What does an Ivy League university have in common with a Michelin starred restaurant that has been hailed as the best restaurant in the world? They are working together to address sustainability. Together, Yale University and chef Rene Redzepi (of noma restaurant and MAD, a Danish non-profit dedicated to educating people about healthy, sustainable eating) will work with chefs, students, environmental experts, and Yale faculty in exploring a range of issues associated with the food industry in order to address sustainability.
This collaborative partnership will use food as the focal point to explore such issues as climate change, soil science, supply chains, labor, politics and markets. By providing such a multidisciplinary approach to sustainability, the university hopes that the application of different talents and expertise to the problem of sustainability will yield solutions as innovative as the Yale/MAD partnership.
By thinking creatively about collaborative opportunities, and providing students with hands-on, interdisciplinary learning opportunities, universities will continue to be the best incubators for climate change solutions.
In June of 2016, Yale will pilot a leadership program for students and faculty interested in contemporary issues surrounding the food industry.
The program, named MAD at Yale, will be a collaboration between the University and MAD, a Danish nonprofit organization founded by world-renowned chef Rene Redzepi. The initiative will bring together chefs, students, environmental experts and Yale faculty members to address a range of political and environmental complications associated with the food industry. In addition to hosting seminars, lectures and workshops, the program will also draw upon campus resources like the Yale Sustainable Food Program and West Campus Urban Farm. Paul Freedman, Yale history professor and academic lead for the program, said students will be matched with and serve as guides for visiting professionals in order to build relationships lasting beyond the duration of the program.
“MAD at Yale is a partnership between a leading academic institution and a restaurant repeatedly acclaimed as the very best in the world,” Director of YSFP Mark Bomford wrote in an email to the News, referring to Redzepi’s Michelin Star-rated restaurant, noma. “The YSFP sees huge and unrelenting demand from students for academic opportunities to address the complicated issues that define our food systems, and this program epitomizes a multidisciplinary and critical approach to problem-solving, from climate change, soil science and the intersection of politics and markets, to kitchen culture, supply chains and food labor.”