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Food and society

A case study competion for a new agriculture

In search of innovation and creativity, BCFN will promote, together with other institutions, a competition involving young scholars and professionals in the field of sustainable agri-food systems. Save the date of the next European Association of Agricultural Economists congress in Parma, from August 28th to September 1st2017.

If you look for innovative and effective solutions for complex problems, such as those that affect our agri-food system, you should rely on the creativity and inventive of young scholars. That’s why BCFN, together with the Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and the University of Parma, is organizing a “case study competition”, a special event targeted at people younger than 30 years old, that will take place during the next EAAE Congress (European Association of Agricultural Economists)  that will be held in Parma, from August 28th to September 1st 2017 The theme is “Towards Sustainable Agri-Food Systems: Balancing between Markets and Society”. The EEA congress is a triennal event that gathers academics, scholars, stakeholders and policy makers to debate the latest and most pressing issues in agriculture and the food industry, from a local to an international perspective, focusing the attention also on the emerging concerns for society. 

The case study competition

Each team will receive a short case study with the statement of problems an organization faces in relation to challenging issues in the sustainability of food and agriculture. The case will end with a set of open questions. The task of the participating teams will be to address those questions through a presentation, accounting for the case information and suggesting a creative solution that would address the case questions. 

A jury of business managers, scholars and experts in agriculture and food topics will give feedback and an assessment of the teams’ work. Finalist teams will receive an extra-task and will present again in front on a larger audience. The winners will be awarded with the EAAE 2017 Case Study Competition Prize and a representative of the winning group will be invited to attend and present their solution during the Barilla Center Food and Nutrition (BCFN) 8th International Forum

Participants to the case study competition should be either enrolled in any university or be young professional (in academia, business, or non-profit organizations). Students and young professionals can apply either as individuals or as teams of four people, and all participants will be guided by mentors through the competition.

BCFN is devoted to young people

BCFN has the power of youth as one of the main focus points of its activities. Since 2012, the Young Earth Solutions (YES!) competition for young people has selected ten teams (made of up to three contestants) of finalists each year. The contest has evolved since its first edition, with the 2016 edition reaching an even higher qualitative level by calling only for PhD and post-doc level researchers. One of the main outcomes of the YES contest is the creation of the BCFN Alumni Association, which gathers all the finalists of each edition of the YES competition. This further underlines the commitment of BCFN to being a platform where young talents can thrive

Currently, there are 100 members in the BCFN Alumni Association, coming from all the continents and acting as a global network committed to sharing experiences and developing an even stronger impact on changing the food system. The Alumni have taken part to a number of events, networking, disseminating BCFN work and talking about their personal experience with YES; they also carry out their individual research project and use the BCFN Alumni Association as a resource in this sense. In such context, the BCFN Alumni Association is always looking for more opportunities to show the power of youth even in a scientific context

Such competition is only one of the events planned for this year to gather valuable materials to contribute to creating a BCFN Forum that is strongly focused on solutions, an approach that is at the core of BCFN’s plan to work actively to move from theory to practice and to do so also through the ideas and knowledge of the younger generation


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