FOOD SOLUTIONS INSTITUTE ESTABLISHED AT BABSON COLLEGE; FOOD SOL TO USE THE COUNTRY’S TOP ENTREPRENEURIAL PROBLEM SOLVING STRATEGIES TO DRIVE SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEM INNOVATIONS

The Food Solutions Institute (Food Sol) has been established at Babson College to catalyze sustainability- and socially-oriented innovations in the food system.

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The Food Solutions Institute (Food Sol) has been established at Babson College to catalyze sustainability- and socially-oriented innovations in the food system.
  
Food Sol was co-created by Cheryl Kiser, Executive Director, the Lewis Institute for Social Innovation & Babson Social Innovation Lab, and Rachel Greenberger M’11, Food Sol’s Director. 

“Food Sol is an ‘action tank’ – bringing together thought leaders from across the food and beverage industry to actively contribute to the evolution of the global food system,” said Kiser.  “From large corporations to small businesses, Food Sol will convene and support efforts to redesign our food system and solve some of our most pressing problems.”

What Are Big Food Dilemmas?
 
The number and scale of dilemmas linked to the global food system are complex, intertwined and daunting, but they are not insurmountable. As a global community, we are faced with, among others:
 
• healthcare challenges based on both scarcity and overconsumption 
• dwindling global supply and distribution imbalances
• land and water degradation 
• increased energy demands and climate change implications
• questions of food safety
• inefficient and unsustainable government subsidies
• economic and regulatory pressures that threaten family farms
• health and environmental concerns exacerbated by concentrated animal feeding operations
• antibiotic-resistant bacteria entering the human population through the food chain, and
• inequitable labor practices and standards
 
Food Sol at Babson College
 
Food Sol at Babson College enters with a unique offering: use the country’s top entrepreneurial problem solving strategies to drive sustainable food system innovations.
 
“Babson’s creative reasoning (ET&A) quite resembles sitting down to dinner. This is because people think and act the same way we eat: in bite-sized pieces. Although the Big Food Dilemmas may seem overwhelming, when dynamic, innovative thinkers sit down together – armed with proven entrepreneurial process – they can design and scale change. Scaled change has the potential to become the new norm,” says Greenberger. 

 
Food Sol in Action at Babson
 
• Navigating the Big Picture: the Food Sol Map is a navigational tool that allows the user to zoom in closely on a particular subcategory of the global food system, or zoom out to see the entire food landscape. It is the first of its kind to intelligently link together what are now highly fragmented pieces of a massive and complex food system into a single cohesive picture – one built on the expertise in the field.  The map’s visual design will effectively engage wide swathes of our community:  from experienced food professionals to the consumer who will be relying on their efforts."
 
• Enterprise-wide knowledge and cross-sector relationships allow Food Sol the unique ability to align interests, raise awareness and fuel results.
 
• Engagements: Food Sol employs the UnCommon Table™ approach of creating breakthrough interactions between both the usual and unusual stakeholders around  an issue that leads  to social innovation. Coupled with Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® and Entrepreneurship of All Kinds™, Food Sol convenings support a radical shift from adversarial, zero-sum thinking to alliance-focused, abundance thinking. The right set of partners and the right approach can drive significant, lasting change in any sector.
 
• Providing the way in: Food Sol demonstrates the possibilities for where both consumers and business people can impact food system dilemmas and innovations with potential.
 
• Creating economic sustainability: Combining the social and environmental aims of food system redesign with proven economic strategies ensure that new designs hold.
 
 
Food Day Celebration – October 24th, 2011
 
On October 24, Food Sol is organizing one of the region’s premier celebrations of Food Day at Babson College.   By creating forums that provide “digestible” entry points into the food debate and  catalyzing authentic exchanges between concerned eaters and the food companies that provide for them, Babson’s Food Day will offer practical and tangible ways for students and community members to learn and think  critically about their food choices.  
 
• 12-2 pm,  Marketplace of Great Food and Great Ideas,  Park Manor Lawn 
• 2:15-3:15 pm, “Outstanding in their Fields” – on the business of farming, Olin Hall
• 3:30-5:30 pm, Food Solutions: live cases from the field, Olin Hall 
• 6-8 pm, The Apple Pushers, a Mary Mazzio film, Sorenson Theater http://www.applepushers.com/
 
 
About
 
• Food Sol http://foodsol.org 
• Twitter: @Food_Sol  
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/foodsol 
• Lewis Institute: http://www.babson.edu/Academics/centers/the-lewis-institute/Pages/home.aspx 
• Rachel Greenberger’s Examiner.com blog: http://www.examiner.com/sustainable-agriculture-in-boston/rachel-greenberger

By Barbara Spies Blair, blairb@babson.edu, 781-239-4621 | 10/14/2011 03:00