Past Event

Building sustainable food futures

4 June 2018 17:30–19:00

Jubilee Lecture Theatre, University of Sussex

Sustainable food systems are a pressing and undisputed goal – but what barriers are preventing the vision from becoming a reality, and how can they be overcome? How can underlying power dynamics underpinning the current food system be confronted? What are the viable pathways away from industrial agriculture and its associated problems towards diverse agricultural systems, and what does it take to set them in motion? 

Watch the video of the lecture below

Event is being streamed live on Facebook.

What global lessons can be learned from innovations occurring in Brighton and Hove? Hosted by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food (IPES-Food) and IDS, this event ‘Building sustainable food futures: global and local action to overcome today’s system failures’ brings together leading global and local thinkers, including former UN special rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier de Schutter, and the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership. Panellists will share their thoughts and stimulate debate on key road blocks and how to remove them to achieve sustainable food systems.


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Olivier De Schutter is the former UN special rapporteur on the right to food (2008-2014), and co-chair of the IPES-Food. He is a Professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, working on international human rights and fundamental rights in the EU. He was awarded Belgium’s top scientific award in 2013, the Prix Francqui, for his contribution to the advancement of EU law, the theory of governance, and human rights law. 

Emile Frison is an expert on conservation and agricultural biodiversity who headed global research-for-development organisation Bioversity International for ten years. He is the lead author of the first major report from IPES-Food, From Uniformity to Diversity: A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems. 

Yan Hairong is an anthropologist and Associate Professor at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her current research concerns food sovereignty and agrarian change in China. She publishes in the Journal of Peasant Studies and the Journal of Agrarian Change, and contributes to the food sovereignty network in China. Previous work has covered rural-urban migration and relations in China, and China-Africa links. 

Emily O’Brien is Policy and Partnerships Manager at Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, a local non-profit organisation helping people learn to cook, eat a healthy diet, grow their own food and waste less food.

Chair: Melissa Leach, Director, IDS

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