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Food Citizens? at the EuroScience Open Forum 2020 Trieste

Image from ESOF Forum programme page.

On September 2nd, 2020, Cristina Grasseni and the Principal Investigators of two other ERC – funded ‘Consolidator’ projects (namely Oksana Mont of Lund University and Anna Davies from Trinity College Dublin) presented at a panel convened by the European Research Council at the EuroScience Open Forum 2020 (ESOF), on the theme Sustainable Future. Coordinated and chaired by Annekathrin Jaeger of the European Research Council Executive Agency, the panel was held online and remotely coordinated from the host city of Trieste. Under the motto Freedom for Science, Science for Freedom, the panel focused on ‘sharing’ and ‘caring’, asking if local practice can turn into transformative change in a collaborative economy. To watch the panel discussion, you can follow the link below:

Panel discussion ESOF Forum 2020

The 'Food Citizens?' presentation in the online panel of ESOF 2020.

Presentations from the projects ‘Urban Sharing: Sustainability and Institutionalisation Pathways’,Sharecity: Assessing the practice and potential of urban food sharing’, and ‘Food Citizens? Collective Food Procurement in European Cities: Solidarity and Diversity, Skills and Scale’ offered insights  respectively from Industrial and Environmental Economics, Geography, Environment and Society, and Cultural Anthropology on innovative practices, sustainability potentials and governance implications of collaborative approaches to using and reusing products and services (not only) in food procurement. The full panel description can be found here.


18 themes spread in 3 tracks to cover a wide spectrum of current issues at the interface between science, industry and society. Image from ESOF website, August 2020.

Discussion focused on the potential and limitations of the case studies analysed across the three projects, but also on the multiple and sometimes ambivalent meaning of ‘sharing’ in a multiplicity of diverse contexts. In particular, while food security is of paramount concern in future sustainability scenarios, food governance and food sovereignty also have to find a space at the table when designing solutions to global concerns. The Food Citizens? presentation offered work-in-progress insights from fieldwork, concluding how forms of collective food procurement can be seen not only as an innovative approach to sustainable consumption and waste prevention but as grassroots styles of societal participation that feed back into - and in turn mirror - styles of (food) procurement. 

The ESOF Trieste concluded by handing over to the next organizing committee for the upcoming ESOF 2022 in Leiden, which will be European City of Science!

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