Hello World — 9outof10 Protein Innovation Platform & Seminar I


🚀How can mission-oriented innovation be used for food system transformation?
👐 Can participatory foresight help to bridge sectoral siloes and align?
📣 And, how can it be turned into action?

The Swedish food system is at a turning point, facing environmental pressures that demand transformation. We are thrilled to share that Vinnova is funding eight innovation platforms, including ours, to drive sustainable change in Swedish food production and consumption.

At 9outof10, we’re focused on powering the shift toward sustainable Swedish protein production and consumption.

Our mission? By 2040, we envision 9 out of 10 meals in Sweden falling within planetary boundaries. But how do we get there?

We’re in an exploratory phase, consulting experts on climate assessment frameworks and dietary guidelines to navigate the complex landscape. Yet, we’ve encountered challenges, like the lack of standardisation in climate assessment and limited data accessibility. Moreover, primary production holds the key to success, but it lacks adequate support and investment. Consumer behaviour is pivotal too; changing habits is essential for systemic change.
Serina Ahlgren; Britta Florén; Susanne Bryngelsson; Kristina Bergman; Anna Wahlberg; Amanda Wood; Anna Karin Lindroos; Robin Lindström;Anton Unger; Emma Jonson; Erik Strandin Pers

Our journey continues as we engage stakeholders across the value chain to chart a path towards a sustainable future. And we want you to be part of it! Join us as we explore innovative solutions and future scenarios for Swedish food 🌱

Follow our page for updates, and don’t hesitate to share your thoughts. Let’s work together towards a healthier, greener future!

A bit about us and our first seminar with sustainable consumption stewards

Innovation platforms for sustainable food future

The current Swedish food system places immense pressure on the environment, contributing to climate change by greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, land degradation, and biogeochemical flows. It is evident that a transformation is crucial in order for the food system to become more sustainable for both people and the environment. This transformation requires a systems approach. To accelerate this transformation, Vinnova is financing eight innovation platforms to drive innovation at the system level for a sustainable and competitive food system. The work is based on eight bold and inspiring missions, for a sustainable food system. Based on the missions, coordinating actors must mobilise resources and commitment from across the Swedish food system and its actors to identify levers for change.

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Dark Matter Labs and SISP — Swedish Incubators & Science Parks, makes up one of the eight platforms, aiming towards a 2040 future where the Swedish food system is sustainable and within a safe operating space for both humans and the planet. We call ourselves.

9outof10 — Powering the shift towards sustainable Swedish protein production and consumption.

Seminar I — Foresight seminar with Swedish food system actors working with sustainable consumption frameworks.

Being in an explorative phase, we have so far consulted some of the most knowledgeable actors on climate assessment frameworks in Sweden to help us map and make sense of the complex landscape of the Swedish food system. Furthermore, to get a better understanding of the vast number of dietary guidelines available, and the level of alignment within this space, we organised an introduction seminar with researchers and representatives of the different guidelines developed to meet both climate and nutritional goals.

In addition to discussing the frameworks, we consulted the seminar participants on our mission that “ 9/10 meals in Sweden should be within planetary boundaries by 2040”, with a specific focus on shifting our protein consumption. Using foresight exercises and with this in mind, we discussed enablers and barriers to get closer to our mission statement. Through our conversations, we quickly discovered some issues with this mission, one being the difficulty to measure where we currently sit and how to measure future success.

Lack of standardisation in climate assessment guidelines

One of the main reasons behind this is the lack of standardisation within climate assessment frameworks that applies to all food products, produce and services. Part of the reason for this seems to be the difficulty, and/or inability, to properly measure the actual impact of certain products. Another large contributing factor to this is the large share of imported foods. Here, the environmental impact of production has been ‘outsourced’ to other places in the world, which additionally makes it difficult to assess and collect data for both the local and the wider environmental impacts.

Inaccessibility to data

Prominent research institutions like RISE as well as actors such as CarbonCloud and Coop, have conducted thorough analyses on the diverse impacts of food on climate change. These databases are comprehensive and valuable. However, due to the high cost of creating such data sets, access to data is not readily available, nor free of charge. This prevents smaller organisations and SMEs from assessing the climate impact of their products and services. The participants therefore highlighted the need for open access data in order to enable equal access to ensure comparative standards, to reach a common mission.

Primary production as part of the solution

It is clear that there is insufficient focus on how to make the transition for primary production a viable business model — finding these models is key to enable the transition. The demands on primary production to transition to sustainable practices do not currently seem to level with the amount of support given to producers. It therefore carries a lot of risk particularly for smaller producers. Furthermore, the great potential our arable land holds is not sufficiently recognised. Not only is it important in terms of food production capacity, but it is also important in terms of enabling crucial ecosystem services. Updated policies, business models and impact investments are needed to enable this change. The food system today accounts for 20–30% of the GHG emissions but attracts only 7% of the impact investments.

Consumer behaviour

Although much of the responsibility lies with politicians to ensure that primary production and food producers stay within planetary boundaries, the power of consumer behaviour should not be ignored. The role of food, being both culturally contingent, traditional and habitual, plays an enormous role for what is being produced, and what we expect to see produced. Changing this behaviour, be it through nudging, hard policies or soft incentives, is crucial to enable a system change. Figuring out how to approach consumers will be paramount to reaching the mission.

Based on these conversations, it is evident that the main impetus is on policy makers, primary production and consumer behaviour for enabling our mission statement. By collecting knowledge and input from various parts of the value chain, we hope to garner enough information to tease out a path towards a more sustainable Swedish food system. The work now proceeds by bringing these main issues into a conversation with actors and industry organisations from the primary production side, as well as representatives from the consumer side, to further understand where innovation and restructuring must happen in order to achieve a sustainable and inclusive transition.

Sweden has significant potential to enhance its innovation capacity so that the food system contributes to preserving both the environment and human health, while also providing us with food, jobs, and quality of life. How to do this will be part of our upcoming workshop series exploring different key questions: How do we ensure that primary protein production is within planetary boundaries by 2040? How do we ensure that protein consumption is both socially, economically and environmentally just, while also healthy and good for the planet? Can we get key actors to unstick their minds from their daily work and contribute to this process by exploring future pathways towards reaching a sustainable food system by 2040, using foresight and scenario building exercises?

Intrigued yet? Good. Let’s keep in touch. Follow our page to see how our story unfolds while we explore different ways of using scenarios for unlocking the potential of Swedish future foods.

We’d also love your input, so feel free to comment, share, and engage with our posts now and in the future!


This blog post was written by Alex Hansten (Dark Matter Labs) and Mari W. Meijer (RISE), with contributions from:

Hanna Svensson — RISE — hanna.e.svensson@ri.se

Aleksander Nowak — Dark Matter Labs — aleks@darkmatterlabs.org



Dark Matter
9outof10 — Protein Shift Innovation Platform

Designing 21st Century Dark Matter for a Decentralised, Distributed & Democratic tomorrow; part of @infostructure00