PLANTING A SEED – Agent Shakwei Mbindyo of Kenya and Agent Kath-Ning of the USA. Shakwei set off a roaring discussion this week with her simple real-world question about crop choices: should Kenya grow for export (and thus for money) or grow to feed its poor and hungry? (Or you might say, “One Food May Hide Another.”) Her “food miles” question has opened us all up to experiencing how complexly this decision is interwoven into further questions of ecology, economics, energy and culture. In simple counterpoint Kath-Ning reminds us to pay attention to the seasons, to nature, to who and where we are, and plant some hope for the future.
AVERTING A CRISIS – Agent Dmitry Petrov of Ukraine and Agent Jasper of Holland. With a stroke of imagination bold yet possible Dmitry imagines a hunger-free world: one in which we don’t need animals or mushrooms to convert cellulose to food. With an array of statistics Jasper alerts us to a looming fertilizer shortage, one that could have devastating consequences in developing nations. Well done Dmitry and Jasper, we like “outlier” ideas.
FIGHTING HUNGER LOCALLY – Agent Mario in Mexico and Agent Grace Ave. of the USA. Mario takes action: look at the pictures, he’s started his own urban farm. Grace Ave. describes how to leverage people like Mario into a “People’s Grocery” – more than just production or distribution, a complete system that honors food and the people who grow it, taste it and are nourished by it.
TOKYO, THE COMPLETE PICTURE – Agent Patricio Buenrostro-Gilhuys of Mexico accepts the final award this week for his ensemble cast. Patricio shows us the story behind the comic, one that stars the strengths of 20 other members of the EVOKE Network. Says Patricio: “I am learning so much from The Garden Earth Project I am sure we will be somehow working together in 2020.” And Agent Ninmah comments, “I love the way it shows that we are already a network here in EVOKE, even after just two weeks, with a wide variety of complementary skills and knowledge.”
Which lead us to three final quotes:
In her evidence about Cuba’s organic green revolution, Agent Fatima Sadan of South Africa says “we see how, out of urgent necessity, communities can collaborate and produce remarkable results as a team or collective. Where differences are eradicated by common concern… through the process of collaboration do we find other things that bring us together which fuels those that drive the project to continue it for lifetimes.”
Agent Jenn builds on this, imagining a world where the EVOKE Network makes sure the Tokyo Food Crisis never happens. “My hope for 2020 is that there is no need for the Evoke network to help Japan. I’m hopeful that the work we do in 2010 (and later) will prevent the conditions that created the famine in the first place. Food shortages typically don’t happen overnight, and if they do, it’s often symptomatic of unsustainable agriculture practices. My hope is that in the next ten years we, as social innovators, become more connected and proactive, and work together to tackle issues before they become crises.”
And a last thought: if you’re new to EVOKE you can’t do any better than to follow Agent Ayala Sherbow’s cogent advice. Ayala says that (with help from Elastika) these are “my own thoughts on how we can help each other be the best ‘players’ and therefore change agents that we can be.” Thanks, Fatima, Jenn, Ayala and everyone – and see you all on the network. – Calida