Food as a commons: setting an innovative research and impact agenda for the future of food in the UK

  • Ferrando, Tomaso (Principal Investigator)
  • Claeys, Priscilla (Collaborator)
  • Millner, Naomi (Co-Principal Investigator)
  • Tornaghi, Chiara (Co-Principal Investigator)
  • Vivero Pol, Jose Luis (Co-Principal Investigator)

Project Details


There has been a significant increase in the attention paid to the flaws and incoherence of the industrial food system. Hunger, environmental degradation, malnutrition, exploitation of workers, etc. In response, the use of technology, precision farming, big data, tracking and other forms of material and digital innovation have been presented by many as the way forward.
Our project looks in a different direction, that of commons as old/new forms of social innovation that can be used to build a long-term and resilient alternative to the mainstream food system. Commons is a multi-disciplinary notion increasingly utilized by economists, lawyers, geographers, urban planners and social movements, along with organizations like the World Bank and the FAO. However, the multiplication of uses led to the multiplication of interpretations and applications.
Thanks to the Cabot pump priming funds we will organize two events:
a) a two-days workshop at University of Bristol with academics and non-academics who are actively engage in the study and practice of the link between the commons and the food system. With presentation, interactive sessions and a final roundtable, we will collectively draft a research and impact agenda on the role that the commons (both in their theory and their practice) can play in constructing a socially and environmentally sustainable food system.
b) one recorded webinar to disseminate the main findings of the event, reach out to other geographies and consolidate the network.

Layman's description

Our project brings together practical and theoretical approaches to food as a commons to reflect on the opportunities and main obstacles of this transition, identify the milestones and think of the role of different stakeholders (policy makers, communities, academia, enterprises).
Effective start/end date1/10/1831/07/19


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