Our TFF Regional Coordinator Team – comprised of 17 next-gen food and agricultural changemakers spanning 7 regions of the world – shares their perspectives on what is to come in the decade ahead.

“As we leap into 2020, youth activism continues to surge globally. This new decade belongs to us – the leaders of the next generation. Now is our chance to stop talking and start acting, so that we can be the ones to finally build a sustainable and inclusive food system that feeds and nourishes 10 billion people.” – Annora Mack, TFF Community Lead

  • Meat is being grown in the laboratory, oils are being extracted from insects, and microbes are making our soils and foods healthier!

    Morris Opiyo

Industry Reinvented

The food industry, which was largely an oligopoly and slow to change, has given a rapid rise to the creation of jobs, more nutritious products, and solutions to increase sustainable production. The internet has created more access to information, which has catalysed the creation of more food startups. I’m excited to see how creating and commercialising new solutions will influence how we attain the SDGs. Ayna Arora, USA (East Coast) 

We have built a food system that doesn’t prioritise our land, our health, or our future. As a consumer, it is still too easy to buy plastic-covered vegetables, in plastic bags, shipped in polluting vehicles, and cooked over a gas or fossil-fuel-powered stove. Meanwhile, producers face increasing expenses for the stock, feed, and water they need, in worsening, anxiety-producing environmental conditions. The next decade will be about solving these challenges collaboratively by integrating ideas and working across sectoral and disciplinary boundaries. – Brittany Dahl, Oceania 

Today, things that were not even dreamed of by past generations are occurring. Meat is being grown in the laboratory, oils are being extracted from insects, and microbes are making out soils and foods and healthier. Morris Opiyo, East Africa 

  • Our world's young people have woken up to climate change, and we have united globally to solve it.

    Utsav Soni

Food as a Climate Solution

Climate change is certainly one of the biggest challenges we will have to tackle, and the food and agriculture industry is in a unique position to stop being part of the problem and lead the way as the solution. The 2010s will be considered the decade of social awareness and information and the 2020s will be the decade of social participation and action. We have to move on from simply learning about problems to acting, solving, and eventually preventing them. Adrian Garcia Casarrubias, Central America 

We need to set out on a fundamentally different track in order to solve massive challenges such as the current food insecurity crisis, the destruction of ecosystems, or the extinction of wildlife. Less than a month ago, the EU parliament declared a climate and environmental emergency. This is going to be the decade of action. Maeva Dang, Europe

For 200 years we’ve been trying to conquer nature, now we’re beating it to death. Humanity is on the march forward, but our Earth is being left behind. In this next decade, we have a chance to change this, and to leave a positive footprint on the planet. Our world’s young people have woken up to climate change, and we have united globally to solve it. Utsav Soni, Asia and Middle East

  • It's incredibly motivating to join a movement like TFF that is focused on youth, positivity, and innovation - because it's exactly what the world needs right now.

    Brittany Dahl Geospatial Consultant at Geoplex & TFF Regional Coordinator

Youth Take Over

The youngest generation doesn’t have the luxury of time anymore. Speed and perseverance will be the drumbeat of the new era, but not the “move fast and break things” of the previous 10 years. We now have an implicit understanding that the world is broken, and it is our lot to fix it. – Elliot Roth, USA (West Coast)

The next 10 years will see that policies and politics come to be in synergy with food and the environment, and that youth are (finally) at the centre of future decisions. As young leaders, let’s plant seeds of hope in the present to impact the generations that come after us. We need to start by asking the hard questions, raising our voices, and questioning the established norms. Luke Smith, Caribbean

It’s incredibly motivating to join a movement like TFF that is focused on youth, positivity, and innovation – because it’s exactly what the world needs right now. Organisations willing to invest in change, along with a serious discussion about the future, that can result in tangible solutions by and for people who don’t have a vested stake in maintaining the status quo. Brittany Dahl, Oceania

Young people are changing the prevailing mindsets of business. We accept with more love and empathy the diversity of gender, skin colours, sexual options, body shapes, and dietary options. We are now seeing that businesses are taking actions that reflect our values and purpose, and this will continue to increase in the next 10 years. Jéssica Tambalo, Brazil 

Youth has all the necessary tools, vision, passion, and possibilities, which, together, will change the trajectory of this and future decades. For the first time in history, our young people are empowered to think on their own, raise their voices for the injustices, and fight for the changes they wish to see in society. – Utsav Soni, Asia and Middle East

  • In the next 10 years, making a positive impact will become routine in all aspects of business.

    Jessica Tambalo

Local Solutions through Global Collaboration 

The 2020s come upon us with opportunities to create localised solutions in food and agriculture in an increasingly interconnected, international world. Matt Foley, USA (Central) 

Let’s brace ourselves! The next decade will see a surge of youth leadership, with wide-ranging innovations catalysing more change than ever. I expect a high level of multi-disciplinary, global collaborations to drive robust, resilient, and sustainable food solutions – from the biotech labs to consumer tables in every corner of the planet. Maame Manful, West Africa 

There is truth being uncovered online, in counterculture conference centers, and in cities across the world. Connection and collaboration is the new name of the game; changing consumption into creation, and  turning spectators into participants. – Elliot Roth, USA (West Coast)

Global change begins within our own homes, neighborhoods, cities, and countries. For the next 10 years, the next generations will continue to collaborate, network, and innovate to bring improvements to those who need it most. Making a true positive impact will become routine in all  aspects of business. Jéssica Tambalo, Brazil 

Young men and women from different academic backgrounds, races, locations, and beliefs are working together in ways that we haven’t seen before. I am convinced that by remaining open-minded, today’s youth will bring the energy, zeal, and willingness to learn that will lead to lasting and impactful solutions for all of our global challenges. Morris Opiyo, East Africa 

  • Redesigning our systems and society around sustainability takes bravery and imagination.

    Maeva Dang Project Engineer at White Lioness Technologies & TFF Regional Coordinator

And Finally, Some Motivating Advice 

We must not fear to dream, to try, or to fail. Redesigning our systems and society around sustainability takes bravery and imagination. Maeva Dang, Europe 

The TFF community has opened up my mind and heart to the possibilities found in the farthest reaches of the world. With the help of the people I have met here, I went on to get additional funding, customers and partners. – Elliot Roth, USA (West Coast) 

We are now working towards something bigger- for all of us; and as youth, we hold the power to bring change. If anything, I am hopeful stepping into 2020 because each one of us has the chance to make an impact in our communities and see the effects ripple. – Ayna Arora, USA (East Coast)

No matter which injustice is close to your heart, let us bring with us grit, perseverance, and multispectral thinking into the new decade, as we band together for our world and the future! San Wen Ngei, Malaysia 

Here’s to a new decade marked by radical collaboration, positive impact, and next-gen innovation!

Illustration by Rafaela Spangenthal