This set of cards identifies key drivers of change associated with food. Not only does food provide life-sustaining calories, it also shapes and preserves family, cultural and religious identities. Expanding scale is threatening food quality and sustainability; food now accelerates rather than protects against social and ecological decline. Here we identify drivers which are cross-cutting and not particular to contexts, countries or regions.

The drivers of change are arranged and presented within societal, technological, economic, environmental and political domains known as the STEEP framework. Each carefully designed card depicts a single driver.

The set was devised by the Foresight, Innovation and Incubation team at Arup, a group tasked with exploring emerging trends and how they impact upon the business of Arup and its clients. The cards include powerful images contributed by photographers from all over the world who are affiliated to The result is a vibrant visual record of research, which can also be used as a tool for discussion groups, personal prompts, for workshop events or as a “thought for the week”.

Published by Arup, 2009.

affluent taste

affluent taste Front
affluent taste Back

satellite sensing

satellite sensing Front
satellite sensing Back

power players

power players Front
power players Back

soil depletion

soil depletion Front
soil depletion Back

crop diversion

crop diversion Front
crop diversion Back