2021: A Year Of Effectiveness And Strategic Thinking To Transform Agri-Food Systems

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The FAO Director-General QU Dongyu today held a meeting with all senior managers of the UN agency, including FAO representatives (FAORs) to about 130 countries, to present the Organization’s priorities for 2021.

Opening the fourth meeting of its kind, with almost 200 participants, Qu highlighted that all the strategic decisions, transformative actions and priorities that he had introduced since his arrival at FAO followed a clear, coherent and transparent philosophy of change.

He added that his Manifesto contains concrete action plans that are based on numerous consultations with Members and experts.

2021 Brandspurng A Year Of Effectiveness And Strategic Thinking To Transform Agri-Food Systems

“From this clarity of vision comes our strength. A strength that allowed us in 2020, despite the pandemic, to introduce the most significant reform and reorganization of FAO since its creation,” said the Director-General, alluding to the various transformational efforts implemented in 2020, including the new organizational structure.

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“2021 will see a continued reform in Rome, and regional harvesting of its results on the ground,” he added, stressing the importance of strengthening FAO’s engagement with its Members and different communities – FAO’s ‘customers’, as he said – at national and local levels.

Efficiency and effectiveness

Qu had declared 2020 as the FAO Year of Efficiency, at a meeting with all senior managers a year ago. Today he praised the achievements and good performance of FAO in this regard, stating that he was “pleased to state that as an Organization we have taken big steps in this direction, by breaking down silos, removing administrative layers and innovating many processes of daily activities,”.

He stated that the organization will “continue on this path, seeking ways to achieve more tangible results and better delivery with the innovation of business model which can produce more with fewer inputs”.

For 2021, the Director-General stressed the need for FAO to aim bigger and improve not only efficiency but also effectiveness.

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“We need to ask ourselves: How effective is our crisis management? How effective are our operations, our administrative processes and, ultimately, our deliverables to Members and donors?” he said, urging managers to “walk the talk” and fulfil FAO’s potential with concrete measures.

Qu also underscored that transparency and accountability will remain cornerstones of FAO’s work. He encouraged managers to follow the example of the Core Leadership Team, he had established at headquarters, as it is applying the new approach of collaboration on a daily basis.

He stressed the importance for senior managers to promote informal consultations, share information and suggestions with colleagues, be accountable and responsible for their acts and apply a holistic lens to their work.

Thinking strategically

“2021 is also the year of enhanced strategic thinking”, said the Director-General.

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In the first half of 2021, FAO management and Members will continue to develop the Programme of Work and Budget for 2022-23 and the Strategic Framework 2022-2031, which will be presented to the biennial FAO Conference next summer for approval.

Qu noted the importance of ensuring that FAO’s global mandates and normative strengths are well embedded in these strategic documents, as well as incorporating the needs of Members and other customers, including civil society and farmers associations.

Read Also:  Impact of COVID-19 on people's livelihoods, their health and our food systems

In this regard, the Director-General encouraged FAO representatives to enhance communication with national governments to better understand their priorities. Such an initiative will enable FAO to better assist its Members in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A decisive year for agri-food systems transformation

The Director-General reminded the senior managers that 2021 will be a key year to move forward the transformation of agri-food systems, considering the big events ahead, particularly the UN Food Systems Summit in New York, the Pre-Summit in Rome, and FAO’s Youth World Food Forum.

“The Forum will be dedicated to the future of our agri-food systems, bringing together major youth groups, top influencers, companies, startups, academic institutions, civil society organizations, governments, media, the general public to drive awareness, engagement, and resources,” he said, adding that “it is with fresh ideas and dynamic spirit that we will pursue this major goal for FAO: leading global efforts towards the transformation of agri-food systems.”

Qu also noted the important role that FAORs need to play to advance the transformative agenda. He pointed out three key activities:

i) to liaise with Ministers of Agriculture and other relevant national authorities to ensure that solid and modern agricultural policies are put in place;

ii) to present good examples of best practices from other countries in similar agri-zoning that face comparable challenges, making use of FAO’s global network; and

iii) to build a platform to support Members attract investment, particularly by promoting commodities that have comparative advantages or particular relevance abroad.

