You are currently viewing The Nordic “Cookbook for systems change” – REKO MISSION

The Nordic “Cookbook for systems change” – REKO MISSION

Date(s) - 2021/11/03
10:00 - 15:00



Read about the dialogue at UN’s Food System Dialogues

Now available on YouTube: Talk 1 – “Community Engagers“, Talk 2 – “Supportive Partners“.


Talk 1 – ”Community Engagers” 10:00-11:00 CET


Dr. Diane Kapgen, Luxembourg

Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Luxembourg

Diane Kapgen is a postdoctoral researcher in the Sustainable Food Practices research project at the University of Luxembourg (UL) since 2018. The project unites various aspects of food systems research with a focus on analyzing Luxembourg’s food system from an encompassing social science perspective. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, the project unravels the interplay of actors, perceptions and practices within the food system and develops pathways towards more sustainability.

Prior to joining the UL, Diane earned a BA in African Development Studies in Geography and Culture and Society in Africa at the University of Bayreuth (Germany), and an MA degree in Population and Development Sciences at the University of Brussels (ULB) (Belgium). In 2019, she defended her PhD thesis on the impacts of agroecology-based development programs on smallholder farmers’ livelihoods in Burkina Faso at the Center for Studies on International Cooperation and Development at the ULB.

Diane’s main research interests are critical development studies, agroecological transitions, rural and peasant studies, and global food system developments.



Chef Evaldas Žaliukas, Lithuania

Vice President of Aregala Lithuania, official director of “Volunteer Cooks Without Borders” Baltic Countries

Evaldas Žaliukas is a Chef, initiator of various social initiatives and a person who wants to be closer to nature. He is a creator and promoter of social projects, and an active participant in the healthy food movement for kindergartens, schools and hospitals.
He has years of experience in the kitchens of famous restaurants, and 5 years of experience in trainings for professional chefs.



Cyrille Gaubert, France

Business manager Stadsbruk Malmö – Development of urban food ecosystems

Cyrille Gaubert is a local food production expert at Botildenborg in Malmö – Sweden and part of the Malmö Food Council; the first food council in Sweden. His ambition is to help a new generation of small-scale farmers and food entrepreneurs succeed in creating economically thriving businesses while contributing to a lively & sustainable city life.

Through his work at Botildenborg he contributed to the development of Europe’s first incubator for urban farmers that has to this day helped more than a 100 farms in their project development co-develop an incubator program for food entrepreneurs. On a strategic level he works with Botildenborg’s partner cities and regions to develop urban food ecosystems.

The core of his work revolves around the question: How can you develop a successful business without growing in size? A concept he has developed around this question is Perma-business: applying permaculture principles to develop a business.



Rūta Lukošiūnaitė, Lithuania

Regenerative placemaker, Šilainiai urban gardens co-creator and co-founder of NGO “Kultūros dirbtuvė”, Lithuania.



Talk 2 – ”Supportive Partners” 14:00-15:00 CET


Dr. Johanna Mendelson Forman, US

Distinguished Fellow at The Stimson Center & Honorary Nordic

Johanna Mendelson Forman is an Adjunct Professor at American University’s School of International Service and a Distinguished Fellow at the Stimson Center where she leads the Food Security Program.

Her frontline experience as a policy maker on conflict and stabilization efforts drove her interest in connecting the role of food in conflict, resulting in the creation of Conflict Cuisine®: An Introduction to War and Peace Around the Dinner Table, an interdisciplinary course she teaches at the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC. In establishing this link between food and conflict, Johanna developed a new interdisciplinary platform examining why food is central to survival and resilience in conflict zones.

Today her research focuses on the study of gastrodiplomacy and the emergence of social gastronomy, the use of food as a means of social impact and investment to communities at risk. She is one of the leading voices in the global Social Gastronomy Network, a movement that is helping a new generation of chefs and food activists address a wide range of issues including climate change, food waste, and ending global hunger.



Dr. Jolanta Blažaite, Lithuania

Chair of Board, Lithuanian Maisto Bankas (Food Bank)

Experienced civil society expert and social entrepreneur with a strong academic background. My expertise is in the areas of social innovation, cross-sector cooperation, social inclusion, and community development.

I have contributed toward launch of several successful nonprofit organizations in Lithuania, designed and implemented innovative social programs and worked with a variety of local and international partners across sectors. Currently working as a consultant at the World Bank’s Governance Global Practice and Bureaucracy Lab



Elīna Ozola, Latvia

Head of Department of Rural Development at Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre

Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre (LRATC) is a consultancy enterprise owned by the Ministry of Agriculture of Latvia and the Latvian Farmers’ Federation.

One of Rural Development Department’s projects is “Support program for local agricultural producers and home producers”. Goal of this activity: encourage the development and co-operation of local producers by providing information, events and education. Strengthen public interest in local food producers, growers and processors by promoting their involvement in promotion activities. One of the results – electronic catalog of Latvian producers and processors in 2019 was created.



Evelin Piirsalu, Estonia

Researcher at Stockholm Environment Institute Tallinn Centre

Evelin Piirsalu has been working as a senior expert in SEI Tallinn since 2004. Evelin’s main research areas cover are related to environmental management tools, including green public procurement. She has participated as a leading expert in Estonian-wide food waste and food loss studies covering the whole food supply chain (in 2014-2015 and 2020-2021). She has participated in numerous awareness-raising projects related to food waste prevention and reduction.

Evelin has also focused on sustainable catering services in schools, including procurement and food waste issues in recent years. She has also participated in several international and national projects focusing on sustainability assessments, environmental footprinting, and the food system in cooperation with various stakeholders in the public and private sectors. Evelin has also published many publications in the above mentioned research areas.



Olav Kjørven, Norway

Chief Strategy Officer at EAT Foundation

Olav Kjørven is EAT’s Senior Director of Strategy. In this role Olav is part of EAT’s Leadership team and provides strategic oversight to EAT’s policy work, leads engagement on global policy arenas, and guides EAT’s science and knowledge initiatives for maximum impact on food systems policies and practices.

Olav’s career spans political leadership roles for Norwegian development cooperation and several senior leadership posts at the United Nations. He led the Bureau for Development Policy of the United Nations Development Program for almost seven years, overseeing an international staff of some 360, programs delivering in the hundreds of millions every year, and policy work ranging from democratic governance to climate change.

Throughout his career Olav has pursued every opportunity to increase global focus and commitment to sustainable development. This culminated in him playing a central role in the complex and highly political process that led to Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, including organizing the largest global consultation ever undertaken by the UN with millions of people engaged. Since then, it has been about mobilizing for action–at the UN, with governments, the private sector and civil society—and with a focus on children as Olav led UNICEF’s Division for Public Partnerships for the last three years.