3087, E-ISSN 1708-3087, Vol. 23, no 2, article id 16Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Transformations inherently involve systems change and because of the political nature of change, are subject to contestation. A potentially effective strategy to further transformative change that builds on interdisciplinary, multiactor, and multiscalepractices and values is the use of foresight. Foresight covers a wide range of methods to systematically investigate the future. Foresight exercises offer collaborative spaces and have the potential to conceptualize and even initiate transformative change. But there is no clear understanding of the possibilities and limitations of foresight in this regard. This explorative paper builds on foresight and sociology and interrogates the role of foresight in transformative change, building on four cases. These cases are embedded in different contexts and characterized by different organizational approaches and constellations of actors. Nevertheless, they share the common goal of transformative food systems change. By reflecting on the processes that play a role in foresight workshops, we analyze what created conditions for transformative change in these four empirical cases. We have operationalized these conditions by distinguishing layers in the structuring processes that influence the impact of the foresight process. Based on this analysis, we conclude that there are three roles, ranging from modest to more ambitious, that foresight can play in transformative change: preconceptualization of change; offering an avenue for the creation of new actor networks; and creation of concrete strategies with a high chance of implementation. Furthermore, contributing to future design of foresight processes for transformative change, we offer some crucial points to consider before designing foresight processes. These include the role of leading change makers (including researchers), the risk of co-option by more regime-driven actors, and the ability to attract stakeholders to participate.

  • 6. Zurek, Monika
    et al.
    Hebinck, Aniek
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre. University of Oxford, UK.
    Leip, Adrian
    Vervoort, Joost
    Kuiper, Marijke
    Garrone, Maria
    Havlik, Petr
    Heckelei, Thomas
    Hornborg, Sara
    Ingram, John
    Kuijsten, Anneleen
    Shutes, Lindsay
    Geleijnse, Johanna M.
    Terluin, Ida
    van 't Veer, Pieter
    Wijnands, Jo
    Zimmermann, Andrea
    Achterbosch, Thom
    Assessing Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security of the EU Food System-An Integrated Approach2018In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 10, no 11, article id 4271Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Steering the EU food system towards a sustainability transformation requires a vast and actionable knowledge base available to a range of public and private actors. Few have captured this complexity by assessing food systems from a multi-dimensional and multi-level perspective, which would include (1) nutrition and diet, environmental and economic outcomes together with social equity dimensions and (2) system interactions across country, EU and global scales. This paper addresses this gap in food systems research and science communication by providing an integrated analytical approach and new ways to communicate this complexity outside science. Based on a transdisciplinary science approach with continuous stakeholder input, the EU Horizon2020 project 'Metrics, Models and Foresight for European SUStainable Food And Nutrition Security' (SUSFANS) developed a five-step process: Creating a participatory space; designing a conceptual framework of the EU food system; developing food system performance metrics; designing a modelling toolbox and developing a visualization tool. The Sustainable Food and Nutrition-Visualizer, designed to communicate complex policy change-impacts and trade-off questions, enables an informed debate about trade-offs associated with options for change among food system actors as well as in the policy making arena. The discussion highlights points for further research related to indicator development, reach of assessment models, participatory processes and obstacles in science communication.

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