Winner of Speak up for Food Security competition announced

Philippa Simmonds

As the UK welcomes the world to Glasgow for COP26, the Global Food Security programme (GFS) announces the winner of its annual research storytelling competition.

Philippa Simmonds, on winning the Speak Up for Food Security competition, which this year focused on how we can tackle the climate crisis through the food system, said:

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed participating in this competition alongside some amazing fellow researchers, and it’s been very rewarding to develop our storytelling skills together.

As a social scientist, I believe it’s vital to identify how power imbalances in the food system can drive less sustainable farming practices, so I’m delighted that my story won.

Taking steps to tackle climate change

In the time of an escalating climate emergency, dwindling natural resources, and the rapid loss of biodiversity, the global food security challenge has never been greater. Providing universal access to enough healthy, safe, and sustainable food will require the rapid and radical transformation of our global food system.

The research community has provided a wide range of disruptive tools and strategies to manage this transformation. However, the fact that business-as-usual continues is evidence that sparking this transition requires more than just high-quality research. It requires inspiring food system stakeholders to take bold action.

About the Speak up for Food Security storytelling competition

Climate action in the food system can take many forms, including:

  • adapting farming practices
  • shifting economic models
  • challenging cultural norms
  • rethinking education
  • managing resources differently
  • nudging human behaviour
  • understanding geographical drivers
  • harnessing technological innovation.

The Speak up for Food Security storytelling competition equips the next generation of UKRI researchers with theory and tools to support the transformation of food systems for people and the planet.

Philippa Simmonds was one of five early career researchers who came together for the final of the competition on 28 October 2021. The researchers had the opportunity to tell their stories about how our food system can help tackle the climate crisis. Her PhD research at the University of Gloucestershire is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and is livestock sector discourses around cows, sheep, and climate change.

Top image:  Philippa Simmonds, winner of the Speak Up for Food Security competition. Credit: Philippa Simmonds

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