On 30 and 31 August, WUR is organising a conference on the food issue. Two Millennium Goals are central here: zero hunger (SDG2) and partnerships for the goals (SDG17). The conference is the extension of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) taking place in New York 9 - 18 July. At the conference, 47 countries will come together to discuss progress on the goals and to adjust them.
The programme of the Sustainable Development Goal conference is entirely appropriate. Following the opening by Rector Magnificus Arthur Mol, WUR chair Louise Fresco will chair a debate with three international experts: Akinwumi Adesina, chair of the African Development Bank, Paul Polman, Unilever CEO, and Ertharin Cousin, Stanford University and former chair of the World Food Programme. They will not only debate, but also participate in the wide range of workshops. The workshops will continue into the second day, once three keynote speakers have spoken: Rajiv Shah, chair of the Rockefeller Foundation, Shenggan Fan, director of the International Food Policy Research Institute and Carola van Rijnsoever, Ambassador for Sustainable Development and Arctic Ambassador.
Students are able to take an active part in the conference by participating in the Foodathon. Here student teams from across the world will consider specific food issues. They have to come up with a solution within 36 hours. During this challenge they will draw on the assistance of experts present at the conference. The winning team in the Foodathon will receive a small bursary to develop its ideas further.
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Tackle problems together
Companies, banks, official bodies, social organisations, researchers, large and small financiers and students will be present to take on the challenges around food questions. ‘We will go in search of ways of achieving the sustainability goals with all those present,’ Jelle Maas, one of the conference organisers, says. ‘In particular, we intend to make use of what Wageningen is good at: tackling problems in an interdisciplinary way.’
The conference is organised in Wageningen in the light of the hundredth anniversary of WUR this year.