The World Food Prize Foundation

World Food Prize Foundation Hosts Inaugural DialogueNEXT Series, Spotlighting Women's Essential Role in Global Food Security in a Collaboration with US Government Officials


The World Food Prize Foundation's DialogueNEXT event, held in the U.S. Institute of Peace, brought together attendees representing more than 250 organizations, signaling a significant step forward in the global pursuit of food security and women’s empowerment. 

Under the theme "Seeds of Equity: Women Driving Growth and Innovation in Agriculture," this gathering served as a critical platform for thought leaders, policymakers and advocates to address the pressing challenges facing our world's food systems. From Olympic champions to pioneering entrepreneurs, the event showcased the collective commitment to building a more equitable and sustainable future for all.

Female representation across all sectors was vast, demonstrating the pivotal role women play in driving progress in agriculture and food security. Among the esteemed female speakers were Olympian Chaunté Lowe, Founder and Executive Chair of African Food Changemakers Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli, farmer Jocelyn Anderson, and environmental advocate and philanthropist Laura Turner Seydel. Their expertise and insights contributed to rich discussions and highlighted the diverse perspectives essential for addressing global food security challenges.

“When I first approached [World Food Prize Foundation President] Branstad with the concept for this forum, I knew it had the potential to be something special,” said Mashal Husain, Chief Operating Officer, World Food Prize Foundation. “After all, agriculture offers one of the most promising roots to promoting understanding and building linkages across national, political, religious and ethnic differences.”

Notably, government participation was robust, with representatives from agencies such as the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, United States Mission to the United Nations and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) actively engaging in discussions and collaboration. Their presence underscored the importance of cross-sector partnerships in advancing food security initiatives and highlighted the collective commitment to finding sustainable solutions to global hunger.

DialogueNEXT featured U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Joni Ernst, members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, who shared the necessity of agriculture education and collaboration.

"Food security is national security,” said Senator Ernst. “Not just in the United States, but for [countries] across the world. We need to work together to make a future of food security possible.  I think we need to encourage all women to get out there, whether it's in the farm fields, in the laboratory, or in the arena of politics. You've got to give it a shot.”

Following panels focused on the overarching theme of women’s empowerment, equity, agricultural innovation and technology, convening leaders from across the world to share their personal experiences with global food security. One such panel, “Champions of Global Food Security,” featured the 2003 Laureate Catherine Bertini, who facilitated the conversation and provided valuable insight. 

“My advice to people who want to make lasting change is: first of all, in whatever area you’re in whether it’s agriculture, health or food, start by defining your mission,” said Bertini. “Once we define our missions, we will end up finding the critical role of women and girls within those missions.”

The next convening of DialogueNEXT will take place July 10-11, 2024, at CIMMYT’s global headquarters in Texcoco, México. It was there in 1944 that Dr. Borlaug’s agricultural career and transformational impact began and spread around the globe.

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