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Our food systems have performed well in the past, but they are failing us in the face of climate change and other challenges. This book tells the story of why food system transformation is needed, how it can be achieved and how research can be a catalyst for change. Written by a global interdisciplinary team of researchers, it brings together perspectives from multiple areas including climate, environment, agriculture, and the social sciences to describe how different tools and approaches can be used to tackle food system transformation. It provides practical, actionable insights for policymakers and advisors, demonstrating how science together with strong partnerships can enable real transformation on the ground. It also contributes to the academic debate on the transformation of food systems, and so will be an invaluable reference for researchers and students alike. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
Research is a fundamental catalyst for change in our food systems, playing a key role in diagnosing problems, setting empirical targets and pathways, and developing and scaling solutions on the ground. Unlocking the transformative functions of research will require radical changes in the research agenda and the way knowledge is produced and disseminated. Research must be context-sensitive, inclusive, built on long-term strategic engagements, responsive and adaptive to emerging needs, and packaged in accessible formats. In some cases, participatory, action-oriented research with a systems approach can be combined with reductionist, technology-driven approaches to support the behavioural changes required for systems transformation. Additional efforts can unlock and incentivise the transformative attributes of research, including relevant theories of change, strategic partnerships, nested scales approaches, and a creative leadership style.