Fall 2014 Speaker Series

Our current farming methods affect more than just the produce and livestock that we grow. Sustainable agricultural practices can help us mitigate the impacts of a changing climate, adapt to an altered environment and increase our resilience as a species. But, the question remains, can sustainable agriculture feed the world?

This provocative series investigates the foods that are central to our diets: who grows them, how they are grown, and what challenges and opportunities this holds for local, regional, and global food supplies. All events are free and open to the public.

Tuesday, November 4
Keynote: Vandana Shiva
Challenges & Realities of Feeding the World

Who really feeds the world? There is a common conception that industrial agriculture feeds the world. While only 30% of the world’s food is actually produced on large-scale farms, industrial agriculture is a primary contributor to the ecological destruction of the planet. Additionally, according to the IUCN, 75% of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops has been lost.

Over the last 30 years, Navdanya, a participatory research initiative founded by Dr. Vandana Shiva, has shown that biodiversity-based agriculture produces more nutrition and health per acre and increases the incomes of small farmers.

In this final keynote lecture of our series, Dr. Shiva will address the myths that allow an unsustainable, unjust, violent system of food production to dominate our discourse, while the initiatives and movements that are creating sustainability, justice, and peace are marginalized.

A book signing will immediately follow the lecture. Copies of the brand new collection of essays Sacred Seed (edited by Global Peace Initiative of Women) will be available for purchase. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own copies of Shiva’s books for signing.

This keynote lecture is co-sponsored by the Office of Sustainability; School of Divinity’s Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative; the Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability; Department of Biology; Department of Chemistry; Pro Humanitate Institute; and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

The event is free and open to the public. Click here for full event details.

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WFU Community Deliberative Dialogue 
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Tuesday, October 7
GMO OMG: Documentary Film & Discussion

GMO OMG director and concerned father Jeremy Seifert is in search of answers. How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice? And perhaps the ultimate question, which Seifert tests himself: is it even possible to reject the food system currently in place, or have we lost something we can’t gain back?” (GMO OMG)

We hope that the film and discussion with the filmmaker will stimulate lively discussion of important and contested food-related issues. 

This event is co-sponsored by the School of Divinity’s Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative and is free and open to the public. Click here for full event details. 

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Wednesday, September 10
Panel: Make Every Bite Count

If every dollar we spend is a vote for the world we want, how can we make every bite count? During this moderated discussion, panelists* will provide insights into the importance of biodiversity and sustainable land and water use to a resilient food system. Individually, and collectively, these entrepreneurs are contributing to the economic vitality of our region by offering value-added choices to the marketplace.

This discussion will be moderated by regional Slow Food governor Jan Wesley and serves as the kick-off of a semester-long series on the challenges and realities of feeding the world.

For full speaker biographies or topical resources, visit www.sustainability.wfu.edu.

The event, which is co-sponsored by the WFU Center for Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship, is free and open to the public. Reserved group seating is available by request. Free parking is available in Lot Q.

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