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Interview with Kristiaan Kok on FIT4FOOD2030

FIT4FOOD2030 (2017-2020) was an extensive, international project, coordinated by the VU’s Athena Institute, that supported the European Commission in future proofing European food systems, in line with the FOOD 2030 policy framework. Researcher Kristiaan Kok was involved in the development of participatory methods to actively engage a wide variety of European food system stakeholders in research and innovation.

Why was the FOOD 2030 policy framework developed?
“There is great urgency for a transition towards sustainable and healthy food systems, as the current systems heavily contribute to ecologic problems, such as climate change, as well as to health problems, such as obesity and malnutrition. These societal challenges in the fields of health and sustainability, and the ways in which food systems are organised – from production to consumption – are strongly entwined.

This insight shows that taking a systems perspective within research and innovation processes is crucial, as we have to take these interdependences into account. We need to focus on both the problems and the possible solutions, together with all stakeholders: citizens, policy makers, companies and societal organisations. To strengthen the contributions of such transdisciplinary processes to food systems transformations, the European Commission launched the FOOD 2030 policy framework.

How did FIT4FOOD2030 support the European Commission in their FOOD 2030 ambitions?
FIT4FOOD2030 supported the European Commission in the implementation of FOOD 2030. The project consisted of 16 partner organisations across Europe, both in the academic and the commercial sector. FIT4FOOD2030 mobilised a wide variety of stakeholders and brought them together to reflect on the role of research and innovation within their own local food systems, both for the co-creation of new policy innovations and for the co-creation of educational modules.

Now that the project has finished, I am working om my dissertation on the politics of complex system transformations. I am particularly interested in understanding and guiding transdisciplinary experiments focused on accelerating such transformations, like in FIT4FOOD2030.”

Kristiaan Kok

“Taking a different perspective on our role as scientists in society”