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Food: A Discussion on Sustainable Futures

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University College London

Gower Street

London

WC1E 6BT

United Kingdom

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World population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050 and more than 70% of people will be living in urban areas across the globe by 2040. Food systems will face many challenges and food security will increasingly become subject to even greater pressures. In light of this, how do we address questions like:

How do we feed 9 billion people without agriculture continuing to cause great and even irreversible damage to ecosystems, biodiversity and natural resources?

How do we ensure that food and resources are distributed across and within nations given issues of rising food insecurity due to climate change?

How do we create food systems that are sustainable and address the problems of today and tomorrow? What is our role as citizens in addressing these social, economical and environmental challenges?

Business as usual can’t address these challenges. However, even though we don’t claim to have the answers, solutions already exist that could help us tackle some of these issues - from hydroponics in abandoned tunnels and vertical farming in cities, to empowered communities and individuals who are reimagining food production. At the Green Economy Society, we aim to bring interdisciplinary conversation to the table and get to the core of the issues. To begin to collectively address these challenges, we need to look to academics for the most current concepts and ideas, and also towards the people putting these ideas into practice on the ground.

Here to speak on this subject are:

- Dr Robert Biel (UCL) - leading expert in urban agriculture
Robert teaches Political Ecology at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit, UCL, and also runs a Master’s module on Food and the City. His books include The Entropy of Capitalism (2013). As a practitioner of low-input agriculture as well as an activist in the Transition Towns movements, Robert is particularly interested in how the crisis can act as a trigger for a new community resilience.

- Tirion Keatinge - Head chef and Head of Sourcing at the restaurant Scandinavian Embassy, Amsterdam
Tirion has diverse experience in food, ranging from sustainability consultancy to on-the-ground work with innovative farming and land management. In his current position as chef he promotes sustainable food systems through his sourcing policy, vegetable-based cooking and efficient day-to-day kitchen practices. Through this and various events he aims to support a growing network of innovative local producers, showcase sustainable farming practice, and find functional models for producing diverse, healthy food systems. (to be confirmed by SU)

- Laura Dempsey (UCL) - IOE Garden Project
Laura is a Phd candidate at UCL. She will represent the IOE Garden Project. The UCL Institute of Education gardens were created in 2013 by a student-led team, and were designed to encourage birds, bees, bats and butterflies to the UCL campus. Sarah’s Garden functions as a community garden and outdoor classroom where both novice and experienced gardeners grow flowers, fruit, herbs and vegetables.

Come along to hear from our keynote speakers and experience a lively panel discussion on the food systems of the future! The panel discussion will be moderated by UCL Phd candidate Nick Anim who is researching the 'Transition Town' movement and 'Repowering London'.

Make sure you purchase your membership (£3) here in advance to enjoy this event and many more to come: http://studentsunionucl.org/clubs-societies/green-economy-society.
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University College London

Gower Street

London

WC1E 6BT

United Kingdom

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