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Transforming our food systems will require changing our innovation systems, in which organisations on agricultural research and innovation can play a crucial role. Key success factors for change can be organised into three dimensions: designing and managing transformative innovations, culture and structures of innovation organisations, and their engagement with the wider innovation ecosystem. Failures are crucial elements of innovation processes. Rapidly testing, sharing, building on, and learning from successful, and failed, innovations are key. This connects to the paradigm ‘Open Innovation 2.0’, which is widely applied in the private sector but not yet applied and evaluated for research and innovation organisations in the public sector or tertiary education. Four key principles emerge, namely big-picture action-oriented thinking, entrepreneurial organisational culture, close attention to partnerships and contexts, and diverse investment portfolios, with different levels of risk. These also imply—and require—the upstream transformation of funding and incentive systems.
Organisational empowerment is a critical pathway to support the sustainable transformation of food systems, mediated through different types of organisations. Collective action can be an effective strategy to include marginalised groups who may otherwise be excluded from agricultural development, extension, financing, or other aspects of climate-resilient food security. Key empowerment actions by farmer and producer organisations include building capacity, supporting greater access to inputs and information, facilitating the formation of agricultural enterprises, connecting to policy and markets, and encouraging youth membership and leadership. A focus on livelihoods, production, and poverty reduction can be a basis for increased agency and influence in decision-making. Women’s collective action is a platform to access information, technology, and a share of finances, which can lead to agency and leadership in local decision-making. For youth organisations, it is important to mobilise finance, provide support to post-production activities, support rural youth networks and recognise the role of young women in food systems.
To meet climate targets, a shift to low-emission diets that also support health and sustainability is necessary. A high-impact target is to reduce red meat consumption by 50 percent by 2030 in high- and middle-income countries based on the 2019 EAT-Lancet diet. Actions to lessen animal-based meat consumption could cut dietary emissions by 3–8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year (Table 9.1). Scaling up plant-based meat will require viable products, low costs, effective public policy to catalyse change, and strong markets. The priority actions are to facilitate consumer behavioural change for large segments of populations, promote policy targets and actions for reduced-meat diets in high- and middle-income countries, use public-private finance to improve alternative meat product nutrition and sustainability, and enhance affordable technology and business options.
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