6–7 June 2013 Turku, Finland

Futures for Food overview of the photos

What could the futures of food look like? How will consumers need and value food? What are the environmental impacts of food system? What kinds of trade-offs and synergies will there be between the increasing demand for food and bioenergy? Where will our food come from? What methods and theoretical approaches will we use to study future foodways?

These and many other interesting questions were considered in the cross-disciplinary Futures for Food conference.

Topics of the Conference:

  • Changing foodways – Cross-disciplinary approaches to food and eating
  • Future scenarios for food
  • Food consumption trends
  • Futures of food systems – production, processing and consumption of food
  • Futures research methodology in the study of the future of food
  • Theoretical approaches in the study of the future of food
  • Environmental impacts of the food system
  • Sustainable development and food
  • Food, bioenergy and land use
  • Production of alternative food substitutes (e.g. in vitro meat, algae, insects and worms)
  • Innovative R&D processes within the food sector

About the Conference

Foodways are in constant change. There is a strong need within the food sector at large to better understand consumer behaviour and environmental changes, to see what impacts they will have for the futures of food. On the short term, these changes are due to differentiating lifestyles, consumer needs and trends, as well as food research and development processes, which bring new products to markets.

On the long term, food is becoming a scarce renewable resource that is susceptible to being lost. Global and local environmental changes, such as climate change, population growth, and shortage of natural resources like energy, water, and fertilisers, are putting more pressure on food production environments. On the other hand, technological development and food innovations can offer new solutions for producing food more effectively for the growing number of people in the globalising world. As a consequence of these short and long-term phenomena, food production systems – from primary production to consumption – are changing. Futures thinking, research, and methodology will offer the means to assess alternative futures for food.


15th International Conference of the Finland Futures Research Centre and the Finland Futures Academy, University of Turku
in co-operation with MTT Agrifood Research Finland