News, Systems Thinking

Allied Initiatives: Transforming Food Systems through Collaborative Impact

Introducing Two Allied Initiatives: Funders for Regenerative Agriculture (FORA) and Transformational Investing in Food Systems (TIFS)

The Global Alliance is pleased to announce the creation of a new platform of collaboration called “Allied Initiatives.” Global Alliance Allied Initiatives are aligned yet independent funder collaborations housed strategically and practically under the umbrella of the Global Alliance. Allied initiatives are strategically aligned and committed to food systems transformation, which are funder-led, principles-based, and time-bound in their goal for immediate, maximum impact.

We, as a global community, are increasingly prioritizing the need for collaboration and networked action. Transformative change does not occur due to a centrally conceptualized, controlled, and implemented strategic plan or a massively coordinated initiative; it occurs when multiple and diverse initiatives intersect to create momentum, critical mass, and, ultimately, tipping points. It is in this spirit that the Global Alliance is initiating this new collaborative platform and has approved the first two Allied Initiatives: Funders for Regenerative Agriculture (FORA) and Transformational Investing in Food Systems (TIFS).

FORA, an Allied Initiative of funders and investors working together to accelerate the emergence of regenerative agriculture, healthy soils, and working lands that support people and the planet, will be a part of the Allied Initiatives from 2019 to 2021. FORA’s core work will focus on deep collaboration, peer learning, and aligned funding among participants with a shared vision of a world with climate stability; healthily functioning systems and ecosystems; the good outcomes of holistic thinking; farmer and community leadership; diversity-, evidence-, and nature-based solutions; empowered individuals; collaborative communities; thriving rural communities; well-managed institutions based on systems thinking; and hope.

“Regenerative agriculture is one of the most promising approaches to immediately addressing a planetary emergency characterized by climate change, soil degradation, water scarcity, food insecurity, floods and fires, economic and social inequality, systems collapse, loss of countless species, and rising political unrest. With a comprehensive approach, regenerative agriculture can have broad benefits across the board and be part of the solutions to these challenges.” ~Urvashi Rangan of GRACE Communications Foundation, Co-Chair of FORA and member of the Global Alliance

The initiative on transformational investing is an Allied Initiative of funders and investors committed to applying a systems-lens to investing for financial and non-financial returns, and by developing pathways that better integrate grant and investment capital in order to advance the Global Alliance’s principles of renewability, resilience, diversity, equity, health, and interconnectedness. It aims to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the general increase in understanding of and focus on, impact investing, systems literacy, and market growth to generate measurable financial and non-financial returns while delivering a product to market that benefits the farmer, farmworker, consumers, planet, and investor, through investing from the ground up.

“Concurrent with an increased interest in food system growth is the truly impressive, rapid growth of impact investing, signalling strong interest in doing more than just make money. Our work will locate like-minded funds, use existing investments to define how to advance our principles, and identify gaps as well as business assistance providers that can aid enterprises and entrepreneurs in the communities where we currently work. We believe that accounting, and investing, in non-financial returns is just as important as financial returns, and that we can do that by better integration of different types of investments.” ~ Tim Crosby of the Thread Fund, Co-Chair of the transformational investing initiative and member of the Global Alliance

The Global Alliance will maintain a strong focus on agroecology, climate, health and well-being, and true cost accounting, while aligning strategically with these emerging Allied Initiatives in an effort to: grow our network of diverse foundations and philanthropic leaders committed to food systems reform; infuse our work with new strategies, ideas, players, priorities; and connect with other networks, collaborations, alliances, and movements — all in line with our principles, values, and approach.