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Webinar April 6 – The Role of Innovation and Technology in Feeding the Future

April 6 @ 1:00 pm 2:30 pm

Today the same technologies that brought us the Internet and are transforming medicine are reshaping food and farming systems. Smart tractors know where they are in the field and plant the right seed in the right place and give it the right amount of fertilizer, robotic milkers boost productivity while maintaining herd health and reduce potentially harmful inputs such as antibiotics, vertical farms that allow any crop to be produced anywhere anytime, and alternative protein products that provide high-quality foodstuffs to consumers at a minimal environmental cost are all examples of innovation and technology that are helping us to feed the future. These technologies are all on the cusp of going mainstream and are talked about with breathless anticipation in the media. 

Join us for this webinar! Dr. Evan Fraser from the University of Guelph will provide a high-level overview of the potential for these technologies to create stronger and more resilient food systems while also reflecting on limitations, barriers, and bottlenecks.

Speaker: Evan Fraser 

Evan is the Director of the Arrell Food Institute and a professor of Geography at the University of Guelph. There, Evan works to bring large and diverse teams together to develop strategies that balance our need to produce and distribute accessible, healthy, and nutritious food while stewarding the ecosystems on which we all depend for life. He believes that it is only by building bridges between the corporate sector, government, civil society, and academics that we will be able to create food systems fit for the challenges of the 21st century.

Award-winning author, Evan co-authored Empires of Food: Feast, Famine and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations (with Andre Rimas), and Dinner on Mars: The Technologies That Will Feed the Red Planet and Transform Agriculture on Earth (co-authored with Lenore Newman). Evan’s graphic novel (#FoodCrisis) is a tool that is being used in classrooms around the world, and his web series “feeding nine billion” has been watched over 600,000 times.

As a researcher, Evan is one of Canada’s most cited social scientists working on food and sustainability and between 2010-2020 was a Canada Research Chair. Between 2014-17 he was a Fellow of the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation, he is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars. He sits on several boards that advise government, industry, and charities. This includes co-chairing the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council and vice-chairing the Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security. 

Moderated by: Roy Culpeper 

Roy is a development economist, an Honorary Senior Fellow of the University of Ottawa’s School of International Development and Global Studies, an Adjunct Professor at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, and a Fellow of the Broadbent Institute. He is Chair of the Group of 78, which focuses on international affairs and Canadian foreign policy. From January until May 2011 he was Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. From 1995 until 2010 he was President and Chief Executive Officer of The North-South Institute, Ottawa. Earlier in his career, he was an official at the World Bank in Washington, the federal Departments of Finance and External Affairs in Ottawa, and the Planning Secretariat of the Government of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Roy Culpeper obtained his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Toronto. He has published widely on the issues of international development, finance, and global governance.

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