Student Focus: Alysha Harnam's Journey on the Food Track

Food track interview
Tue, 07/09/2024 - 12:44

The master's programme in Global Challenges for Sustainability consists of three phases. Students from the current cohort will soon complete the second phase in which they have chosen a track on food, water or life & health. Alysha Harnam, who is studying the food track in Barcelona, shares her experiences. 

Why did you choose the food track?  

I chose the food track because food is essential; it fuels people, the planet, and animals. Sustainable food practices are crucial for ensuring long-term health and environmental stability. By focusing on sustainable food systems, we can improve nutrition, reduce environmental impact, and support biodiversity. This track offers a unique opportunity to make a significant positive impact on global health and ecological balance. 

What was the most challenging for you while learning that track?  

The most challenging part of learning this track was becoming aware of how deeply food impacts our surroundings and my own eating practices. The more I learned, the more I realized the complexity of sustainable food systems. However, this challenge was enriching rather than daunting, as it encouraged me to adopt healthier, more sustainable habits and appreciate the broader implications of our food choices. 


What did you learn that was the most unexpected?  

The most unexpected lesson was realizing the vast impact of food and food practices on all aspects of sustainability. I learned that our choices affect not just personal health, but also environmental health, economic stability, and social equity. Understanding this interconnectedness highlighted the importance of sustainable food systems in addressing global challenges, from climate change to food security. 


What is your studies background and how did it help you during phase 2? 

I have a background in European Studies and marketing and communications. This diverse academic foundation helped me during phase 2 by providing a broad perspective on cultural, political, and economic contexts. My marketing and communications skills enabled me to effectively present ideas, engage with stakeholders, and promote sustainable food practices, while my understanding of European policies enriched my approach to addressing sustainability challenges. 


What would you tell another student who might be interested in studying that track?  

I would tell another student interested in this track to embrace the journey, as it offers invaluable insights into the critical role of food in sustainability. With your knowledge, you can make an immediate impact by spreading awareness and promoting sustainable practices. It's a unique opportunity to influence global health, the environment, and society. Be prepared to challenge your assumptions, broaden your perspective, and adopt sustainable habits. Your efforts will contribute to a healthier planet and more resilient food systems.  


Why did you choose CHARM-EU?  

I chose CHARM-EU because it offers a unique hybrid environment that combines online and in-person learning. The program provides opportunities to travel and experience different cultures, making it an inclusive and diverse community. Additionally, Charm-EU focuses on tackling real-life, pressing issues, allowing students to see firsthand how their work can have a meaningful impact on global challenges.   


Do you already know what your Capstone project will be?  

Yes, my Capstone project will be with Roca Group in Barcelona. The challenge is to design an innovative engagement program for 20,000 global employees, focusing on fostering sustainable behaviours within the company and inspiring personal lifestyle changes. This is such an exciting opportunity because it gives me perspective on how I can put all my obtained knowledge from the last year into practice. 


Interested in hearing about the Life & Health track? Another interview will come soon! Stay tuned to CHARM-EU news by subscribing to our newsletter