Conclusions: The Way Forward in Achieving the SDGS—The Urgency of Transforming Our Agri-Food Systems

  • Stefano ZamagniEmail author


What we are now experiencing is the second great transformation in the Polanyian sense. The first was the one masterfully analyzed by Karl Polanyi in his famous book The Great Transformation, published in 1944, a study of the impacts on Western society of the first industrial revolution (England, second half of the eighteenth century) and of the second industrial revolution (Germany, late nineteenth century). The second great transformation makes reference to the third industrial revolution (in the 1970s) and to the fourth (typically starting with the new century). We do not yet know how and to what extent the new digital and artificial intelligence technologies will modify the central core of capitalism and its underlying cultural model. However, we do know that the convergent technologies of the NBIC group (nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, cognitive science) are having a significant impact on many fronts, in particular on the entire sector of our current agri-food systems, which have become unsustainable for both humans and nature.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bologna Academy of SciencesBolognaItaly
  2. 2.University of BolognaBolognaItaly
  3. 3.Johns Hopkins University, SAIS EuropeBolognaItaly

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