We are pleased to inform that the selection process for this program is complete. Successful candidates have been notified and the program will begin in April 2024. We thank all applicants for their interest.
Be the next global food systems leader
A new and inspiring program for early career professionals to accelerate food systems solutions in the Global South.
This program is made possible through the generous support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Selected participants will be invited to participate in a 5-day, in-person, leadership building workshop. Our mission is to facilitate connections among promising early-career innovators, practitioners, scientists, and activists from low- and middle-income countries. Together, we will connect policy advocacy with grassroots action to collectively shape a positive future of food.
Learn: Engage in a 5-day co-creative workshop, bridging the gap between data, knowledge, and implementation. Explore modules such as negotiations, policy advocacy, strategic communication, and evidence-based decision-making.
Get Inspired: Immerse yourself in presentations by seasoned practitioners, scientists, young global food champions, and influencers shaping the future of food systems.
Act: Co-create a community of practice, sharpen your leadership skills, and develop transformative initiatives for low- and middle-income countries to transform their food systems.
Enhance your expertise in:
Governance systems: Negotiations and design of multi-stakeholder processes for food systems governance.
Policy advocacy: Mastering leadership skills for policy advocacy, bridging the gap from global to local and vice versa. Learn how to effectively target policy processes at local, regional, and global levels.
Communication and storytelling for impact: Crafting impactful communication and storytelling strategies, raising awareness, and securing funds for your initiatives.
Science and evidence-based decision-making: Building proposals and forging partnerships based on scientific evidence.
This dynamic program focuses on holistic solutions for transforming food systems, aligning with the UN Food Systems Summit +2 Report of the Secretary-General, his Call to Action and the Stakeholder Contribution Report, which address the shortage of skilled personnel and youth's advocacy and capacity development needs. Be part of a movement that breaks institutional silos, driving real change in food systems.
Enhance your ability to drive systems change in partnership with the UN Food Systems Summit National Convenors. Develop plans or initiatives for food systems transformation, with potential grants in the second phase to scale up impactful programs.
Who Are We Looking For?
Through a competitive selection process, the program targets early career professionals from all disciplinary backgrounds interested in leading food systems solutions in three regions: Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. If you're already engaged in food systems activities as a researcher, civil society member, or in other capacities, this program is for you!
Proficiency in English is desirable. Interpretation services will be arranged based on individual needs and availability.
Transform your vision into action and be part of the next generation of food systems leaders. If you have questions, explore our Frequently Asked Questions section or contact us at [email protected] for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Age between 18-35 years old (no older than 35 by December 2023)
Nationals from low and middle-income countries (according to the World Bank classification)
- Engagement in Food Systems Transformation: Proven track record in actively participating in food systems transformation innovation, action, and advocacy.
- Knowledge and Expertise: Deep understanding of enablers and challenges within the food and agricultural domain through academic pursuits or practical involvement at the local, regional and/or national levels.
- Vision and Motivation: Demonstrated motivation and leadership vision to drive food systems transformation, evidenced by prior engagement in policy processes, grassroots projects, advocacy, youth empowerment, capacity development, and intergenerational dialogue.
- Commitment to Societal Service: Exhibit a commitment to societal service and a dedication to contributing towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Long-Term Vision: Articulate an ambitious yet realistic long-term vision for food systems transformation within the applicant's region.
- Competencies: Ability to work cooperatively in a team, value diversity, generate creative and practical solutions, take initiative for delivering high-quality work, and communicate effectively to diverse audiences.
- Holistic Approach: Profound understanding of the complex interactions and interdependencies within the food system, coupled with the skill to apply a holistic approach, considering social, economic, environmental, and cultural factors to guide transformative actions.
- Youth Constituencies and Advocacy: Demonstrated engagement and experience in youth constituencies and/or advocacy organizations.
- Stakeholder Involvement: Demonstrates engagement with key stakeholder groups, particularly those representing farmers, Indigenous communities, and women.
- Until 15 January 2024: Submit your application for the program.
- End of January: Participants selected for a scholarship are informed.
- First week of February: Participants have one week to respond to an invitation letter informing them if they accept the invitation and remain available to attend the program.
- End of February: Participants will receive program information, the agenda of the workshop, etc.
The selection will occur in one phase. Each application will be evaluated by a selection committee, convened by the UN Food Systems Coordination Hub, FAO Regional Offices and other regional partners.
Candidates will be assessed based on the following:
- Current work: priority will be given to applicants for national administrations and other public agencies related to food systems transformation.
- Academic and/or professional excellence - in the field of food and agriculture and inter-disciplinary background
- Policy advocacy/communication skills and leadership experience
- Quality of the presented motivation and project after the end of the course
- Experience in policy processes or grassroots initiatives at the local, regional, or global levels
- Personal engagement: quality of the motivation statement engagement to serve society and support a sustainable
- Track record of engagement in advocacy networks, Youth Associations, or similar organizations working to transform food systems
- Understanding of UNFSS Summit, National Pathways etc.
Upon selection, the awardee must commit an entire week (Monday to Friday) to the in-person seminar and travel.
Post-workshop, while maintaining flexibility, participants are encouraged to initiate and coordinate activities and projects aligned with the learning outcomes of the event. Active engagement in the regional network is expected, fostering collaboration, and contributing to implementing national pathways on food systems.
For candidates who are selected for sponsorship, the Hub will prioritise as many countries as possible with the aim to support at least one candidate per country. Sponsorship will include full coverage of travel, accommodations and meals during the training.
Self-funded participants are responsible for covering their travel, accommodation, and additional expenses. There is no workshop participation fee.
All participants, whether sponsored or self-funded, will receive an invitation letter and, if necessary, a visa support letter to assist with the required travel documentation. Upon the completion of the workshop, all participants will receive a certificate of attendance.
While there won't be a live stream, we will develop, on a second phase of the program, a comprehensive toolkit encapsulating key modules and discussions. This toolkit will be accessible to a broader audience, ensuring that valuable insights and information from the event can be shared and utilized beyond the immediate participants.
The program is a unique opportunity to leverage your leadership skills, expand your networking skills, and gain in-depth knowledge of the main challenges and opportunities around the transformation of food systems targeting decision-makers. Above all, being part of this selective group allows you to elevate your project and ideas globally to ensure that the projects are realistic, holistic, scalable, and sustainable.
The project's next phase will support countries with a track record of investments in Youth empowerment in their National Pathways. Successful candidates are expected to continue their ideas and learning journeys in partnership with their respective governments, aiming to present scalable and innovative solutions by the UN Food Systems Stocktaking Moment +4 in 2025.
Participants will receive a certificate of attendance at the workshop.