Our society is facing an unprecedented global food crisis, as stated by WFP Executive Director David Beasley, due to climate change, conflict, and rising costs of living. In these conditions, meeting current food needs requires more efficient, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable production for the planet, and therefore for society.
The food industry ought to generate the lowest possible impact, but how can this be achieved? Fortunately, technological advances are a breakthrough in this regard. Seizing the potential of such advances presents an opportunity to enhance performance and reduce environmental impact within the food system’s supply chains. Yet the application of technological advances itself does not solve the problem; it is necessary to understand how these changes can be introduced to ensure that the benefits it brings are real.
In this context, social entrepreneurs, relying on digital technologies within the food industry, emerges as a force for this change. This type of entrepreneurship allows the introduction of sustainable innovations (in products, services, production processes, techniques or modes of organization) that contribute to reduce the social and environmental impact of the business activity and help to guarantee the traceability of the food supply chain; ensure the transparency of value chains; contribute to the reduction or eradication of waste; and change the mentality of consumers towards more sustainable habits.
Currently, entrepreneurs are developing or incorporating technologies such as artificial intelligence, computer vision and the internet of things into the food industry but have not yet caught up with the rapidly advancing changes that face society. Players that are able to bring these challenges are needed for the progress of this industry.
To fully achieve the above objective, entreYOUTH will offer an in-depth curriculum for youth that will cover basic notions on entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship and how to integrate digital technologies to foster sustainable and circular urban food entrepreneurship, among other concepts to achieve this change.