Hunger Impacts Map

Visualizing the Complex Interconnectedness of Hunger

Samantha Pantazopoulos
Well, by Vizer

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Dan Heath is an American bestselling author and speaker. In his book, Upstream, he promotes a preventive approach to problem solving.

He advocates that the best way to solve systemic problems is to look upstream at root issues. To illustrate, he references a public health parable attributed to Irving Zola.

“You and a friend are having a picnic by the side of a river. Suddenly you hear a shout from the direction of the water — a child is drowning. Without thinking, you both dive in, grab the child, and swim to shore. Before you can recover, you hear another child cry for help. You and your friend jump back in the river to rescue her as well. Then another struggling child drifts into sight… and another… and another. The two of you can barely keep up. Suddenly, you see your friend wading out of the water, seeming to leave you alone. “Where are you going?” you demand. Your friend answers, “I’m going upstream to tackle the guy who’s throwing all these kids in the water.”

Short-term interventions are essential, as they provide support for those at immediate risk. But we must also work to identify and eradicate root causes. Upstream intervention, or prevention, ultimately reduces the amount of people who are at risk of becoming endangered.

At Vizer, we often speak of the interconnectedness of hunger with other social causes. Whether discussing environmental action, equity, or economic opportunity, access to healthy food is often an underlying factor.

All action begins with awareness. To underpin our efforts to combat hunger, we built an interactive model exploring how food insecurity acts as both a root and driver of physiological and behavioral challenges. This evolving model of the hunger landscape begins to conceptualize the interwoven nature of health, social, economic, and environmental loops.

Hunger Impacts Map

We welcome your knowledge contributions to assist in this undertaking.

Explore the various nodes and connections on this Hunger Impacts Map to learn more!

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