Foresight Initiatives

Foresight is increasingly being used by organisations and researchers in the food systems field. Foresight4Food aims to be a hub in this field, particularly by facilitating better coordination among foresight initiatives. The presence of foresight initiatives has been increasing in recent years, and these initiatives often focus on certain aspects of food systems, or specific places. 

This page presents an illustrative view of such recent initiatives on foresight in food systems. It is continuously being updated as new initiatives arise.

Read key messages from 12 key reports produced between 2018-2019.

Institution or InitiativeYearTitleSummary
FABLE Consortium (as part of the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU))2019Pathways to
Land-Use and
Food Systems
The report presents preliminary findings of the FABLE Project for pathways towards sustainable land-use and food systems. The aim is to demonstrate the technical feasibility of making land-use and food systems sustainable in each country.
EAT-Lancet Commission2019Food, Planet, Health: Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food SystemsGlobal initiative to set global scientific targets for healthy diets and sustainable food systems. Prepared by convening 37 leading scientists from 16 countries across diverse disciplines.
World Resources Institute2019World Resources Report: Creating a sustainable food future: A menu of solutions to feed nearly 10 billion people by 2050The report presents a menu of solutions for feeding 10 billion people by 2050 without damaging the environment further. The report provides evidence from extensive research and modelling.
CIRAD, INRA2018Land Use and Food Security in 2050: a Narrow RoadA foresight study on land use of and food security conducted by CIRAD and INRA that combined data analysis with expert workshops. It assessed five dimensions of land use and used hypotheses about future trends to construct 5 scenarios
FAO2018The future of food and agriculture – Alternative pathways to 2050Prepared by the FAO Global Perspectives Studies Team of the Economic and Social Development Department. Provides a quantitative foresight analysis based on three scenarios for linkages between food and agriculture. Quantitative modelling of scenarios was done using FAO GAPS and ENVISAGE. The report provides a very substantial presentation and analysis of key drivers and trends.
Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC)2018Agriculture & Food Systems to 2050 – Global Trends, Challenges and OpportunitiesA book contextualizing the role of agricultural research in addressing the 2030 Agenda. It explores the pressures on global food systems between now and 2050.
The Economics and Ecosystems of Biodiversity (TEEB)2018TEEB for Agriculture & Food: Scientific and Economic FoundationsAn initiative hosted by United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), and coordinated by the TEEB Office in Geneva, Switzerland. ‘TEEB for Agriculture & Food’ (TEEBAgriFood) encompasses various research and capacity-building projects under TEEB focusing on the holistic evaluation of agriculture and food systems along their value chains and including their most significant externalities.
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)2018The Hindu Kush Himalaya AssessmentThe first comprehensive assessment of the HKH region that provides an update on the environmental and socio-economic elements of sustainable mountain development. The content is based on the knowledge over 300 researchers and exports brought together under the Hindu Kush Himalayan Monitoring and Assessment Programme (HIMAP) coordinated by ICIMOD
Africa Growth
2018Foresight Africa – Top Priorities for
the Continent in 2018
The Foresight Africa project is a series of reports, commentaries andts that aim to help policymakers and Africa watchers stay ahead of the trends and developments impacting the continent. Since 2011, the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative has used the occasion of the new year to assess Africa’s top priorities for the year.
APRA Consortium –
2018Agriculture Commercialisation
A five-year research programme, the APRA consortium is aimed at generating evidence on pathways to agricultural commercialization. Funded by DFID, and hosted at IDS, the consortium will provide high-quality evidence and advice generated from work in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Mozambique. The project will explore the consequences of engagement with agricultural commercialization for African farmers in various contexts, and provide insights on their experience in terms of empowerment of marginalized groups, income, inequality, employment, and food and nutrition security.
EU/DG for R&I 2018Food 2030: Future-proofing our
food systems through research and
The publication provides an overview and evidence of how current European research and innovation is contributing to food system transformation. The systemic approach of FOOD 2030 is intended to provide solutions around four key priorities: nutrition, climate, circularity, and innovation. Addressed through investments, research, increased cooperation, it takes a systems approach to food, and focuses on scaling up, innovation, education, and skills. The report provides insight into past and current efforts into building sustainable food systems, and showcases a diverse array of EU achievements in innovation and research.
