During their first meeting in 2019, the Hungarian City Lab considered what competences people in different capacities needed to have to contribute to a future-proof food system. Community members from the local food system, including representatives of CSOs, businesses, research and educational institutions, and policy makers came together to discuss the next steps for their join efforts.

Hungarian City Lab members in discussion on needed competences for food system transformation

In a first step, the City Lab members considered trends and potential breakthroughs in the food system; how these may affect the food system and potentially initiate changes. Out of the extensive list of breakthroughs that have the potential to radically transform our food system, the City Lab members identified three areas to be exceptionally relevant within Budapest:

  • The emergence of new value systems;
  • Community-driven social innovations and social entrepreneurship;
  • Empowered and aware consumers.

In a second step, the City Lab members the focused on identifying those competencies and skills that need to be strengthened in order to achieve the City Lab’s vision developed in 2018. Over 30 competencies were identified including:

  • personal (self-awareness, self-confidence);
  • social (cooperation, flexibility, empathy, etc.);
  • learning (openness, adaptability, etc.);
  • cognitive and problem-solving (complexity management, ability to take initiative, etc.);
  • professional and technical competencies (such as financial knowledge, and the ability to involve stakeholders in research planning and data collection processes, etc.).

As the City Lab will develop educational modules to strengthen the needed skills, the group members have decided to focus on four priorities:

  • analytical thinking;
  • collaboration;
  • future planning and responsible long-term thinking; and
  • the ability to learn.

The brainstorming process for the educational modules proved to be fruitful with common themes and attributes around intelligence styles (interpersonal intelligence and natural intelligence) emerged. The City Lab members agreed to apply an interdisciplinary, or even transdisciplinary approach when possible. Focusing on the development of system thinking abilities was highlighted as crucial aspect in order to support future course members in approaching the food system in its complexity. Finally, the participants agreed that it would be important to maintain and further develop the emerging network and community.

To this end, an online closed group has been set up to facilitate communication between actors active in different areas of the food system and to facilitate the development of new collaborations.

Find out more about the most recent Hungarian City Lab sesion at www.essrg.hu.