The Future of Food

A new course at Muhlenberg College called the Future of Food taught by Rita Chesterton and Richard Niesenbaum.

Course Description

This course will focus on the problems associated with our current food system such as food waste, hunger and malnutrition, yield and crop nutrition, large scale chemical and water intensive agriculture, soil mismanagement, and carbon emissions within the context of community, regional, and global sustainability. Students will then integrate this knowledge base with skills such as design thinking, environmental and social impact measurement, and life-cycle assessment to help them to begin to develop the entrepreneurial mindset required to develop innovative solutions to these problems. Satisfies the IL requirement. First and second year students have priority for registration.

Chesterton and Niesenbaum engage students as they integrate innovation & entrepreneurship and sustainability

More about this course and the integration of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Studies

The Integration of these two distinct perspectives has become a priority in both disciplines. It has been recognized that one of the most effective ways to solve sustainability related problems is through innovation and entrepreneurship. Problem Identification is a skill that is essential to both disciplines, Sustainable innovations must be based on a scientific understanding of the problem and on a sustainable business model in the economic sense in order for them to be adopted in the marketplace. Scientific innovations that fail to take into account the business perspective are doomed to remain in the lab and not create change in the world. The integration of these two these two disciplines has become an international priority as seem by the increasing trend in the use of microfinancing as a sustainable solution, and has become a priority for the United Nations, and a number of internationally recognized organizations including the Ellen MacArthur Foundation that works with business, government & academia to build a framework for a sustainable economy that is regenerative by design; and VentureWell with the mission to cultivate a diverse and inclusive pipeline of inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs driven to solve the world’s biggest challenges and create lasting impact at the intersection of science and technology and innovation and entrepreneurship. This course is part of a larger program supported by a collaborative grant from VentureWell on the deep integration of sustainability and entrepreneurial studies of which The Future of Food plays a central role. Click here to learn more about this effort to prepare students to develop groundbreaking solutions to local and global climate and food-system challenges.

Resources for The Future of Food

Student Blog Posts