hands holding cherry tomatoes

Shifting the Food System


The Global Philanthropists Circle's Shifting the Food System Collaborative Community explores how to use food as a tool for social and environmental change. Formed in 2017, its mission is to provide members of the Synergos Global Philanthropists Circle (GPC) and a growing network of solution oriented individuals and entities, with a  forum to discuss, initiate and collaborate in order to improve food security and food justice, enhance the role of culinary leadership in raising awareness of the need for change, leading to improve human health and nutrition, promote the wide-spread practice of regenerative agriculture, leading to the ecological sustainability of food systems.  

The Shifting the Food System Community has three primary objectives: 

  • Education - creating a learning and exchange forum for members to share knowledge and ideas regarding what needs to happen to create food system transformation in the above-mentioned areas; 

  • Connection - connecting members to each other and to change-makers active in seeding collaborative initiatives around food system change; 

  • Impact - enhancing the impact of members’ investments in food systems transformation and exploring how philanthropy and impact investment can scale the impact of successful action at a grassroots and local level. 

The Group convenes its members at unique events, such as food-related meetings, site visits, retreats, and breakout sessions at larger GPC gatherings. Members learn about peer projects and share their own work through regular e-mail updates, and are invited to occasional topical events organized by Synergos partners. For example, the 2017 GPC Members Meeting included a breakout session on this topic.

Community Meetings

Join us for upcoming events.

June 2023

"Listening for Connection" 

Climate change affects all aspects of our lives, from the food we eat to the air we breathe. We also know that climate change is a “man-made” crisis that begs for “man-made” solutions and a personal approach in order to scale climate reforms with lasting impact. As leaders, we are called to learn from and connect with those most affected by this global emergency and exceptional listening expertise is paramount. This was a unique workshop to deepen and strengthen listening abilities while exposing us to tools to more effectively communicate and address the intricacies of climate change and leadership. 

This workshop was an excellent opportunity for the Shifting the Food System community to enhance two of its primary objectives: connection and impact, allowing for a more efficient system disruption.  

The session was facilitated by Annabel Park and  Helen Selka of The People Project.  


Watch the full session HERE



March 2023

During this gathering, Dr. Vayu Maini Rekdal, Miller Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept of Bioengineering, UC Berkeley presented his current work to harness microbes for the future of food. Through his work, he is addressing how we feed 10 billion people in a sustainable, healthy, and equitable manner.

Willem Ferwerda, Founder and CEO, Commonland​, shared that the ecosystem approach of the conventional biological diversity, endorsed in 2000s by COP5 served as his inspiration. An ecosystem approach is a strategy for integrated management of land, water and living resources that promote conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way. 

Shifting the Food Systems Retreat, 22-24 April 2022, New York

This retreat covered topics of nutrition / health, urban gardens / growing healthy food to counteract disease and food justice. It helped collectively explore how to support a global food system transformation.


January 2022

Over 20 community members, GPC members, partner organizations and Synergos staff joined to connect and brainstorm across sectors. The group heard from speaker Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer from Hope Mountain. Members shared ideas on how the group can better connect to move their initiatives forward.


November 2021 - Part II

In this second of the two November meetings, Henri van Eeghen shares an update on his work with the Regenerative Alliance and plans for their 2022 summit. The meeting also saw some dedicated community sharing time for for updates, questions, and calls to action with the group.


November 2021 - Part I

The first of two November meetings for the Synergos GPC Food Systems Collaborative Community was held on November 8th, 2021. We heard from Ruchit Garg, founder and CEO of Harvesting, on how he is helping India's smallholder farmers increase their market access. Fellow GPC members also shared questions, updates, and calls to action.


  • Upcoming Meetings

  • 2023 Community Meetings

  • 2022 Community Meetings