The Second Annual Stockholm Food Forum was held on June 1-2, 2015. The Forum, which is organized and hosted by the EAT Initiative, hosted representatives from a global community of stakeholders in food, health, and sustainability. EAT founder and leader Dr. Gunhild Stordalen opened the EAT Stockholm Food Forum by calling for collective health, climate and environmental action in 2015. Referring to her battle with illness, Dr. Stordalen stated that her time perspective had changed. She stressed the urgency of turning knowledge into action: “let’s get to work…and force action.”
SDSN Leadership Council member Johan Rockström, Chair of the EAT Advisory Board, reminded the audience that they were faced with “the most important agenda of our time: how to feed 9 billion people with healthy diets within planetary boundaries.” Speakers at the Forum included the Prime Ministers of Sweden and Norway, along with other leaders from governments, the private sector, and civil society.
SDSN Director Jeffrey Sachs highlighted the complexity of agriculture and the food system. Sachs noted that agriculture is a driver of global change through resource depletion and greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, environmental stresses, exacerbated by climate change, affect the resiliency of our food systems. He argued that this interconnected agenda must simultaneously address agriculture, nutrition, health, and the environment. Sachs described the EAT initiative as a “unique opportunity to build a community” of thousands of actors who together could transform the global food system.
Together with the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the Oslo-based Stordalen Foundation initiated EAT as an international consortium of governments, academic and research institutions, philanthropic foundations, non-government organizations, and businesses. These partners share the common understanding of the need for collective action to ensure healthy diets from sustainable food systems. SDSN is partnering with the EAT initiative to promote evidence-based research, advocacy and action. Emerging from this Forum was a commitment by SDSN and EAT to collaborate on the development of a global food systems database and a thematic report on the state of global food systems.