Food is essential to life. It also forms an important part of our cultural identity, and plays an important role in the economy, as said on a report from European Commission. ‘Food systems contribute 19%–29% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions’ according to Annual Review of Environment and Resources. Therefore, addressing food challenges will contribute to some central topics of EU, especially Horizon2020: Climate and environment, cultural integration and a more dynamic and vigorous economy.
So the question is where to start? Our answer is each individual adult learner who want to learn how they can take actions to combat food problems. Our reasons are based on both theories and pratices. From a theory aspect, social changes and innovation follow a social diffusion model which starts with early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards. If we can follow this pattern and have individual adult learner to act, all actions will spread through the whole society. From a practice aspect, this project is based on a pilot food program where we engaged more stakeholders in a community, namely, food producers, food processors, food distributors, industrial kitchens, individuals and local authorities. This pilot project shows that each individual person is more effective to take actions and a certain amount of active individuals are able to influence the other actors on a community level.
So the primary target group of this project is all adult learners in EU who want to learn what they can do to address food challenges. Therefore, the first intellectual ouput will be a self-learnig workbook for individual adult learners. This workbook will be different from other similar workbooks because we will use an innovative pedagogical method to design the workbook. The method is innovative because it aims to produce long-term impact and life-long learning experiences through action and measurement. This method is based on our decades of work with education for sustainable development, especially informal/normal adult education. It looks at a circular learning experience, as opposed to linear learning. Our research together with research institutes, such as Leiden Univeristy and Swedish Centre for Education for Sustainable Development, shows that ‘care-finding information-taking actions-seeing results-caring more-finding more information’ model will empower individuals to take real actions.
But this book will not come alone. We will produce two complementing intellectual outputs: training modules for coaches and one online library.
FAct! or Food Actions! is a project funded by EU within the Erasmus+ program. It’s a participatory learning program that empowers households to have more sustainable food habits. Read more on the Erasmus+ projects website.