Towards better, more sustainable food for tomorrow in the Western Balkans

What comes out of 24 hours of brainstorming and team work with multivarious food professionals from 6 different countries with a goal to create innovative solutions for more sustainable food systems in the Western Balkans? In unison: Small is beautiful.

On April 25–26th, the creative community space Public Room in Skopje, Macedonia turned into a buzzing nest of creative food minds. The reason for the unique gathering was Food for Tomorrow, a three-year initiative organised by SI in collaboration with Living Cities, WNEAT and local partners in the region. The initiative aims to give space to talented young people in the Western Balkans and in Sweden to boost sustainable food systems and to raise awareness how food affects our future.

As the clock started ticking away on the 24 hours ahead, a rather gloomy picture was painted before the workshop participants: There is no planet B; we must act now if we are to survive and work with the pressure placed upon us as active agents of a global food system. When faced with such immense and complex challenges, the single individual often crumbles, ´What can I do to make a change?´During the course of 24 hour on an attic at Public Room, one motto ruled ´Small is beautiful´ – it is with little gestures and steps that we are able to move mountains and spark the change we so desperately need for ourselves, our communities, our countries and our world to eat in a way that won’t lead to our own demise.

A few voices from participants: ´Great inspiration, cool to meet so many likeminded people so engaged to create a better future, transforming the world with food´, necessary, timely´.

Towards the end of the 24 hours, the group of 25 participants had been remoulded into four active working groups, each with their respective concretized challenge focus: Biodiversity: Save the bees, Fork to Field: Connecting the urban to the rural, Edible Education: 1000 Reasons why food matters and Heath & Wellbeing: Sustainable diets.

The common denominator for all groups was the premise that we need to reconsider, reconnect and rebuild our infected and disintegrated global food system. The groups will follow up their solutions in real life and are given the option to do so by applying for small seed funding of 1000€. Again, the motto ruled: small is indeed beautiful. The various processes will be followed up, monitored and coached by SI and its collaborators.

Partnerships formed during the project will have eight months to develop and move ahead. The aim of the initiative is to strengthen regional cooperation and to demonstrate local initiatives with global potential. Only when all levels are activated will we be able to bring change in the food framework.

Contact person at SI: Birgitta Tennander email: