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Feeding the Future: Food Sustainability and Climate Change

Illustration depicting hands around farmers working.
Illustration by James Steinberg

Do we eat to live, or do we live to eat? With food production responsible for a significant portion of global greenhouse gas emissions, eating and living on a healthy planet can be at odds. 

The 2023 Harvard Radcliffe Institute science symposium will explore the dilemma of addressing the global climate crisis while feeding the world’s population healthfully and equitably. How we produce, transport, prepare, and consume our food has direct implications for food access and security as well as for the future of the planet.

Advances in plant genomics, innovative uses of ingredients and preparation, equitable methods of distribution, and even applications of artificial intelligence are carving out pathways for adaptive solutions, especially for resource-poor environments. Policies keyed to sustainable farming and diets in the United States and abroad will enable the agricultural sector, the restaurant industry, and individual consumers to help balance their food practices with a healthier environment.

Harvard Radcliffe Institute gratefully acknowledges the Melanie Mason and David W. Niemiec Fund for Science and the Ethel and David Jackson Fund for the Future Climate, which are supporting this event.

We plan to post the recording on our website later in October.

See "Feeding the Future: Food Sustainability and Climate Change Opening Event” for information on the Monday, October 2, 2023, evening keynote program.

The Food-Climate Conundrum (Harvard Magazine, 10/5/23)

Poster Session

Please join us in person for a student poster session and community ideas fair showcasing work related to the symposium’s themes on October 3 from noon to 1 PM.

See "Feeding the Future: Food Sustainability and Climate Change—Student Poster Session and Ideas Fair" for list of projects and participants.

Event Videos

Play video of Feeding The Future symposium session 1: Production and Transportation


  • Tomiko Brown-Nagin, dean, Harvard Radcliffe Institute; Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School; and professor of history, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Panel 1: Production and Transportation

  • Diane M. Beckles, professor, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis

  • David P. Hughes, Dorothy Foehr Huck and J. Lloyd Huck Chair in Global Food Security, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences

  • Mengyu Li, postdoctoral research fellow, Integrated Sustainability Analysis, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney (Australia)

  • Moderator: Sparsha Saha, lecturer on government, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Play video of Feeding The Future symposium session 2: Preparation and Consumption

Panel 2: Preparation and Consumption

  • Meredith T. Niles, associate professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences and associate director, Food Systems Research Center, University of Vermont

  • Duangporn “Bo” Songvisava, chef and owner, Bo.lan restaurant (Thailand)

  • Eve Stoody, lead nutritionist, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Food and Nutrition Service, US Department of Agriculture

  • Moderator: Frank B. Hu, Fredrick J. Stare Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology and chair, Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Play video of Feeding The Future symposium session 3: Access and Security

Welcome Back

  • Immaculata De Vivo, codirector of the science program, Harvard Radcliffe Institute; professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School; and professor of epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Panel 3: Access and Security

  • Christina Hicks, professor, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University (United Kingdom)

  • Shafiqul Islam, professor of civil and environmental engineering, School of Engineering; and professor of water diplomacy, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

  • M. Jahi Johnson-Chappell, director, Center for Regional Food Systems; professor and W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair, Michigan State University

  • Moderator: David Abel, contributing reporter, Boston Globe; documentary filmmaker; and professor of the practice, journalism, College of Communication, Boston University

Close of Program

  • Immaculata De Vivo

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