The Forum series 1: Why food & cities
The potentially disastrous challenges facing humanity — climate change, resource depletion and population pressures — seem intractable, overwhelmingly difficult for us to handle.
If, however, we consider our food and food supplies, we have something more tangible to talk about, as well as as subject vital to our well-being, and that of our societies.
Add in a particular geography (Birmingham and its hinterlands) and a particular time frame (2050), and something in our cognition clicks in, makes the huge seemingly intractable challenges we’re facing seem somehow more tractable.
So in the Forum we’ll be learning how to frame qualitatively different questions, and gathering informed perspectives from a wide range of scientists on what we might do in response to these questions; i.e. how we might make the inevitable evitable.
In Carolyn Steel’s Hungry City, she makes the point that food shapes our lives in fundamental ways; it underpins everything. We are, of course, what we eat. And the what and how we eat is part and parcel of our bodies, families, our societies, our cities . . . and our sociability, our joie de vivre.
Do read her thought-provoking book. And/or glean a flavour of her ideas by watching her TED talk below: