Today concludes a week that has seen the celebration (for us) of essential days: World Tourism Day, World Food Waste and Loss Awareness Day, and the birthday of Future Food Institute, which was established on 09/30/2014.
We enter our 10th year today: the feeling is of new journals on which to write a better story (while we are all intent on figuring out where we are going). It is the beginning of a new decade that inevitably forces us to face deep and hyper-connected crises urgently, a highly complex future crucial for humanity’s tomorrow.
For the past few days, the word “awareness” has continually emerged in every one of my conversations and reflections, which immediately connects with projects, ideas, and thoughts that speak of waste, acceptance, resources, responsibility, freedom, and the future.
I start from “waste” and realize that, in a world where abundance and famine coexist, every wasted thing, every wasted relationship, every wasted human being, as well as every wasted food represent not only an economic loss and environmental and social damage but also a missed opportunity.
And I think of tourism, which is “welcoming”, which today, sometimes unknowingly, becomes that spark, that real cultural revolution, capable of triggering a chain effect. Because from there come very concrete phenomena:
The fight against depopulation or the social desertification of places.
The biodiversity protection, with the enhancement of the local food and wine heritage and every dormant resource.
The re-cultivation of uncultivated rural areas.
The care of our historical heritages.
These elements can help us enhance dormant resources and pass on our traditions, ferrying them into the future.
Today, with growing awareness, a new mindset, local actions guided by integral ecological development, with rootedness to deep roots, and with the long-term vision that is driving the authentic energy and digital transition, we must take action to live agriculture, agribusiness, and tourism as “guiding tools” for strategic development planning, capable of nurturing quality relationships, caring for the ecosystem, honoring history and generating prosperity.
And, finally, I think about the next ten years: the depleting vital resources (soil, water, biodiversity) and the fact that, precisely on its International Day, perhaps it is time to stop telling ourselves that “tourism,” as well as the food and wine sector, are “Italy’s oil.”
“Oil” and extractive, non-regenerative economic models, we now know where they have led us.
Awareness is the key to understanding ourselves and the world around us. It is the act of being present in the “here and now”; it is the necessary element to understand what is going and what is not going, and to decide to change habits, to decide to break patterns, to choose, to take “responsibility”; to decide to take care of something.
Awareness encourages us to process and respond rather than react to external stimuli, giving us the freedom to choose. Freedom.
Awareness points the way, while freedom of choice allows us to walk it not by acting without limits but by recognizing our responsibility in every choice.
In ten years on the path, we at Future Food Institute have adopted many “guiding tools,” but always toward this same goal, for the benefit of all, no one excluded, always seeking authenticity.
I go back over these ten years in my mind. In the beginning, we felt a bit alien. Ours is a short but very intense history, always discovering new frontiers: the global missions, the hundreds of challenge-hackathons, and the many totally revolutionary innovation projects born in our Living Labs; the tens of thousands of girls and boys trained around the world and for the past few years at the Paideia Campus in Pollica; the work with start-ups and the support of innovators and “outliers” that we love so much; the food diplomacy campaigns aimed at supporting new and fairer policies; the relentless study that has been fueling our endless curiosity to unravel the longevity algorithm for the past few years; the hard-fought reflections on “where innovation is going.” It seems we have done so much, but it is not enough. Awareness has indeed improved today, but the challenges and urgency have increased.
This is also why we have decided to inaugurate a new chapter of the Future Food Institute by welcoming Simone Schiassi to our team. After many years of professional and personal growth abroad and his extraordinary experience of thirteen years at Google as Global Director of Strategy and Food Operation, Simone has decided to “try to change the world” (I quote him ) to build the “future” together with us.
I, we, look forward to it.
The “Future” — even in food — “belongs to those who make it.”
Read the full article on Medium.