The Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems Network, co-led by Jennifer Woo Baidal (Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University Irving Medical Center) and Walter Baethgen (International Research Institute for Climate and Society) is focused on combating the main challenges of agriculture and food systems.
One of their main goals is engaging faculty, researchers, and students from across Columbia in order to bring areas like nutrition and health, climate, economics, human behavior, policy, equity and vulnerability together. The work is expected to contribute to the establishment and development of the food-related themes of the Columbia Climate School, as well as support the university’s goal to “bring knowledge and experts to the world and solve real world problems.”
The network will achieve these goals by developing collaborations across Columbia and beyond in education, collaborative research and practice, and engagement and outreach. For example, the group will create a resource to identify all existing classes on food systems at Columbia; develop new courses, capstone projects and executive education material; and design a food systems curriculum for the Climate School. The network will also engage with stakeholders in New York City such as community-based organizations, food banks, local government and private companies, designing a process to support investment strategies in food systems in NYC.