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Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds Welcome to the course. I’m Bill Davies, and during the next few weeks, you’ll be seeing a bit of me. Hopefully, you won’t get to the point where you feel you’ve seen enough. But I’m not doing this alone. Several of my collaborators from Lancaster University will also contribute. And one of our strong messages is that we’re all in this together. And by that, I mean we all feel we have something to contribute to the food security challenge. We work across a range of disciplines. And our central argument is that we’re not going to address this massive global challenge simply by working within a single discipline. We feel it’s important to be able to collaborate.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds Now we hope that you will get that strong message. But that said, as the course unfolds, we will focus upon different components of the food system. And some of this discussion, by definition, will be disciplinary. The aim of what we’re attempting to do towards the end of the course is to pull this together, to look for ways in which we can make more food available– good quality food, nutritious food, safe food– available to more people, to enable them to have active, healthy lifestyle. You’ll hear those words on numerous occasions as we go through the course.

Skip to 1 minute and 41 seconds And we’ll pull everybody together in the final unit to try to look forward, again, to look for ways in which different components of our food system can work together with people in other areas to make things better for more people. Now I’m a crop scientist, and I’ll talk to you during the first two weeks of the course, both about the magnitude of the challenge, but I’m also anxious to try to show you how I believe crop science can help us produce more food. And my argument is that this will help to feed more people. But of course, it’s not the only story.

Skip to 2 minutes and 26 seconds And other colleagues will come along, particularly Becky Whittle, towards the end of the course and talk to you about a range of social issues which will impact on the access that people have to food. Food may be available, but can people really access it? Can they afford it? Is it distributed effectively? How do they get hold of it? A whole range of issues here. And two other colleagues– Carly Stevens will talk about some of the environmental components of the food system. The fact that, while we may be able to produce more food on this planet, it’s clearly not an option to do this without taking care of our legacy for our children and our children’s children.

Skip to 3 minutes and 17 seconds We can’t produce more food regardless of its impact. And there’s a range of issues here which we’ll delve into in some detail. And another colleague, Jane Taylor, will look at food safety and the important issue of food nutrition– nutrition and health. And well, she will also examine some of the components of food waste. Clearly, a good way of making more food available to more people is for us to waste less. So every week, you’ll see an introductory film and we hope that you’ll find these interesting. We certainly enjoyed making them and we’ve learned a lot. Following the film, you can delve into the issues in more detail.

Skip to 4 minutes and 6 seconds There will be a series of conversations with people involved in different aspects of the food system. And I think you’ll find this discussion of process, in many cases, hopefully, you’ll find it extremely interesting. I know that we have. There’ll be some reading. There’ll be additional websites for you to consult. But a point that I want to make fairly forcefully at this stage is that your commitment to this will inevitably be variable. You will have particular interest. Some of you will know, already, an awful lot about some of these things. And we would expect you to go into the issues in more detail. For those of you with less background, please don’t feel intimidated.

Skip to 4 minutes and 56 seconds There should be material, general interest material, there for you to really delve into as much of the subject as you feel is of interest to you in any particular week. And that may vary from week to week. So I think that’s enough from me. Perhaps just a final point. There’s no correct way to go ahead. There are lots of suggestions from different groups of people about how we can make things better. We want you to make up your minds on these individual issues. There may be some conflicts. And we’d be extremely interested in your perspectives on these. In many circumstances, some of you may know more than we do.

Skip to 5 minutes and 46 seconds And the opportunity for everyone to contribute through the forums, to interact with mentors, to interact with other students, should be a valuable component of this. So please go into that in a positive frame of mind. You may have strong feelings. Other people will have strong feelings too. My strong feeling is that we need to find a way to get people to agree on many of these issues and start to worry about implementation of some of these innovations, some of this technology, some of these changes in behaviour. So if you feel that social science is the way ahead, we need to bring about behavioural change, then make those points.

Skip to 6 minutes and 35 seconds But try to think of ways in which we could take profit from some of the other things that people are proposing. So we look forward to hearing from you and to interacting with you. We look forward, particularly, to the end of the course, where we take profit, I think, from the views of some people– of some visionaries– who are looking ahead and trying to address this really significant global challenge. And we particularly look forward to hearing what your commitment to this challenge is going to be. Thank you.

Introduction from Professor Bill Davies

Welcome to this course

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This video is from the free online course:

Global food security: addressing the challenge

Lancaster University

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