Written by: Jackson Wolf
My name is Jackson Wolf, and I am a generalist concerned with analysing food systems from critical and interdisciplinary viewpoints. I enjoy asking questions about barriers to innovation, how societal understandings of sustainability are constructed (and by whom), and what can be done to center young and agrarian voices in these discourses.
Professionally, my experience lies around the areas of product management (working with business stakeholders and software engineers to optimise the impact and usability of digital products), though I've also worked as an Account Manager, peer mentor, and the manager of a small (10 hectare) farm. The scope and focus areas of my work are more closely linked to my academic background, where I received a Bachelor's of Anthropology and of Environmental Studies from Kenyon College, in the United States, and a Master's of Global Health from Maastricht University, in the Netherlands. My research applied social entrepreneurship and community-based enterprise frameworks to agricultural development initiatives in Khartoum, Sudan, allowing me to examine broad-ranging levers affecting food security such as local food processing capacity, financing mechanisms, and who may be included by or left out of these projects. Few things make me more excited than a well-organised and aligned team or individuals discovering how their skills and interests can be used to investigate and move topics they care about.
In the context of my engagement with YPARD and YPARD Germany I am looking forward to highlighting central themes in German agricultural development discourses and beyond, particularly those that would increase the slice of the proverbial pie enjoyed by smallholders. Some examples of these are vertically-integrated and direct-to-consumer brands, secondary revenue sources, paying farmers for the ecological services provided by their operations, and facilitating collaboration across the civil society landscape. I'm very excited to help build the growth of YPARD in Germany and beyond, and look forward to facilitating more engagement with our projects and thematic areas into the future!
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