It was an honour to host this year’s UN Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS) Virtual Summit 2020 Youth Track. The Youth Track is for individuals who have a passion for sustainability, but may not know where to start or what role they can play, and it is free for all aged 18-25. Themed ‘Decade for Decisive Action: Taste the Change’, the Youth Track focused on food security, one of the pressing issues of our time. As future business leaders and change-makers, youths can – and should be – empowered to shape the future of food.
My favourite segment was the workshop led by food designer, Kirstyn Byrne, also known as @thefooddesigner on Instagram. Such a cool job!! She shared so many exciting and thought provoking projects led by food designers around the world. My favourite: #smogtasting by @genomicgastronomy – check it out!)
Kirstyn also shared how you and I too can be food designers and effect positive change by ‘re-designing’ our everyday lives around food:
1. Have open conversations
Esp with someone that has different diets/beliefs to you. Get curious and listen without judgement. And don’t seek to change someone or tell them what to do. Change lasts longer when people decide to change for themselves
2. Redesign traditionally unsustainable recipes
Give familiar recipes a plant-based twist and encourage others to try them too; or better still, make it for them to try. During pot luck gatherings I usually make plant-based foods – not because I’m vegetarian, but it is a good opportunity to show others how a more sustainable food option could taste good, while having the added bonus of being healthier too (it’s also easier to cook lol!)
3. Support plant-based start-ups
Vote with your dollar where you can. With more people doing so, it signals to the industry where the demand is and they will accommodate.
4. Be advocates
Food is a social activity – you never know who you can inspire simply through your actions
Start by making small changes. They’re easier to maintain. They can make a bigger difference gradually.
I learnt so much from the esteemed speakers who came from all parts of the world to share their expertise. And despite the eco-anxiety many of us are facing, I’m glad to know that there are also many people out there doing meaningful work and leading change in great ways.