When David Nabarro worked with the United Nations to develop the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, he noticed a problem: the specialized university tracks many global leaders go through, whether in health, nutrition or development studies, might not prepare them for the kind of cross-disciplinary, people-centered leadership Nabarro deemed necessary to implement the agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The goals are ambitious; they call for, in part, the complete elimination of poverty, hunger, and unsustainable resource use by the close of the next decade.
In response, Nabarro, who is a medical doctor, longtime public health diplomat, and 2018 World Food Prize laureate, started a social enterprise called 4SD—“skills, systems, and synergies for sustainable development”—to give leaders the tools they’ll need to put the 2030 agenda into action. Systems-focused agronomist Florence Lasbennes joined 4SD as Managing Director soon after the enterprise’s founding. Each of the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals touches the food system in some way, Nabarro explains to Food Tank, making food central to realizing the 2030 agenda. To address the challenges in food, people need to “work together in a multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary way, and that in a way is our proof of principle,” Nabarro says. “If [4SD] can work on food systems, we believe it can work on many other areas of human endeavor.”
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