Food Systems Thinking: Dealing with Incomplete Knowledge

Food Systems Thinking: Dealing with Incomplete Knowledge

In my last blog post on food systems thinking, I highlighted three challenges that appear when we try to think about or address problems in food systems: incomplete knowledge, the limitations of human cognition, and our limited capacity to intervene. In this article, I’ll address some of the ways in which we can direct our thinking to engage more effectively in situations where our knowledge might be lacking.

When trying to consider the global food system, we’re bound to run into the issue of incomplete knowledge. As systems get larger, more complicated and complex, the less we can understand them. Moreover, what we do know is subject to greater uncertainty as we try to generalise and overextend our limited contextual knowledge into situations where it does not fit.

It’s natural to feel disheartened by this, especially given the scope and importance of problems that emerge from the different processes occurring across food systems, such as food insecurity, biodiversity loss, and all the different forms of malnutrition. However, by becoming aware of our thinking and combining this with appropriate strategies, we are able to become more effective at analysing and intervening in the types of complex problems mentioned above.

Wake up! Becoming Aware of Our Metacognition

Meta-cognition is the awareness and understanding of our own thought processes…

Continued in source: Food Systems Thinking: Dealing with Incomplete Knowledge