In Pollica (SA), capital of the Mediterranean Diet, Future Food Institute has inaugurated the Paideia Campus, a 12-year impactful project, where one can learn a new type of sociality and live the concept of integral ecology, a fundamental approach to face the transition necessary to achieve the Goals of the 2030 Agenda, in lifestyle and development models of which the Mediterranean Diet is the most concrete example.
The Paideia Campus expounds a permanent version of the same concept: everything is connected - environmental protection and human health, regeneration of the territory and citizens' well-being, social justice and climate change. The Paideia Campus was created to teach people how to see these connections and thus design a better future for Italy, for the Mediterranean, and for the entire world.
The Campus takes its name from the Greek term "Paideia," which connotates "integral human education" as a weapon to navigate towards the ecological transition. It is the new project of Future Food Institute: a campus that aims to safeguard and enhance the cultural and natural heritage of the Mediterranean ecosystem through the commitment of a dynamic and vital community of young people engaged in the development of innovation in the agri-food field.
The mission and thus the activity of the Future Food Institute concentrates on three dimensions.
We begin with KNOWLEDGE, organizing not only international research projects but also training programs that welcome people from all walks of life from students to teachers and from start-upers to industry leaders from all over the world.
Then the theme of INNOVATION: today you can no longer think of innovation without thinking of sustainability and this is a perfect place to test and prototype innovative solutions for sustainability, sustainable fishing and agriculture, slow tourism, repopulating the villages and making livable the inland areas of Italy that today must be enhanced and protected.
Finally, the involvement of the COMMUNITY, without which these places do not live. The community is a heritage that must be involved, preserved, and regenerated so that it can hand down these millenary traditions over the centuries. And this community is magical, it welcomes you by showing you that the land must be cared for, it teaches you to appreciate the slow pace, the care of the soil and of the territory.
These dimensions gain shape and context in Pollica, a rural village in the south of Italy, the epicenter of the Mediterranean lifestyle and the crossover point of history, culture, and anthropology of this ancient heritage. In a perfect balance between humanistic and scientific culture, the Mediterranean Lifestyle and Diet have contributed to the construction of an identity that has now gone well beyond territorial or food borders. It has become a model within which we can concretely face the coming years, responding to the challenges inherent in the sustainable development objectives of the UN Agenda 2030 and the new European Farm to Fork strategy for the reduction of environmental impacts of agri-foodstuffs, which is considered critical at the global level. It is also establishing itself as a practical system within which to build a truly informed food tech future, one which begins locally and builds to a global scale while retaining the priorities of education and future generations.
Eleven years after the appointment of the Mediterranean Diet as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the awareness of how it is much more than a simple food model, but a wealth of science, traditional knowledge, skills, and identity values generated by a territory, continues to grow. Cilento, which can be considered as a real laboratory of land and marine biodiversity, is capable of releasing unique natural wealth in the world. It is a cultural project that intersects multiple disciplines and has deep roots in the Paleolithic Era.