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Ideas Yard: The future of sustainable farming and food consumption (September 15,2020 at 18:00)

15th September 2020 at 18:00 CEST

Live discussion at Istituto Italiano di Cultura Praga (Šporkova 335, 118 00 Malá Strana)

Free registration necessary

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What will farming look like in the future? And food consumption? To imagine it, let's start with some projections: according to FAO, in 2050 we will be 9.1 billion people on the planet, 70% of people will live in cities, while today we are only 49%. Food production, if we keep the standards of developed countries, will have to grow by 70%, which means at least 3 billion tons of cereals and 470 million tons of meat. Meanwhile, the climate is changing, arable land is decreasing and extreme events are more and more damaging food production. In addition, agriculture is by itself responsible for the greenhouse gas emission. Is there a way to produce food in a sustainable way? There are several models and options: from agroforestry, organic production and change in the composition of the human diet to vertical farming, hydroponics, indoor and lab cultivation and high-tech treatment to increase post-harvest shelf-life of food. Pros and cons of each will be presented, in order to imagine the agriculture of tomorrow. On the other side, food consumption will play a key role in driving sustainability. The impact of food waste as well as of diets (e.g. Mediterranean Diet) will be investigated with respect to the reaching of the UN SDGs 2030.


Andrea Segrè (Trieste, 1961) is professor of International and Comparative Agricultural Policy, University of Bologna (since 2000). His research focuses on food waste, circular economy and sustainable development. Founder of Last Minute Market (2003), an academic spin off, and of Zero Waste Campaing (2010), professor Segrè currently is President of the AgroFood Center in Bologna (since 2012) and of FICO Fundation (since 2017). President of the Edmund Mach Fundation in San Michele all’Adige, Trento (2015-2020), Director of the Department of Agricultural and Food Science, University of Bologna (2012-2015), Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Bologna (2005-2012). In 2012 he was awarded with the Pellegrino Artusi International Prize. He authored a number of scientific articles on international and national Journals. Last book was published in 2019: "Il metodo spreco zero" (Rizzoli).

Ilaria Pertot (Udine, 1966) is professor of Plant pathology, University of Trento and head of the Center Agriculture Food Environment, (since 2017). Her research focuses on sustainable production in agriculture, low impact methods for plant protection against pathogens and pests, effect of climate change on plants and their pests and on new or emerging plant diseases. She carried out her research activity as visiting scientist in prestigious research centers in the United States (UC Berkeley), Switzerland (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich) and Israel (Volcani Center) and as a scientific director of a company in Belgium that develops biopesticides. She is the inventor of four patents (biofungicides) and the author of more than 200 scientific and technical publications. She is vice president of the International Organization for Biological Control and Integrated Pest Management (IOBC-wprs) and coordinator of numerous international research projects.

Eliška Selinger is a medical doctor, PhD student and a researcher in nutritional epidemiology at the 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague. In her research, she focuses on the issue of plant-based diet and teh relation between diet and disease. As a public health worker she has beeen involved in project targeting school canteens and nutritional health of children and youth.

About the project

This talk is part of the European project Ideas Yard: Talking about Europe, which is a joint project of the Goethe-Institut, Austrian Cultural Forum, British Council, Czech Centres, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Italian Cultural Institute and Polish Institute and is funded by EUNIC Global. EUNIC – European Union National Institutes for Culture – is Europe’s network of national cultural institutes and organisations. The project aims at engaging in a discourse on shared European topics such as sustainability, freedom & democracy as well as innovation & education.



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