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WEF-FABI Online Seminar Series – Water-Energy-Food Nexus

April 11 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

WEF-FABI Online Seminar Series

Presentation 4: Water-Energy-Food Nexus

Mike Jacobson (Penn State University)

The water-energy-food (WEF) nexus is a useful framework for addressing complex transdisciplinary natural resource and environmental challenges in integrated, innovative ways. Practitioners of water-energy-food (WEF) nexus have recognized that an integrated approach, which assesses trade-offs and synergies in resource management instead of working in independent silos, is essential to ensure the sustainability of our global, regional, and local WEF systems. African society is facing a ‘perfect storm’ of climate change, a growing population, and a shrinking supply of natural resources. The agricultural transition in many African countries has not met expectations despite decades of development programs. Transdisciplinary analysis of African farming using ‘WEF nexus thinking’ could improve farmer decision support systems and lead to more sustainable land use management. This webinar will build on other development approaches such as Ubuntu and Social Contracts/Universal Basic Income (UBI) and discuss ways WEF nexus can complement or provide alternatives to improve livelihoods of African communities and farmers.

Zoom Link:

Ubuntu, Social Contracts, UBI, WEF-Nexus,
Social Protection, and Empirical Research

Together with our partners at UNAM the WEF-FABI TEAM will host an online seminar series on “Ubuntu, Social Contracts, UBI, Water-Energy-Food Nexus, Social Protection, and Empirical Research,” starting on 21/03/2024. With assorted guests, the series will create a path of interconnections and differences between these topics and ask how their elements fit together. We want to examine how Ubuntu can be used in social experiments. Finally, the workshop findings will be incorporated into joint work (e.g. joint papers or field studies).

“Ubuntu” is a bond of unity amongst the people of Africa (Asike 2016, p. 7). In this sense, ubuntu is a philosophy that justifies norms and deliberate rules. With that, it touches common ground with the tradition of the social contract theory. In our series, we will follow various questions connecting these two traditions of thought: What are the main positions in these philosophical traditions? What are the similarities/differences between ubuntu and social contract theory? How can the shared features of the two of them be connected? We will then confront philosophical insights with the idea of a universal basic income and further link the various strings to possible impacts on social policy interactions. We take a look at the trade-offs between different policies and sharpen our awareness of the water-energy-food nexus and social protection. Finally, we will see how we can use empirical methods to normative justify policies and contribute to solving trade-offs.


April 11
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm