Food Systems Innovation Framework

Resource type:
Reports and discussion papers

To solve the Great Food Puzzle gaps in the ambition and implementation of national-level food systems transformation plans must be closed. Innovations are key to doing so and unlocking the potential of food systems as solutions to the nature and climate crises. As food systems differ from place to place, there needs to be a rigorous approach to identify the right innovation to deliver the right impact, for the right place. WWF’s new RIGHT INNOVATION, RIGHT IMPACT, RIGHT PLACE study and framework to assess the suitability of different innovations to different contexts can help ensure the most impact is delivered in the shortest time possible. 

Some of the Key Messages

  • Right Innovations amplify the impacts of specific actions (transformation levers) for food system transformation and ideally can be applied strategically to affect one or more actions, accelerating impacts throughout the food system. Changes to the food system can range form small to major and can either sustain or disrupt existing systems.
  • Right Impact anticipates the right kind of change needed and impact any proposed innovation might have in a  particular place. Sustaining innovations advance existing ways of doing things. Disruptive innovations destablise existing norms, institutions and markets, and may shake yo existing systems.
  • Right Place requires playing close attention to the social and ecological context in which innovation is to be implemented. Depending on the local context, innovations will perform differently from one food system to the next, and we need to zoom in on the unique features of each food system to determine which innovations will deliver the neccessary impacts.
  • Enclosure, Overinnovation and the Jevons Paradox are examples of unintended consequences that can occur when innovations are chosen without consideration of Right Innovation, Right Impact, Right Place. Not all innovations, no matter how compelling are fit for every context.
This resource presents evidence or data but has not been peer reviewed