Growing Talent for a Changing Planet: Innovations in Food System Education (E/SI)

April 30, 2024 14:00 - 15:00 Macleod Hall AView map

The food system is changing and there is a growing demand for graduates with diverse knowledge and skills to excel in an uncertain future. Canadian polytechnic institutes and colleges have a unique role, providing education that combines academic rigour with practical technical skills. At its most basic, the food system connects to SDG 2: Zero Hunger, but almost all SDGs are relevant in some way. Food systems education is a powerful path for students to explore solutions to help meet the SDGs. This panel will examine innovative food systems education initiatives at three CICan institutions: George Brown College (GBC), Dawson College, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU). Panelists will share how their programming has engaged students in solutions-oriented education, research, and action on one of the biggest challenges of our time: feeding a growing population in an era of climate crisis. GBC has launched the first Bachelor of Food Studies in Canada which includes innovative courses, such as Food Movements, where students work as a team to achieve the SDGs. KPU’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems provides training to entrant organic farmers through experiential schools and supports Indigenous communities to advance their food sovereignty. Dawson College students have created a toolkit for advancing food justice and an interactive map of food assets in Montreal. The panel will discuss how food systems education helps institutions meet the SDGs and provides opportunities for students to be part of the solution – a powerful pedagogical tool to mitigate growing rates of eco-anxiety among young people.

Stream: Leading Sustainability

This stream will examine how colleges and institutes can expand their leadership role in contributing to the SDGs and ensuring sustainability across multiple sectors. Sessions will be guided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to include areas like curriculum development, solutions-oriented approaches to applied research, and designing smart green campuses. Sessions will also look at strategies that colleges and institutes are implementing to deliver a just and green transition to a net zero future.


Lori Stahlbrand
Professor and Program Coordinator | George Brown College - Chef School
Caitlin Scott
Professor and Program Coordinator | George Brown College - Chef School
Anna-Liisa Aunio
Professor | Dawson College
Kent Mullinix
Professor and Director of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security | Kwantlen Polytechnic University

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