IFTF + You
Food Futures Lab
The global food system is reaching human and planetary limits. Chronic disease, rampant food waste, and environmental degradation are creating unprecedented constraints. However, over the next decade, entrepreneurs, farmers, chefs, and eaters will seize new opportunities to respond to these challenges.
IFTF’s Food Futures Lab identifies and catalyzes the innovations that have the potential to reinvent our global food system. Positioned at the center of Silicon Valley, California’s agricultural powerhouses, and the Bay Area’s dynamic food culture, IFTF's Food Futures Lab is embedded in an epicenter of food innovation and have ties to other innovation hubs in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. From this ideal location, we seek to understand the motivations, drivers, and impacts of food innovation, and to align the minds and resources shaping the future of food. We impart a shared understanding of how to take the long-term view—one that encompasses multiple scales, uncertainties, and radically different possibilities for the future of food.
Join us as we collaboratively forecast the future of food.
When you become a member of the Food Futures Lab, we help you make sense of emerging technologies, social behaviors, and scientific breakthroughs that will transform the global food system—and we help you take action toward a more resilient, equitable, and delicious future of food.
The IFTF Food Futures Lab:
- Maps new technologies, social behaviors, and scientific breakthroughs that will transform the global food system.
- Develops foresight based on research and futures thinking methodologies.
- Immerses stakeholders in possible futures through maps, videos, and artifacts from the future.
- Convenes multi-stakeholder exchanges and facilitates creative thinking about the future of food.
- Bridges community initiatives, leading-edge innovators, and large organizations for robust research and collaboration.
- Catalyzes action to make the future today.
2017 RESEARCH—Eating For Change
Transforming the Next Decade Through Food
Why do we eat what we eat? This has never been a simple question. Myriad factors, such as hunger and satiation, cravings and memories, economic means and social practices, shape our food choices. In recent decades, we’ve seen an expansion in the diversity of demands—beyond price, taste, and convenience—we place on our foods. We’re looking to food to achieve transformation for our bodies, communities, and the planet. We’re eating for change. In the next decade, this desire and practice of using food as a lever for change will intersect with big global forces that will reshape the practices, choices, and tradeoffs of future eaters.
We already have new tools that help us eat for change. We have almost limitless information at our fingertips, whether we’re trying to choose a long-term diet to stick with or simply figuring out where to grab lunch. We’re coming to understand the way food impacts health, productivity, and emotional wellness in ways that drive new behaviors in what and how we eat. Concerns about the food system’s impact on people and the planet are creating new standards and demands for sustainability and social responsibility from the local to the global level. But these efforts are just the beginning. Over the next decade, many of the basic assumptions we make about how, when, and why people consume food will be disrupted by forces reshaping our economy, our relationships to our bodies, and the food system itself. In 2016, the Food Futures Lab mapped the landscape for future food experiences, forecasting disruptive shifts in food, the contexts for food experiences, and the known boundaries of what it means to be human. In 2017, we’ll augment these forecasts with a deep dive into the motivations, aspirations, and strategies of eaters around the world as they adapt and seek food that transforms their bodies, their communities, and the planet.
Join IFTF’s Food Futures Lab as we explore how people are eating for change and navigating food choices and experiences in the next decade.
› What new technologies will support food choices, and what are the implications for trust and loyalty?
› What new approaches for engagement with food, food companies, and food systems will emerge?
› What do today’s leading-edge eaters tell us about tomorrow’s new markets and offerings?
› In what ways will eaters’ attitudes and appetites for risk shift?
› How will eaters make tradeoffs between price, convenience, taste, and need for food system transformation?
NEW NEEDS AND WANTS, VALUES AND PRIORITIES, CHOICES AND TRADEOFFS
In 2017, the Food Futures Lab will conduct a deep dive into the motivations, aspirations, and strategies of eaters as they adapt to this emerging world and look to food as a lever for transformation. To gain insight into this future, we will map the strategies that eaters around the world are using to ensure they are eating safe, nutritious, sustainable, and delicious food. We’ll uncover new information authorities—from social media influencers and shopping bots to new tastemakers such as algorithms and chefs—who are shaping food choices and are defining good food experiences for the next decade and beyond. We’ll explore the technologies that matter and how they are adding new layers of information and shaping how eaters seek meaningful and engaging food experiences. And we’ll uncover the leading-edge practices among today’s most innovative eaters to give us a view into new opportunities in the coming decade. The 2017 research will be your guide to eaters of the future.
FORECAST MAP of the leading-edge eater strategies of the next decade, with a set of archetypes of future eaters and food choices for work and productivity, health and wellbeing, taste and novelty, and more. This map will augment the 2016 forecast map and toolkit by giving you a deeper dive into eaters’ aspirations, motivations, and strategies for their food experiences.
CROSS-INDUSTRY FORESIGHT WORKSHOP at IFTF’s Future Gallery in Palo Alto on November 7-8, 2017, to engage in the forecasts to help you draw insights for your own business strategy. This is an opportunity to engage with IFTF researchers, leading thinkers in industries other than your own, and Bay Area innovators, entrepreneurs, and experts. Together, we’ll draw out insights and identify new opportunities and insights that you can share with your colleagues.
EXCLUSIVE WEBEX RESEARCH BRIEFING for your organization to help you socialize foresight with your team and engage directly with the Food Futures Lab about our research and how it may impact your unique organization. These sessions may be recorded to share across your organization.
EXCLUSIVE MEMBERS-ONLY RESEARCH BRIEFING As a benefit of your Food Futures Lab membership, you and others from across your organization are invited to engage with our foresight, draw insights specific to your industry, and identify strategies for action. This is your chance to hear from the Food Futures Lab firsthand about our research and how it may impact your unique organization. We'll also provide resources you can share internally. These briefings will take place in October and November of this year, following our workshop.
REGULAR RESEARCH UPDATES and analysis of the latest signals of food futures, a continuous stream of foresight with regular email briefs that will help you connect your daily decisions to the future more effectively.
Foresight for global food innovators
In addition to our research, we're catalyzing long-term futures thinking with a global network of food innovators. From founding the first-of-its-kind Food Innovation Program with the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and Future Food Institute to shaping challenges at the Food Hackathon: Nutrition for All, our foresight inspires people around the world to build new solutions for urgent food futures. Contact Rebecca Chesney (email@example.com) to learn more about our special projects and how to collaborate with us.