The Challenge

Protein sits at the nexus of multiple sustainability issues in the region. It is a helpful lens to look at the wider food system challenges from the climate crisis to feeding a rapidly growing population. The way we produce and consume it has significant impacts on our climate, biodiversity and human health.

At first glance, global and local innovations focused on risk mitigation and supply security promise a more sustainable future, with a lower carbon footprint.Yet, the current activities are too narrowly focused. While it remains critical to reduce carbon emissions and secure the supply of protein to meet growing demand, we need to attend to a broader set of ecological and social impacts at the same time. 

The question is ‘how’ can we do that in a way that better supports a transition to a future-fit protein system in Southeast Asia that is just and regenerative? This will be key for achieving meaningful, sustained and resilient change in the decade ahead.

Protein Challenge Southeast Asia is a multi-year inquiry that works with stakeholders across the food system in Southeast Asia, with the ‘protein visionaries’ who will set a more ambitious approach towards sustainable protein in the region. We will support the change agency of protein actors to redefine business models, policies and practices within protein value chains to achieve a just and regenerative protein system in Southeast Asia.

How Can We Achieve a Future-Fit Protein System in Southeast Asia?

To realise the full potential of protein actors as transformative change agents, we must:

  • Set a collective vision for a just and regenerative protein system in Southeast Asia;
  • Generate recommended ambitious interventions designed to lift barriers to—and unlock opportunities for—enabling a transition;
  • Catalyse prototyping in a range of opportunity areas to activate the system change process; and,
  • Inspire collaboration in Southeast Asia’s protein system.

Case for Action: The Future of Protein in a Changing Region

The Protein Challenge Southeast Asia initiative’s Case for Action in 2021 focused on exploring the change agency of financial actors in enabling this transition towards a just and regenerative protein system. Their role in directing finance towards particular products and business models gives them leverage to shift norms and behaviours within value-chains. The decisions key financial actors make today will shape the food landscape for decades to come, not just for financial success, but for the very way the region produces and consumes its food.

What is the future of protein in Southeast Asia? And how can financial actors enable transformative change to a just and regenerative protein system in a rapidly changing region?

Download the Case for Action Paper Now

Read the Executive Summary here

Innovating Towards a Future-Fit Protein System

Over four-months in 2022, Forum for the Future convened a cohort of Protein Visionaries across the protein innovation space in Singapore through an ‘Action Sprint’—a creative, interactive and time-bound process exploring what ambitious leadership and a just and regenerative future for a thriving protein ecosystem could look like.

Participants explored how reshaping business models and value chains can address emerging challenges in the protein innovation landscape, from declining soil health, supply chain disruptions, to investment decisions that do not contribute to a deep transition towards a future-fit food system.

Learn more about the insights from the Protein Innovators Action Sprint

What Our Partners Say

"The Protein Challenge Southeast Asia is a crucial project that looks at one of the most critical regions that serve as a breadbasket for cities of the future. The initiative interrogates the deeper relationships between stakeholders, financial institutions, and the dynamics that capital markets often do not have time to contemplate." Jolene Lum, Head, Business Development, Nurasa

"Forum’s Protein Challenge Southeast Asia initiative equips innovators to embed systems change approaches into their activities so they support a deep transition towards a resilient, regenerative and socially just food system. This holistic approach helps create the systematic change required to achieve affordable, nutritious, sustainable protein for all." — Food Planet Prize

Join Us

Achieving this cannot be achieved by any one investor, NGO, innovator, policy maker or business acting alone. Achieving a just and regenerative protein system is a significant shift from business as usual. It requires a community of actors to refocus time, energy and resources to inquiry and exploration, that ultimately leads to action.

Together we can explore and reshape the future landscape of the protein and food system in Southeast Asia – one that generates environmental, social and economic value, and is future-fit.

To find out more about joining the inquiry or to learn more about the Protein Challenge Southeast Asia initiative, please contact Vi Nguyen [email protected]