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14 June 2012

SIANI Reporting from the Tällberg Forum 2012

Photo courtesy of

Photo by: Compodium

The Tällberg Forum 14-17 June in Tällberg brought together political  leaders and thought-leaders from around the world to join the conversation, posing the question “How on Earth can we live together? Beyond our imagination”. This annual conversation helps leaders find viable paths in a globalized and interconnected world, and this year the forum began by looking at the transformational role played by evolving technology and knowledge. What futures are emerging, and which do we wish to build?

Report by Ngolia Kimanzu, Swedish Cooperative Centre & SIANI.

Among the major issues discussed was the coming challenge of how to feed the future Global Population of some Nine Billion people. Agriculture is seen as one if not the only solution to meet the challenge. Agriculture is one of the oldest technologies, gathering thousands of years of knowledge on every continent. More than any other human technology, it is deeply integrated with both ecosystems and human health. How are innovations and new thinking brought together as agriculture faces the combined challenges of more mouths to feed and ever more fragile earth systems such as climate change and falling biodiversity?  In the session the following speakers presented their outlook on the Global food system ;  Franz Fischler, Former EU Commission for Agriculture and Fisheries, Austria, Marie-Valentine Florin, International Risk Governance Council, Geneva, Pete Ondeng, East Africa Leadership Institute, Kenya and  Jan Kees Vis, from Unilever, Netherlands .

Possible solution discussed was the need to have a holistic and systems approach, recognising the fact that there is no single solution or silver bullet to rapidly increase and ensure a fair global food supply. We will need a mixture of sustainable production methods and other ecologically adopted conventional production methods. There was agreement on the need to depart from a systems thinking paradigm that integrates the role of state, the market and civil society.

As a SIANI Representative, I highly appreciated the critical role of improving the productivity of smallholder agriculture by building the capacity of smallholder farmers and their organisations. I also noted the important role Farmer and Professional Networks play in policy analysis and scaling up of promising innovative technologies and solutions.

I think that within SIANI we could consider to narrow the ever widening gap between the ecologically oriented and the more conventional visions of agriculture by borrowing a leaf from Tällberg and organising a discussion seminar departing from a systems paradigm.

Video from the event – Vad blir det till middag? Mat till nio miljarder:

To see videos from the Tällberg Forum 2012 please go to:

Tällberg Forum Website