Using foresight to build food systems capacity

By Shem Omasire, Daniel Odediran, and Fisayo Oyewale (hub focal point)

In November, we attended a week-long capacity-building workshop hosted in Naivasha, Kenya, on foresight and food systems. We represented the Next Generations Foresight Practitioners’ (NGFP) Rural Futures hub, one of the four sectoral hubs within the NGFP network. Capacity building is one of the hub’s three main approaches, in addition to advocacy and convening. The workshop, hosted by Foresight4Food and supported by Mastercard Foundation, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), African Food Fellowship, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), focused on leveraging foresight for food systems change, using Naivasha’s horticultural sectors as a case study, drawing over 50 participants. 

Passy Amayo Ogolla, NGFP’s Advocacy Lead and Africa Network Weaver, delivered a compelling presentation on scenario use in futures projects and the impactful role of animations in broadening the accessibility of foresight outputs, emphasizing its democratizing aspect in engaging diverse audiences. This aspect corroborates with a comment made by SOIF Founder, Cat Tully, at the recently concluded Dubai Futures Forum, where she mentioned that foresight is about “empowering people to use ideas about the future to create change.” 

SOIF and NGFP emphasize the influence of networks, exemplified when a Rural Futures Hub member, Shem, received an invitation to join another food systems workshop in Machakos, Kenya the subsequent week. This event, the Utafiti Sera Workshop, organized by the Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR) with support from IDRC, delved into pivotal policy matters addressing worldwide challenges like hunger, poverty, and the climate crisis.

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