In 1975 a visionary named Masanobu Fukuoka (1913-2008) wrote a book, The One Straw Revolution. He was a farmer and philosopher, who foresaw the problems we face today. It was clear to him that the industrialization of agriculture and the seeming ‘progress’ of the last half century was misguided… and yet only now is the rest of the world truly understanding what was so evident to him.
The answers are clear, we know what we need to do.
We need to create a sustainable plan to provide our communities with ethically produced food from smallholder farms, championing seasonal diets from local resources and care for our soil. Now we just have to do it.
For the last 6 months I have been fully immersed in working on a solution for my local community, and in doing so met and listened to so many passionate souls from around the planet who wish to do the same for theirs. Whether those communities are remote rural towns, urban centres or major cities the likes of Oslo, New York, Washington or London. What has become obvious is that if we pool our resources and work together, building sustainable solutions, we can all benefit. Allowing us to connect, collaborate and make a change for the betterment of everyone. Learn from our successes, as well as our failures, creating an open database of knowledge that will allow other communities to follow in our footsteps building on it with each step. Hence the birth of Open Food Network . We are gathering the tools to help others who wish to do the same. Paving an easier road for the benefit of all. We are building a toolkit: databases containing business models, funding opportunities, surveys, open source tools and collaborative works. Now we simply need to gather together to help support our common goal so that years from now, all of these communities will speak the same language and take steps together… we can be the change that is so desperately needed in our world.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the #Food4Cities conference in Copenhagen arranged by Chora Connection. It was serendipitous that I learned about Chora, as my new friend and neighbour Åsmund Seip performed a reading of his poetry at their inaugural ceremony a few months back. After last weeks culminating conference of the EU URBACT project Sustainable Food in Urban Communities here in Oslo, I knew I needed to go… and I am so glad I did.
Mads, the Director of Chora quoted R. Buckminster Fuller (one of my favourites) in his opening speech “You never change something by fighting the existing reality. To change something build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” I knew it was going to be a good day!
Thank you Emil for extending the invitation and thank you to everyone who shared their stories with me, I intend to stay in touch, and hope you will do the same 🙂
For those who wanted more information about our project:
OpenFoodNetwork: the open source platform with which we are in collaboration 🙂
You can learn about the project as well as The OpenFoodFoundation and see how it is working in Australia. The UK team had their inaugural meeting this month in conjunction with a FarmHack event. American and South African OpenFoodNetwork teams are building their projects, and interest has been shown in Argentina, Canada, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, India, Russia, Thailand and Ireland.
It is happening! let us know if you want to be part of it .. be a Passionate Potato right Fia? haha.. yes, I guess you had to be there 😉