I have a vision for a generation of young people, growing up food literate, and contributing to one of the (if not THE) biggest challenges on earth – feeding a growing population healthily and sustainably, against the backdrop of formidable trends that, as the former Government Chief Scientist described them, have the potential to create a ‘perfect storm’.
If we are to rise to this challenge, I believe we have one generation in which to engage sharp young minds, not only to become future farmers, but also the food scientists, agricultural researchers, environmental scientists, engineers, business people, investors and financiers, politicians, voters and consumers who all appreciate the nature of the challenge, and who are all pulling together to create sustainable food systems in the 21st century.
Food generation is also something we do well in Britain. British farmers and growers (and the whole food industry around them) have an incredible story to tell of innovation and invention, resilience, diversity, cutting edge science and deep-rooted tradition and history. There is not an area of the curriculum, at any age, that can’t be enriched by connecting with them. I want today’s children to be able to navigate the complex and dynamic world around them, but also to simply enjoy experiencing and learning about food, farming and the countryside because it’s part of our shared culture, history, landscape and daily reality.
Why the blog?
I don’t get to see all our stakeholders (or even our regional team) as much as I’d like to. And it’s all of you who make FACE the charity that it is. Hopefully this blog will enable us to connect more. I’ll try to regularly share a little of what I’m thinking, test out ideas that we’re exploring, pose some questions for us all to be considering, and respond to what’s going on in the worlds of food, farming, schools, outdoor learning, curriculum, charity governance and all the areas our charity operates in.
I’d love you to respond (in the comments, by email, on twitter, picking up the phone, setting up a meeting,..) with your ideas, reactions, reflections, encouragement or even challenges.
Why start now?
I’ve been at FACE for nearly two years in which time I’ve focused on working with our amazing team on delivering our existing strategy and continuing the good work that my predecessor Bill Graham started and sustained from FACE’s beginning in 2001 to his retirement in 2013.
It’s now time for us to develop our new strategy for 2015-2020 and I want you to be involved. Like any charity, we need to be sharply focused on our mission, while operating in a landscape that is more changeable than ever. Spinning the plates of funding and finance, governance, evidence and impact, HR, communications, and more, stretches us daily. We need to be more intentional, more attuned to our environment and more innovative to meet the needs of our beneficiaries as each year passes. Please join the conversation to help shape this strategy, and support our ongoing work to deliver it.
I aim to blog roughly weekly. If three weeks go by without an update, please challenge me!