Global Alliance for
the Future of
2018On true cost accounting and the
future of food
As one of the Global Alliance’s priority Impact Areas, the report outlines the work of the Alliance and its members in advancing True Cost Accounting (TCA) in the context of food. TCA is useful tool in helping understand the impacts of food system activities, and identify better, alternative pathways forward. Making these practices and impacts transparent, decision makers throughout the food system can make decisions that take the sustainability, equity, and resilience of their activities into account. The report highlights some of the Global Alliance’s efforts in TCA across the world, with their member organizations.
World Economic Forum2018Readiness for the Future of
Production Report 2018
The report examines the positioning of 100 countries across different stages of development in influencing and benefiting from the changing nature of production by adopting emerging technologies. Serving as a tool to catalyse dialogue and inform future strategic decisions around development, the report finds that while transforming global production systems will be challenging,
alternative pathways to production, the future may involve major structural changes to global value chains, and new approaches of multi-sectoral partnerships are needed to accelerate change.
Action Against
2017An Outlook on Hunger: A Scenario
Analysis on the Drivers of Hunger
Through 2030
The report provides foresight into the factors that drive hunger and their trajectories through 2030, using structured analysis techniques. The heavy trends include: natural disasters, population density, economic inequality, agricultural systems and agricultural productivity. It identifies the following key drivers that can be more successfully redirected through interventions to affect positive change: conflict, women’s empowerment, food policy, energy policy, climate change policy and adaptation, purchasing power, commodity prices and trade. Five scenarios, based on these drivers, are presented to assist decision makers in strategic planning.
CFS + HLPE2017Nutrition and food systems. A
report by the High Level Panel of
Experts on Food Security and
Nutrition of the Committee on
World Food Security.
Prepared for the CFS 2017, this report analyses how food systems influence nutrition and consumption patterns, and highlights key policies and initiatives with the potential to shape the nutritional, sustainability, and ethical aspects of the food system. The report identifies the major food system drivers that influence nutrition and identifies potential points of intervention in the system. Recognizing the challenges of solving nutritional problems, the report concludes the importance of coordination, dialogue, and an enabling environment with all stakeholders within the food system.
European Political
Strategy Centre
2017Strategic Foresight PrimerThe brief guide on strategic foresight is a useful tool for those involved in turbulent, unpredictable uncertainty, novel, and ambiguous (TUNA) conditions. Designed to be more accessible to the larger foresight community, the guide helps answer critical questions around strategic foresight, advantages and disadvantages of different methodologies, and when foresight is appropriate to use.
GFS2017Horizon Scanning Report: Game
changing developments
in the context of food security
and future research priorities
The key output from the GFS’s Science Advisory Group’s priority questions exercise, this document draws out the key priority research questions relevant to food systems. The group identified keyts and advancements that have affected food security research in the past years, such as global agreements, political and policy-based changes, food-related commissions and groups, funding, and new knowledge. The Group recognized the continual evolution of the food security challenge, and the need for interdisciplinarity and sharing of global issues
IFPRI2017Fish to 2050 in the ASEAN Region
This paper reports on the business-as-usual projections on fish production for the ASEAN region till 2050, using IFPRI’s International Model for Policy Analysis of Agriculture Commodities and Trade (IMPACT). As capture fisheries will continue to grow in the region, it recommends that policy focus should go beyond aquaculture expansion by focusing on fisheries management and governance. Future efforts in improving data sharing and improving the model will provide better foresight for future decision-making.
World Economic Forum2017Shaping the Future of Global Food
Systems: A Scenarios Analysis
The report presents four scenarios for future food systems, meant to drive dialogue on new ways of thinking about the future, and motivating action on key issues. The scenarios are focused around two critical uncertainties around feeding the global population in a sustainable and nutritious way in 2030: market connectivity and demand shift. The scenarios present a number of implications and insights for the future, such as the critical role of consumption, climate change, and the unequal distribution of the effects of innovative technologies. The analysis of the scenarios emphasise the role of responsible and reflexive leadership in creating and securing a resilient, sustainable, and equitable food system.