Food, land, and water systems are undergoing unprecedented change in ways that affect us all. Research and experience highlight these challenges but also identify opportunities to transform these systems in ways that improve food security and nutrition, livelihoods and inclusion, and resilience and sustainability. Looking forward, we are increasingly aware of the potential synergies between these goals, but also of unavoidable tradeoffs in achieving them, as well as the interwoven nature of the problem spaces themselves.

A business-as-usual pathway may be the easiest way forward, but it will fall far short of our shared goals. Much more work is needed to explore alternative pathways and solutions that do better. This work also needs to reflect the complex regional, environmental, economic, and social heterogeneity that characterizes the multitude of stakeholders and decision-makers at different scales – especially in the Global South – who influence and are affected by these collective outcomes.

A new collection of working papers seeks to inform discussion on these issues. The collection includes a synthesis and three papers that explore the future of food, land, and water systems in greater detail.

This collection is further complemented by a series of more focused briefs on The Future of X and a recent PIM Synthesis Brief on Strategic Foresight in the One CGIAR: Gaps and Needs in Approaches and Capacity.