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Enseignement scientifique et technique - FNS-M08.2_SASI_Module2 : The World food system, seminar and simulation of negotiation

Domaine > Sciences Economiques, Sociales et de Gestion, Gestion et ingénierie de l'environnement.


The world food system is composed of several economic sectors: agriculture, fishing, aquaculture, food transformation and food distribution. It also entails technological and social innovation, consumer behavior, cultural trends, transportation, energy, chemicals and inputs production, and international trade. Today, the world food system faces challenges that are greater than ever before. Anthropogenic climate change, which is due to many factors, is not only a result but it is also a threat to the world food system. The same phenomenon applies to biodiversity loss. Without a healthy planet, stable ecosystems, micro-organisms in the soil and fish in the ocean, it is not possible to produce and distribute food for humanity and its 7 billion people. During times of intense conflict, such as the war in Ukraine, it is evident that despite sophisticated technologies and economic relations between countries, the world food system is quite vulnerable.

In this context, the world food system must evolve to become more sustainable. This transformation is underway, thanks to myriad innovation and policies at the local, national, regional and international levels. Start-ups, large corporations, local and national governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations have engaged in implementing solutions for a food system which is compatible with climate and biodiversity preservation. However, such solutions must be upscaled and made accessible worldwide.

This course will cover the main issues of the world food system by focusing on its economic, political, environmental, and social aspects. It will approach the world food system in a trans-scalar way, by examining examples of solutions and policies from the local to the global scale. Finally, students who participate in this course will be assigned a role to play in a world food system negotiation. The end of the course will consist in a simulation exercise, in which students will step into the shoes of government representatives, CEOs of corporations, entrepreneurs, activists and scientists, in order to elaborate a strategy for the future of a more sustainable world food system.

Objectifs pédagogiques

Students will learn about the components of the world food system: which stakeholders are involved, how do they interact, how are they interdependent. Students will understand the relationship between the production, transformation and distribution of food and the planet’s ecosystems (climate, biodiversity, soil, forests, marine ecosystems…). Students will also learn about the concrete solutions to a more sustainable food system (technology, social innovation, low tech, consumer behavior…), while practicing public speaking, the art of negotiation, finding a consensus among peers and elaborating a public policy and economic development strategy.

18 heures en présentiel

Diplôme(s) concerné(s)

UE de rattachement

Pour les étudiants du diplôme MS Forêt, nature et société - Management international

There are no prerequisites.

Pour les étudiants du diplôme MS Forêt, nature et société - Management international

Vos modalités d'acquisition :

Group project on sustainable food business or innovation (35%)

Short position paper and negotiation press release (written or video format) (30%)

Participation in the simulation exercise (35%)

Le coefficient de l'UE est : 3

Programme détaillé

Key topics of the course are the following:

  • Farming, agriculture, livestock raising, agroecology, organic farming, climate smart agriculture, biodynamic farming, farm technology.
  • Fishing, aquaculture, fishing methods (selective and non-selective) and innovation.
  • Food transformation, food industry, food distribution, food consumption trends, meat consumption, vegetarian consumption, vegan consumption, GMO and pesticide use.
  • International trade of food products, geopolitical context of food, cultural trends in food production and consumption, labor force and social aspects of the farm and fishing sectors.
  • Climate change, biodiversity, soil health, forest cover, ocean preservation, wildlife, domestic animal welfare.

Méthodes pédagogiques

Seminars, presentations by professor, one or two guest speakers from the field of food (business or policy), simulation of negotiation exercise.
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