Similarly, the Director-General invited the Regional Offices to build platforms for specific topics of relevance, where their region can lead the way. He gave the example of the Regional Office in Bangkok focusing on digital innovation and aquaculture, and the Regional Office in Santiago sharing the continent’s knowledge and best practices on family farming.

“Ultimately, we will be in a position to establish much-needed Centres of Excellency with our Members for different products and areas of work – making sure that all our experience and knowledge is at the full disposal of the world,” Qu said.

He concluded by stating that FAO was entering the historic year of 2021 with ambition and energy, calling upon all colleagues to roll up their sleeves and get to work efficiently and effectively.

Managers’ engagement

During the meeting, the five FAO Regional Representatives delivered each a presentation on the challenges and priorities of their respective regions for 2021. All of them expressed gratitude for the opportunity to have such a fruitful and relevant exchange and underscored the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food and agriculture and the necessity to support recovery measures at the regional and national level.

Climate change, biodiversity and agri-food systems transformation were also highlighted. A number of colleagues managing Liaison Offices and FAO Representatives intervened as well, thanking the Director-General for the meeting and for him providing such clear guidance and sharing their views.

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2021: A Year Of Effectiveness And Strategic Thinking To Transform Agri-Food Systems - Brand Spur2021: A Year Of Effectiveness And Strategic Thinking To Transform Agri-Food Systems - Brand Spur

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Latest News

Design Spectrum of Hong Kong Design Centre Presents PLAY LIVES Exhibition

Playtime Now! Explore the Infinite Possibilities of Play and Design

 

HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 4 March 2021 - Play Attention! One may "recognise play when one sees it", yet one may not be able to describe it. Many still harbour the preconception that play is a waste of time for adults. Design Spectrum, the public-facing platform of Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC), sponsored by Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, has launched its latest exhibition under the theme PLAY LIVES at 7 Mallory Street. Opens to the public for free from now to 30 April 2021, the exhibition takes visitors on a playful journey for them to rediscover the fundamental concepts of play and design, and how the concepts complement each other to better our futures. Enter the rabbit hole: toying with the concept of play as a positive agent in people's lives, the exhibition takes visitors through design for play's wonderland.


2021: A Year Of Effectiveness And Strategic Thinking To Transform Agri-Food Systems - Brand Spur

PLAY LIVES opens to the public for free from now to 30 April 2021, the exhibition takes visitors on a playful journey for them to rediscover the fundamental concepts of play and design, and how the concepts complement each other to better our futures.

2021: A Year Of Effectiveness And Strategic Thinking To Transform Agri-Food Systems - Brand Spur

Co-curated by Rémi Leclerc (right), Founder of PolyPlay Lab, and Chi-wing Lee (left), Founder and Creative Director of Milk Design, PLAY LIVES illustrates why play is beyond entertainment.

Play opens minds, design shapes futures

Co-curated by Rémi Leclerc, Founder of PolyPlay Lab, and Chi-wing Lee, Founder and Creative Director of Milk Design, PLAY LIVES illustrates why play is beyond entertainment, and how it is an integral part of our lives and can be designed to better our futures. New Zealand play theorist Brian Sutton-Smith once quipped that "The opposite of play is not work. The opposite of play is depression". As Leclerc explains, "While play generates culture, design shapes culture: just about everything around us is designed. As a friendly 'Trojan hobby horse', play makes design accessible. Referring to play's attributes enhances designers' practice because people are naturally apt at play: realising design is like play makes it easier to understand design... Play allows design to connect to life more naturally, igniting creativity, hence bettering design practice." By showcasing play through a design perspective, PLAY LIVES extolls the value of design in shaping contemporary play, and recognises the role of play in enhancing design.


