Theme: Food and Farming

Saturday, December 5th

The vast biodiversity of our planet is the underlying fabric supporting all life on Earth, but the prognosis is grim: biodiversity rates are continuing to plummet as extinctions of species accelerate. Fortunately, the evidence suggests that there are in fact viable pathways for successful action at a global scale, but only if we mobilize and act decisively and rapidly. In this session, we will learn how we can protect and restore 50% of global landscapes while staying below 1.5°C temperature rise in the next few decades. Projects such as the newly launched Global Safety Net provide a roadmap: a bioregional approach combining world-class science, a clear focus on Indigenous rights and stewardship, support for grassroots action, and a vision for transformative philanthropy. Hosted by Justin Winters, Co-Founder and Executive Director of One Earth, with: Carly Vynne Baker, Strategic Partner at RESOLVE; Oscar Soria, Campaign Director at AVAAZ; and additional panelist, TBD.

December 5th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Justin Winters
Co-Founder and Executive Director
One Earth
Carly Vynne Baker, PhD.
Strategic Partner
RESOLVE
Oscar Soria
Campaign Director
Avaaz

Conventional industrial agriculture is systemically flawed, generating enormous collateral environmental, human and economic damage. To face the challenges of erratic climate, natural resource destruction, increased population, and the hardship economics of farming, we need skilled regenerative farmers and a more localized food system. This session will feature three leading figures working on different aspects of the movement to radically transform agriculture. We will begin with an introductory discussion with the whole group, followed by three separate, simultaneous breakouts: 

1. Regenerative Agriculture: Bringing life back to soils depleted by agrochemicals and destructive practices is the key to ensuring the land’s capacity to produce sufficient amounts of healthy food. With: regenerative agriculture consultant Jonathan Lundgren, owner of Blue Dasher Farm, where he combines cutting-edge science with hands-on experience to remove the barriers to adopting regenerative agriculture.

2. New Farmers: The average age of American farmers is close to 60 years old. Activist-farmer Severine von Tscharner Fleming is the founder and Director of Greenhorns,  a national organization promoting, recruiting and supporting new farmers. She will explore the challenges and triumphs of becoming a farmer, what you need to know if you are contemplating becoming a farmer, and what agricultural reforms are needed to increase new farmers’ chances for success. 

3. Local Food: Michael Ableman is a pathfinder in the organic farming and urban agriculture movements, and co-founder/Director of Sole Food Street Farms (one of North America’s largest urban agriculture social enterprises). He will share his experience operating an urban farm in the poorest neighborhood in Vancouver, British Columbia, and explain how he has developed relationships with top chefs and how localized food systems can play a bigger role in food security.   

December 5th | 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

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Panelists


Jonathan Lundgren
CEO
Blue Dasher Farm
Michael Ableman
Co-Founder/Director
Sole Food Street Farms

Sunday, December 13th

Our most cherished sustainable farming practices, from organic agriculture to the farm cooperative, have roots in African wisdom, but discrimination and violence against African-American farmers have led to their decline from 14% of all growers in 1920 to less than 2% today. Furthermore, Black communities suffer disproportionately from food apartheid. Renowned longtime farmer, educator, author, and food sovereignty activist, Leah Penniman, will explain the deep roots of this land loss and food injustice and share the work she at Soul Fire Farm and others around the country in Black and Brown farming communities are doing to reclaim ancestral rights, renew ties to the land, achieve genuine agency in the food system, and advance food sovereignty.(Leah is also the sister of frequent Bioneers presenter Naima Penniman, half of the brilliant musical/spoken-word duo, Climbing PoeTree.)

December 13th | 11:32 am to 11:47 am

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Keynote


Leah Penniman
Co-Executive Director
Soul Fire Farm

People of Color have been marginalized in regards to the production and consumption of, and access to, healthy foods and as a result have far higher rates of food insecurity and of negative health impacts that result from poor nutrition. Three community leaders discuss how they are working to break through the impacts of colonization to develop a community-owned food system that is equitable, profitable and built on respectful relationships. With farmer, author Leah Penniman; Mohawk seed keeper and farmer, Rowen White; and Rev. Herber Brown, founder of the Black Church Food Security Network.

December 13th | 12:30 pm to 1:45 pm

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Panelists


Heber Brown
Founding Director
Orita’s Cross Freedom School
Leah Penniman
Co-Executive Director
Soul Fire Farm