Chapter 2

Key Inputs from Summit Workstreams


Four Levers of Change have been identified, that cut across the different Action Tracks: Human Rights; Innovation; Finance; and Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. Youth empowerment is also a top priority of the Summit, incorporated at all levels of the Summit content and process. Young people are represented as Vice-Chairs in all 5 Action Tracks, working together with the youth champions and food systems heroes. On multiple continents, self-organised youth constituencies led by young champions are actively engaging in all Action Track debates. Through regional fora and a variety of advocacy, social, educational activities, they will ensure in the lead-up to and during the Summit, that young people have a strong voice in shaping sustainable food systems for their future.

The levers of change are relevant across the full range of the SDGs and are critical for ensuring that different food systems become sustainable in the coming decade. The communities engaged in the levers will identify key issues that deserve attention within Summit dialogues and action tracks.

  • Human Rights: The Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food has joined the Food Systems Summit process to help ensure that human rights and law play a central role in the Summit. The Special Rapporteur help bring a systematic understanding of the policy instruments, legal frameworks, resolutions, and treaties that already exist to focus on action and implementation, building upon the strong foundations of multilateralism and rights that already exist. Refer to the attached preface by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Michael Fakhri.
  • The Finance community work with Action Tracks on areas including assessing investment need, incentives, solutions that address inclusion, and risk. Its objectives across all Action Tracks are to leverage substantial resources, look into ways to derisking innovations and accelerating change, and mobilizing private capital, including from financial institutions, business and consumers. It further identified specific questions and issues to be brought into discussions for each AT, and especially, considered when shaping solutions.
  • The Innovation community will bring together public, private, social sector innovation partners in a commitment to make innovation a significant enabling factor for food systems transformation both in the lead into the Summit and in alignment with the 2030 Agenda and all 17 SDGs. It has identified a twin track approach to support specific action tracks and game changer initiatives, and support a cross-cutting innovation agenda across business model, scientific, technological and social innovation. Emerging areas of focus include data and digital, scientific and technological, national and regional innovation ecosystems as well as societal and institutional innovation models, including traditional and indigenous knowledge.
  • The Gender community identified seven prominent issues, to elevate gender equality women’s empowerment as well as the engagement of women across all action tracks: Women’s rights to land; economic empowerment of women in food systems; unpaid care and agricultural labor burden; women’s leadership in food systems; access to technologies (including digital); changing norms and addressing institutional barriers; gender responsive agricultural and food systems policies.

Cross-cutting levers of change create multi-stakeholder support communities and develop discussion starter papers. Focal points are nominated amongst the core-teams of each Action Track.

Policy Briefs from Levers of Change

For each Levers of Change a policy brief has been published, in addition to one on Governance.

  1. Human Rights Lever of Change: Unlocking the transformative potential of a human rights-based approach
  2. Food Finance Architecture: Financing a Sustainable, Nutritious Food System
  3. Innovation Lever of Change, Policy Brief
  4. Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: A Prerequisite for Food Systems Transformation
  5. Policy Brief – Governance of Food Systems Transformation

Chapter 1 – Overview of the Food Systems Summit Process

Over the course of 18 months, and in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, the Secretary-General’s Food Systems Summit has engaged hundreds of thousands of people from around the world in an ambitious effort to accelerate action to transform food systems to realize the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In the context of the Decade of Action, as both a “People’s Summit” and a “Solutions Summit”, the Food Systems Summit has been a catalytic moment for global public mobilization and motivating actionable commitments by various stakeholders.

Chapter 2 – Key Inputs from Summit Workstreams

As part of the Summit process, over 147 UN Member States led National Dialogues. Their outcomes are being consolidated into national pathways, which are clear visions of what governments, together with various stakeholders, expect of food systems by 2030. Member States and a wide range of experts and stakeholders have contributed more than 2200 suggestions for accelerated action. The Action Tracks have clustered this rich input in a systemic way to build communities of practice and foster new partnerships. The Scientific Group consulted broadly and made a robust contribution to the evidence base underpinning much of the Summit’s work. The UN Task Force helped to mobilize over 40 key global institutions to bring knowledge and expertise. Through the Champions Network, Global Food Systems Summit Dialogues, and over 900 Independent Dialogues, people around the world have offered ideas on how to transform food systems.

Chapter 3 – Overview of the Pre-Summit

UN Food Systems Pre-Summit was held from the 26 – 28th July 2021, at the FAO in Rome and on-line attendance.  More than 100 countries came together over the course of three-days to discuss how they will transform their national food systems to drive progress against the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The official pre-summit programme featured sessions dedicated to four decisive “levers of change”, including women’s empowerment, and human rights.

Chapter 4- Summit

The UN Food Systems Summit will launch bold new actions, solutions, and strategies to deliver progress on all 17 SDGs, each of which relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable, and equitable food systems. The Summit will awaken the world to the fact that we all must work together to transform the way the world produces, consumes, and thinks about food.

DISCLAIMER: The various sections which form this Compendium are the result of collective work involving thousands of individuals through the Summit’s structures and workstreams, collated and presented by the Food Systems Secretariat as a (necessarily non-exhaustive) compilation of knowledge, tools and analysis which can inform and support efforts at all levels to accelerate action for sustainable food systems and operationalize Sammy outcomes. This compendium is not a product of intergovernmental negotiations and — outside of international agreements — does not represent an endorsement of any particular position contained therein