PLAY LIVES SHOWTIME: A journey to explore play through design

PLAY LIVES Exhibition showcases more than 90 play and design projects from Hong Kong, the Mainland, Japan, Korea, and the USA, offering visitors a 360-degree view on the types and functions of playthings, and unveiling the cultural value of designing play for everyday life. Visitors will be able to chart their own maps of the meaning of play to ascertain the value of design for play: Room 1 showcases eight whimsical fixtures which invite visitors to explore the attributes of play through engaging experiences, thus toying with "Design Play DNA". Building on visitors' explorations in Room 1, Room 2 demonstrates the value of play and design and how they shape cultures through four displays: demonstrating the relevance of play and design in shaping culture: IMAGE Play Lives, a street newspaper stall; OBJECT Play Lives, a toy storefront display shelf; BODY Play Lives, along a two-tiered circular catwalk; and SPACE Play Lives, an open virtual skyscraper.

Room 3, the "Cabinet of Design Play Curios", stages seven critical design projects to showcase how play enhances designers' speculative practice. Visitors can learn to appreciate the value of play and design as the exhibits address issues such as information and technology, environment, identity, and corporate culture, and witness how play can create a desirable future. In Room 4, the "Playroom", displays works created by local participants at 6 pre-exhibition "playshops" to illustrate how people interpret play in different ways. Finally, at the Toymaking Playbench in Room 4, visitors of all ages can create their own toys using components obtained from a capsule vending machine, such as PLA plastic clips manufactured onsite by a tabletop 3D printer (sponsored by beets3d.com).

Rolling Fun -- Community Playground: Explore the Tube & Wave Zone to Ignite Your Creativity

Invited by the curators of PLAY LIVES Exhibition , Making on Loft, a local social design and research team will present their commissioned work Rolling Fun -- Community Playground at the Public Open Space of 7 Mallory Street from 31 March to 11 April 2021. Comprising a Tube Zone, Wave Zone and Play Share Kiosk, the playground will open for free admission during the said period. During which, public visitors and residents in the neighbourhood can drop by anytime to play or to relax a little. With game instructions inside the tubes, "Tube Zone" suggests various ways of play from battle games to ball games. At "Play Share Kiosk", visitors can find simple playthings like balls and rackets for enjoying fun competition games. "Wave Zone" features wavy long wooden benches for resting, jogging or hosting remote-controlled car races. Visitors are also invited to design new ways to play and give suggestions on best uses of the playground. Later in April, Making on Loft will host a Design Festival at 7 Mallory Street, featuring a series of play experience workshops suitable for different ages. Details will be announced on our website in due course: https://www.designspectrum.hk/

Free Playshops and Guided Tours: Be a player now!

To reinforce the theme "PLAY LIVES" of the exhibition, Design Spectrum will also host a series of playshops, guided tours, and other activities during the exhibition period. Under the themes Shadow Art, Forbidden Fruit, Toymaking and more, the playshops encourage participants to incorporate play into their everyday lives and unleash their creativity. Besides, public guided tours are available to help visitors explore the Pop-up Showcase on the ground and third floors of 7 Mallory Street, to learn more about the exhibits' design concepts.

Further details of PLAY LIVES Exhibition & Event Information are available in the attachments. For reservations for public guided tours and playshops, please visit www.designspectrum.hk.

Attachment: Event Happenings of PLAY LIVES Exhibition

PLAY LIVES Exhibition

Date:

23 February to 30 April

Time:

10am to 7pm, Monday to Sunday

Location:

3/F, 7 Mallory Street, Wan Chai

Free Admission


Rolling Fun -- Community Playground by Making on Loft

Date:

31 March to 11 April

Time:

10am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday

Location:

Public Open Space, 7 Mallory Street, Wan Chai

Free Admission


*In light of the current COVID-19 situation and for the health and safety of participants, precautionary measures will be adopted for the PLAY LIVES Exhibition and its extended events, and the above schedule is subject to possible change or adjustment. For the latest updates, please visit the official website at https://www.designspectrum.hk/.

2021: A Year Of Effectiveness And Strategic Thinking To Transform Agri-Food Systems - Brand Spur
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