2014 Keynote Announced
The 27th annual Camden Conference, entitled “The Global Politics of Food and Water,” takes place February 21-23, 2014, live at the Camden Opera House and live-streamed to the Strand Theatre in Rockland and the Hutchinson Center in Belfast.
The 2014 Conference will provide a provocative look at the global dynamics of managing the world’s food and water resources at a time when the challenge to meet the ever-increasing demand has never been more critical. By 2050, our planet’s population may have grown by two billion, while other factors, including climate change, may have greatly reduced land and water resources essential for food production. The world will have to produce even more food without more land and with less water.
The Conference will address a wide range of issues related to food and water, including the contentious debate between industrial agriculture practices and small-scale farming operations; food security issues dependent on international cooperation; and innovations that encourage more productive farming and fishing.
Having outlined the most pressing issues, the Conference will examine options that can be considered by governments and citizens to promote secure access to food and water in sustainable ways. Throughout the weekend, enlightening presentations by leading international experts will cover promising policies and practices now being used in China, Africa, and North America.
The moderator for this Conference will be Jonathan Foley, a noted expert on these topics. He is the director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, where he holds the McKnight Presidential Chair in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. Foley’s work focuses on the sustainability of our civilization and the global environment. He has contributed to our understanding of global food security, global patterns of land use, the behavior of the planet’s climate, ecosystems and water cycle, and the sustainability of the biosphere. This work has led him to be a regular adviser to large corporations, NGOs, and governments around the world. His public presentations on global issues have been featured at hundreds of venues, including the Aspen Environmental Forum, the Chautauqua Institution, and TED.
The keynote speaker on Friday evening, February 21, will be Fred Kirschenmann, who has been involved in sustainable agriculture and food issues for most of his life. He brings a unique perspective to the topic, thanks to his academic and hands-on farming experience. He currently serves as both a Distinguished Fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University and as President of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York. He also continues to manage his family’s 1,800-acre certified organic farm in south-central North Dakota. Kirschenmann also has been an adviser for several documentaries including American Meat and Symphony of the Soil. In April 2010, the University Press of Kentucky published a book of Kirschenmann’s essays, Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher, which traces the evolution of his ecological and farming philosophy over the past 30 years.
Tickets for the 2014 Conference are on sale currently to members and will be available to the general public starting November 25. Visit the website, www.camdenconference.org, for more information and ticket sales online after November 25.
Foundations that are supporting the 2014 Conference include The William and Joan Alfond Foundation; The Cascade Foundation; The Emanuel and Pauline A. Lerner Foundation; the Maine Community Foundation; The Mattina R. Proctor Foundation; and the Elmina Sewall Foundation. The Conference’s Global sponsor is R. M. Davis, Inc., and the Education sponsor is The Unity Foundation. Additional sponsors include Hannaford Bros. Co., Educational Development Center, Down East magazine, as New England Magazine sponsor, and The Free Press.
The mission of the Camden Conference is to foster informed discourse on world affairs through year-round community events, public and student engagement, and an annual weekend conference. For more information, visit www.camdenconference.org, email [email protected], or call 207-236-1034.