Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

  • 25 November 2020

The next generation of food system leaders: IFSTAL teaching programme launches for 20/21

Image: Africa Studio / Adobe Stock

With diverse backgrounds and a common interest in the food system, more than 180 participants from around the world attended the online launch of the IFSTAL teaching programme 2020/21.

An innovative, free-to-access teaching programme that gives students the skills to bring about change in the food system, IFSTAL launched for its sixth year in October 2020.

Coordinated from the Environmental Change Institute in the School of Geography and the Environment, the IFSTAL programme is a partnership of five institutions that brings students together to collaborate and complement their studies with skills in systems thinking, networking and communication.

The aim is to give students the skills necessary to tackle serious problems in our current food system, including malnutrition, food insecurity and environmental damage.

More than 180 participants from around the world attended the online launch which featured several guest speakers who currently work in the food system as well as alumni from previous years.

One of the guest speakers was SoGE alum Jimmy Woodrow, who is the Acting Executive Director of the Pasture Fed Lifestock Association (PFLA). He spoke about how IFSTAL's core objectives of working collaboratively, building capacity within systems and viewing a system holistically are essential to building the resilience that is much needed in the food. system. He also reflected how he would have loved to have benefited from the IFSTAL programme as a student.

Welcoming the virtual audience, IFSTAL Programme Leader Dr John Ingram, who is based in the ECI, remarked how IFSTAL had attracted interest from far and wide. Registrations came from students of Anthropology of Food to Zoology and from cities around the world.

Image: Rebecca Tobi

A screenshot from Rebecca Tobi's presentation.

For 2020/21, students from Oxford, the University of Warwick, the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) will work together.

The first IFSTAL workshop takes place in November, with all workshops to be held online until face-to-face events are possible. Students and the IFSTAL team will also collaborate via the Canvas virtual learning environment, which is hosted at Oxford.

For more details about the programme, visit the IFSTAL website or watch the launch webinar.

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