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Harnessing the Power of Youth to Transform Food Systems for Health and Sustainability

Held online, The City Food Symposium 2020 consisted of a series of publicly available short talks from young food system leaders, with an audience Q&A for discussion panellists in the evening.

by Shamim Quadir (Senior Communications Officer)

In the midst of a climate emergency, and with poor diets established as the world’s leading cause of ill-health, the need for effective and equitable public policy to transform food systems for health and sustainability has never been greater. At the same time, the voices of youth demanding change are getting louder. How can these voices be heard and included to drive the policy changes needed?

Held online this year on Thursday the 8th of December, the City Food Symposium heard from young food system leaders in the UK and internationally through a series of short talks that were made available to view online on the day, and which were followed by a live, online Q&A session with some of the speakers held in the evening.

The aim of the symposium was to give young leaders a platform, provide a taster of youth leadership in the food system, and lay out some of the key issues and questions to be addressed at a larger, in person event in 2021 (TBC).

It also provided the perfect opportunity for anyone interested in engaging with youth policy, advocacy and research to join the conversation.

Professor Corinna Hawkes, Director of the Centre for Food Policy, and who led the event, said:

The talks and Q&A are a must view for anyone who wants to better understand why and how youth need to be engaged to shape a more effective food system. I was blown away by what I learned from them.

The City Food Symposium 2020 event was generously supported by the Worshipful Company of Cooks.

Youth leader short talks

Watch the series of short talks by young food system leaders on ‘Harnessing the Power of Youth to Transform Food Systems for Health and Sustainability’ on YouTube (46 minutes):

Speakers include:

  • Pierre K. Cooke Jnr, Youth Voices Technical Advisor, Healthy Caribbean Coalition
  • Ben Ebbrell, Founder and Chef, SORTEDfood
  • Tasha Mhakayakora, Youth Board Co-Chair, Bite Back 2030
  • Amanda Namayi, Youth Advocate, Zero Hunger
  • Emily B. N’Dombaxe Dola, Storytelling Director, Youth4Nature
  • Kajal Odedra, UK Director, Change.org
  • Mafalda Gonçalves, Pedro Gonçalves and Zuzanna Burzynska, members of the CO-CREATE Youth Declaration Task Force
  • Lianne de Bie, Director, Slow Food Youth Network (SFYN) Netherlands

Q&A with panellists

You can also watch a recording of the Q&A session chaired by Professor Hawkes on YouTube (1 hour 30 minutes):



Find out more

Visit the Centre for Food Policy webpage

Follow the Centre for Food Policy on Twitter

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