The future is foreign place – we’ll all do it differently there, to paraphrase the first line in L.P Hartley’s famous novel “The Go Between.” As we emerge into 2021, all eyes are looking forward and nurturing hopes, plans and ambitions that life will be better – healthier, happier, safer and more sustainable.
But how do we make the future we want a reality – and avoid ending up with the future we don’t want, by accident?
Achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions across the whole of agriculture in England and Wales by 2040 is a huge ambitious goal set by the NFU. But what does this really mean for the food we eat, the way land, crops and livestock are managed, the options for consumers and the values that citizens and society consider are important.
The entire agri-tech innovation ecosystem will be impacted by the route, direction and destination of this journey to a net zero future, raising important questions for everyone in the agri-tech ecosystem.
- How will farmers change their practices – will it be carrot or stick – data driven or technology-enabled?
- What scientific research will be needed to generate knowledge to inform the new future?
- What new products, tools and services will emerge creating novel intellectual property, new business models and, indeed, entirely new companies?
- How will consumers be informed of the contribution their food is making to greenhouse gas emission? What will be most important – ethical production, price, local provenance or planetary impact?
- Development of these new innovations will also need to be financed – what will this look like? What will be the role of the banks, investors and asset finance groups? And what will be considered “valuable” in the net zero future? Carbon sequestration, management of biodiversity or increased yield? And at what cost?
Finally, how will the next zero future influence the way business is done? What will be the role of incubators, networks, collaboration, and how can they all play their role in the common target?
Journey to a net zero future
Agri-TechE members are invited to an exclusive workshop to explore these questions and help prepare their organisations for the trajectory towards a net zero future. Through the use of novel “artefacts from the future” we will navigate the routes, the pitfalls, the signposts, the research and the technologies we need to achieve it.
We will be supported by our global design consultancy member Method, through a unique opportunity to experience the power of future-scoping to enable our members build resilience and plan for their futures – and meet each other on the way.
Members will have the opportunity to reflect on not just how to reach net zero but how this new future could impact their own organisations – and the tools to start thinking about now to achieve it. We’ll learn new skills, gain fresh perspectives and have access to internationally-renowned advice and support which we do it.
Come and join us – be inspired.
Agri-TechE Member Event: Envisioning net zero futures for the Agri-Food sector
Thursday 4th February @ 1:30 pm – 5:00 pm Free
Keynote: Chris Brown, Head of Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing at Asda will set the scene and share some of the insights from one of the major retailers.