The SFYN Academy

Building future
food leaders

We can’t solve our challenges with the same thinking that created them. We need systemic views, new perspectives and creative, cross-border minds.

The SFYN Academy offers knowledge on the current food system, insight in the compelling alternatives, and help you to acquire the skills needed to lead the change we need. Diversity is key: we aim to include participants from different backgrounds and disciplines to secure a diverse knowledge exchange. 

This way, we bring together young, talented and motivated changemakers, to become the leaders we need.

Youths celebrating Slow food


Online program

The first Online Global SFYN Academyprogram, running from October 2020 to April 2021, covers 6 crucial topics regarding the current and future food system. The program consists of of 6 monthly open lectures and six monthly closed trainings. Open lectures are accessible for everyone who’s interested and always conclude space for questions and discussion; the closed trainings are available for a selection of 25 promising global youth – from farmer to entrepreneur or scientist. All of the activities will be online, the general duration of every meeting will be approximately two hours, always on Fridays at 3 pm CET.

Food Transitions

Oct. 16 – Lecture: How can you change the food system?  In our first lecture, we dive into transitions theory: the theory of fundamental, systemic change.

Oct. 23 – Training: How can we empower ourselves with food?

Leading change

Nov.6 – Lecture: Who is in charge of the system? Get to know the main players, different organisations and institutions involved in the global protein chain – and explore the alternatives.

Nov. 20 – Training: There is a leader inside of us – how do you nourish your leadership?

Designing the future

Dec. 4 – Lecture: In the third lecture, we listen to different farmers, discuss technology and food sovereignty, and a fundamental question: should we grow feed, or food?

Dec. 18 – Training: How do you design an unknown future?


Jan. 8 – Lecture: From processing plant to artisanal butcher: in the fourth lecture we reflect on both practices with field experts, and discuss cultural and ethical aspects.

Jan. 22 – Training:  In this training, we develop an entrepreneurial mindset – fit for your own cause, work, business or organisation.

Eating change

Feb. 5 – Lecture: Discover how our food choices have an impact on our personal lives and on our society in terms of nutrition, gastronomy, culture and environment.

Fe. 19 – Training:  In this training, we learn different tools to become a powerful speaker – but also a powerful listener.

Serving change

Mar. 5 – Lecture: We harvest the insights of the previous five lectures, discuss our different perspectives and exchange shared values.

Mar. 19 – Training:   How do we keep on learning? How do we stay focused and resilient on our changemaker’s journey?



By combining a diversity of practices and solutions in both the educational program and the group, we challenge our participants to rethink their  assumptions, and take home those lessons that fit their own talents and environment.

01Self Autonomy

Develop the ability to think independently, analyze problems, see different perspectives of the same reality, get to the bottom of the challenges and find solutions.

02Critical sense

Nourish skills that enable to have a global view based on the values of sustainability, equality and fairness, which can always be applied to each new situation or challenge, regardless of field or sector.


Grow your ability to simultaneously be a valued and open listener and a powerful leader, holding track to your core and serve the change needed to the world.


Learn how to develop radically different ideas, concepts and products and learn re-innovate when new input, knowledge or visions emerge.

Take over the world

We are global!

The Slow Food Youth Network – SFYN is a group of young people, 18 to 35 years old, who shares the same philosophy of the Slow Food Movement. We are in 186 countries, and bring together different cultures, origins and profiles with a common goal: contribute to a better food system! 

We are cooks, producers, indigenous, farmers, chefs, consumers, policy makers and food professionals of all kinds, willing to take action and change the food system fundamentally. 

The SFYN Academy is one of the main initiatives from the Slow Food Youth Network, created in 2010 by SFYN Netherlands group. Troughout the years this educational model has been taking over the world, reaching Europe (Germany and Netherlands), Africa (Uganda and Kenya), Asia (Korea) and Latin America (Brazil). In 2020 we will take our local Academies to the next level and organize the first Online Global SFYN Academy!

Fair pricing


Participation in the Global Academy must be accessible for every motivated and talented young changemaker. Participation fees will be low-key, adjusted to the average income in the country of origin. The fee includes full access to the course; that means all the webinars and the workshops, including the training support from our coaches. Scholarships are also all inclusive. 

For the 2020/2021 edition (our first edition), the Online Global SFYN Academy is completely free for the participants.


Selection Process

For the first Online Global SFYN Academy, we select a unique group of motivated change makers. In the selection, certain elements are key. Diversity is at the core of the Academy model. After all, when we are challenged by views and ideas that are different than ours, we grow. Therefore we aim to form a group of 25 participant that represent every part of the food chain – from farmer to designer to business manager – and different social and cultural backgrounds. To prevent overrepresentation, the first Online Global SFYN Academy will consist of 5 participants per continent with a maximum of one participant per country. That doesn’t mean that your resume needs to be top of the professional or educational game to be selected: talents come in many forms. Motivation to become a changemaker is an important criterium in our selection procedure. During the selection procedure, we look in particular to your answers to questions concerning motivation and your application video – representing YOUR particular drive, vision, ideas and character. Experience learned us that these questions and assignments are a good indicator for leadership potential – and leadership is what we aim for.

Next to taking these insights into account, consider the following details:

  • Please ensure that your are able to pay the fee that fits your situation
  • Please ensure that you are able to attend all lectures and trainings. Do you miss more than one lecture or training? You cannot participate in the Academy!
  • Don’t miss the deadline for application: October 7!
  • We will email you about the final selection on October 8.
  • Any questions? Fill the contact form in the end of the page


Do you want to know more?

Are you curious and want to know more? Send us an email!

The Slow Food Youth Network Academy is an official project from Slow Food and Slow Food Youth Network. The Online Global edition is part of Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2020-2021 and is co-organized by the Brazilian, Dutch, German, Italian and Ugandan Academy coordinators.


The Leading Change lecture is financed by the European Union.  The contents of this lecture are the sole responsibility of the author and the EASME is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

Building future food leaders photo credit:  Anne Harteman;  Online program photo credit from left up to down right: Kester Scholten, Slow Food Youth Network, Liset van der Laan, Slow Food Youth Network Uganda, Anne Harteman, Liset van der Laan. We are global photo photo credit from left up to down right: Slow Food Youth Network, Slow Food Youth Deutschland, Liset van der Laan, Slow Food Youth Network Brazil, Slow Food Youth Network Uganda, Slow Food Youth Network Korea.