Enrollment is open for a free, self-paced Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) titled “Sustainable Food Systems: a Mediterranean Perspective.” With a special focus on the landscapes, societies, foods, and histories of the Mediterranean Basin, this course is designed to prepare students to work in the agri-food industry and achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI), agriculture in the Mediterranean Basin faces multiple threats in the midst of climate change, such as water scarcity and unsustainable farming practices. In this context, the MOOC highlights opportunities for meeting the SDGs, a series of 17 goals to “end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all” for the year 2030.
The course also aims to support students in filling new or emerging food systems careers: “Currently, the job market demands skills and knowledge that schools are not adequately supplying,” says Sonia Massari, Director of Gustolab International. “The course was created to enhance the current educational offering with a new format capable of teaching young people about the importance of transdisciplinarity, which is indispensable to get to know more about the world of food and its sustainability in scientific, humanistic, and economic terms.”
Developed by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) Foundation, the University of Siena, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN), and SDG Academy, this course features ten interactive modules focusing on topics including food and agriculture in the Mediterranean now and in the past, as well as a “roadmap” to achieving the SDGs in the region. “The MOOC helps us understand the core role played by farming and the food industry in Euro-Mediterranean societies and economic systems, with a focus on innovation and sustainability,” says Angelo Riccaboni, professor at the University of Siena and BCFN Strategic Advisor.
Professors and leaders from numerous countries join Massari and Riccaboni in teaching the course, including Eissa Ali Abdelaziz, Ain Shams University; Maite Aldaya, Complutense University in Madrid; Alessio Cavicchi, University of Macerata; A.F. Abou Hadid, Ain Shams University; Amr Helal, CEO of Health Tech; Phoebe Kounduri, University of Economics and Business in Athens; Stefano Pascucci, University of Exeter; Gabriele Riccardi, Federico II University in Naples; Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the UN SDSN; Arbaoui Sarra, National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia; Reema Tayyem, University of Jordan; and Riccardo Valentini, 2007 IPCC Group Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Students, teachers, practitioners, policymakers, and interested others can enroll online HERE!