Defining the Data Economy for Food Systems: Our First Workshop

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The future of our food systems lies in harnessing the potential of data-driven innovations, and to achieve this, collaboration and collective intelligence are key. As part of the efforts to revolutionise the Data Economy for Food Systems (DE4FS), all responsible partners for the DE4FS definition came together for the first-ever Workshop on July 4th and 5th, 2023, in the charming city of Montpellier.

The Workshop, hosted by Data4Food2030 partner INRAE, saw the convergence of not only the members of the consortium responsible for defining the main concepts of our project, but also participants from different working groups. The event’s hybrid format, incorporating Zoom sessions, played a crucial role in accommodating participants who couldn’t physically attend, ensuring that everyone had the opportunity to be an active part of the various sessions, exercises, and activities.

With the aim of visualising and evaluating the progress made throughout the year across different tasks, planning future activities, and reviewing objectives for the coming years, the workshop proved to be an enriching experience for all involved.

One of the primary goals was to establish a climate of trust and cooperation among the participants, which was successfully achieved through ice-breaking activities and collective intelligence exercises. Under the guidance of Isabelle Piot-Lepetit (INRAE), the WP1 leader, and Vincent Blok (Wangeningen University), WP1 co-leader, the teams delved into a comprehensive progress report on different Data4Food2030 tasks: “Knowledge development on the Data Economy for Food Systems”, “An empirically-informed conceptual framework for the DE4FS” and “Ethical, Legal & Societal Aspects.”

The progress report highlighted the impressive array of work accomplished since the project’s inception.

Some of the noteworthy achievements included:

  • conducting an online questionnaire on Food System dynamics
  • hosting a defining workshop in November 2022 to establish the boundaries of the Food System
  • presenting a common DE4FS definition and conceptual framework to the PSG Meeting in February 2023
  • conducting an extensive literature study in relevant fields such as Philosophy, Economy, Data Economy, and Food Systems
  • organising a Webinar in May 2023 to present the definition and conceptual framework
  • collaborating with all case studies during the WP3 Workshop in Bremen in the same month.

Additionally, the team presented plans for tasks that are yet to commence, such as “Drivers and barriers of the DE4FS” and “Coordination of scientific publications on collective knowledge on the DE4FS” and outlined their scheduled initiation in July 2023.

As the Workshop progressed, it focused on honing teamwork skills to better collaborate on future publications with partners working in other areas of the project. Participants actively engaged in discussions and networking activities, both during and outside the Workshop sessions, fostering a high level of collaboration and proactivity!

Overall, the Workshop turned out to be a resounding success, leaving all participants enthusiastic about the outcomes and the next steps. The collective efforts, dedication, and vision displayed during this event underscored the immense potential of the DE4FS and reinforced the importance of continued collaboration and knowledge-sharing in shaping the future of our food systems. With such a remarkable start, the journey ahead promises to be even more fruitful and transformative.

The future is undoubtedly bright for the Data Economy for Food Systems, and this Workshop has set the stage for even greater achievements in the times to come!

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