The Global Center for Food Systems Innovation (GCFSI) Development Lab is one of the eight new members of USAID’s Higher Education Solutions Network. It is led by Michigan State University. The multidisciplinary activity will engage academics to research emerging mega-trends affecting global food systems: initially on population growth, rapid urbanization, climate change, pressures on land, and workforce development. Research outputs, a Data Analysis Center, grants, and student training through the “Translational Scholar Corps” will help to identify solutions on GCFSI’s solutions not only for development programming but also agro-industry businesses, farmers, traders, and other food system workers worldwide. At the First Symposium on Food Systems Innovation on August 22-23, 2013 in East Lansing, MI, the first set of White Papers were presented:
•Megatrend 1: Population Growth, Climate Change, and Pressure on Land.
•Megatrend 2: Rapid Urbanization and Transformation of the Food System.
•Megatrend 3: Evolution in Skills Required by Food System Transformation.
•ICT4D: Information and Communication Technology for Development in the area of Food Systems Innovation.
Deborah Rubin, Digest Project Coordinator, attended the meeting at the invitation of the GCFSI to contribute to the next phase of the Development Lab’s work program, in particular as related to the cross-cutting theme of gender and identifying potential synergies with the Feed the Future Innovation Labs for Collaborative Research.