This week, I have the opportunity to be a fly on the wall in a place where some incredible minds are going to discuss global challenges regarding food production. The Global Food Security Symposium 2013, hosted by The Chicago Council, will “urge U.S. leadership in mobilizing science, increasing trade and capitalizing on the power of business to meet future food demand.” A topic this big requires a broad range of people to be engaged, and that’s exactly who will be in the room — leaders from science, government, business and civil society.
When I discovered that I was going to be able to attend the Symposium, I was a little nervous. I’m still a little nervous and I’m just a fly on the wall! The topic is so big it can be intimidating. So I began to think about some other opportunities I’ve had where I was able to listen to great minds talk about big problems, and a light bulb went off. This is exactly one of the reasons I love my job, and I remembered a conversation related to the Chicago Council.
At a policy conference I attended, I met Catherine Bertini, chair of the international relations program at Syracuse University and co-chair of Tuesday’s symposium. I wasn’t familiar with her until I got to the conference. I listened to several panels and her comments really grabbed me and I was able to video a conversation with her briefly. We talked about the complexities of global food security, poverty and what can be done to improve the situation.
Click the photo to watch the video:
The basic issue leading to food security issues, Bertini says, is poverty. Without money to buy food and land to grow food, they have a struggle. If government policies – by those governments experiencing food security and donor governments like the US and European countries — don’t favor production and small holder farmers, how is poverty to improve? The group coming together want to help governments understand how policy, science, trade and business can come together to help alleviate poverty and food security issues.
If you have an interest in the ideas being discussed, I encourage you to watch the live stream at thechicagocouncil.org/livestream Tuesday throughout the day. The full agenda is also available online.