Global Alliance III

Lead Organization:

Meridian Institute




The Meridian Institute builds understanding, guides collaboration, and drives action to address the world’s complex challenges. The Meridian Institute serves as fiscal sponsor for the Global Alliance for the Future of Food.

The Global Alliance for the Future of Food (GA) is a strategic alliance of philanthropic foundations working together and with others to transform global food systems now and for future generations. The GA believes in the urgency of transforming global food systems, and in the power of working together and with others to effect positive change. Food systems reform requires crafting new and better solutions at all scales through a systems-level approach and deep collaboration among philanthropy, researchers, grassroots movements, the private sector, farmers and food systems workers, indigenous peoples, government, and policymakers. The McKnight Foundation is a founding member of the Global Alliance, with significant support being extended to Global Alliance priorities and initiatives, as well as providing strategic leadership on the Steering and Executive Committees.

This grant supports four areas of the Global Alliance’s work, namely:

  • Core support: The McKnight Foundation’s annual participation fee funds the operations of the Global Alliance. It will strengthen the GA to be effective in leveraging its core competencies and the resources and networks of members in order to transform food systems.
  • True cost accounting community of practice: Support for the community of practice will bring together TCA practitioners focused in food and agriculture in order to facilitate networking, learning, and collective action.
  • True cost accounting accelerator: This support will establish a true cost accounting accelerator to advance efforts to make visible the full costs of food including nutrition, livelihoods, productivity, and equity by investing in efforts to identify, measure, and value the positive and negative environmental, social, and health externalities of food and agricultural systems, and to deploy innovative strategies to effect associated policy and market change. In particular, the work has potential for impact through participatory, collaborative research between farmers, researchers, NGOs, and government.
  • Innovation: The GA’s new and emerging work provides an opportunity to be creative and adaptive when unexpected opportunities emerge that have the potential to transform food systems toward towards greater sustainability, security, and equity.

Grant Aims:

The GA aims to:
1) forge new insights and strengthen evidence for global systems change.
2) convene key food systems actors, facilitate meaningful dialogue, and strengthen interconnections.
3) stimulate local and global action and interaction for transformational change to realize healthy, equitable, renewable, resilient, interconnected, and culturally diverse food and agriculture systems shaped by people, communities, and their institutions.

Outputs and Outcomes:

This grant, taken together with other efforts of the Global Alliance’s work, leads to a food system that is:

  • Renewable. It addresses the integrity of natural and social resources that are the foundation of a healthy planet and future generations in the face of changing global and local demands;
  • Resilient. It supports regenerative, durable, and economically adaptive systems in the face of a changing planet;
  • Equitable. It promotes sustainable livelihoods and access to nutritious and just food systems;
  • Diverse. It values the rich and diverse agricultural, ecological, and cultural heritage of humanity;
  • Healthful. It advances the health and well-being of people, animals, the environment, and the societies that depend on all three;
  • Interconnected. It honors the implications of the interdependence of food, people, and the planet in a transition to more sustainable food and agricultural systems.