Sustainable Food Lab

7-11 June 2015, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

In the framework of a two-month sabbatical supported by Iona Foundation and Triodos Foundation in the Netherlands, Wallapa van Willenswaard participated in the Sustainable Food Lab Annual Summit in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In 2014 Wallapa participated in the first workshop of the Sustainable Food Lab Thailand, guided by Adam Kahane, and was appointed member of the Steering Committee.

Based on her work with the Green Market Network in Thailand she recognizes the importance of building  a multi-stakeholder network with the aim to make food systems in Thailand more sustainable. The Sustainable Food Lab is a global forum where innovators exchange experiences and conceptualize strategic plans towards food security and health promotion through food.

The first Sustainable Food Lab meeting was initiated in 2004 by Peter Senge, Hal Hamilton and Adam Kahane and it was convened in the Netherlands. The collaboration resulted from the experiences with the limited impact of single-handed activism of Hal Hamilton as an American organic farmer, and the systems thinking approach of Peter Senge, professor in Management Science at the MIT (USA).  This business – NGO dialogue was based on joint research. The 2015 annual Food Lab Summit in Rotterdam was preceded by an article by Peter Senge et al. in the Stanford Social Innovation Review The Dawn of System Leadership with a Supplement detailing the history, emergence and growth of the Sustainable Food Lab. (Photo: Peter Senge and Wallapa van Willenswaard)

In the framework of Suan Nguen Mee Ma social enterprise and the Towards Organic Asia programme several actions are undertaken in line with the Food Lab experience:

  • Suan Nguen Mee Ma social enterprise, together with the Sustainable Food Lab Thailand group, organized a series of Green Leadership Trainings at Ashram Wongsanit (40 km from Bangkok).
  • Suan Nguen Mee Ma publishers will publish the book of Peter Senge,‘Schools That Learn’. A Fifth Discipline Field-book for Educators, Parents, and Everyone Who Cares About Education in the context of its NEW SPIRIT project.
  • Peter Senge has been invited to visit Thailand and speak/conduct workshops with various target groups (Health Promotion leadership, business,NGO’s).
  • The experiences with‘systems thinking’inspired the contribution of Wallapa van Willenswaardin the Social Enterprise Committee of the Royal Thai Government.

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