University of Vermont

Food Systems Initiative

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Call for Presentations

UVM Food Systems Summit
June 16-17, 2015 | Burlington, VT

The proposal submission period has ended. Thank you to everyone who submitted. Applicants will be alerted of the status of their proposal by March 1..

The University of Vermont (UVM) Food Systems Summit is an annual event drawing scholars, practitioners, and food systems leaders to engage in dialogue on the pressing food systems issues facing our world. This year, UVM is partnering with Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems to increase collaboration from the law and policy community. By doing so, we seek to foster transdisciplinary scholarship and cross-professional partnerships in order to further humanity's efforts to feed itself and steward natural resources.

The 2015 Summit will feature up to 9 competitively selected presentations on the theme of “The Right to Food.” Anyone with a scholarly or professional expertise in food systems is invited to submit a proposal. Presentations will be selected through a peer-review process and assigned to a panel by topic (3 presentations per panel).

The panel sessions will allow time for a 15 minute presentation from each panelist, as well as Q&A and engaged dialogue with the audience. The Summit will also include 3 invited keynote addresses from food systems leaders. Unlike traditional academic conferences, the Summit is designed to optimize engagement between scholars across disciplines and practitioners outside of academia. As such, the Summit is open to the public and we welcome participation from nonprofits, farmers, food business, government, and interested community members.

Themes: The overarching theme for the 2015 Summit is The Right to Food: What actions are needed to ensure that all people have access to adequate and nutritious food?

Presentations related to a variety of interpretations of this theme will be considered and assigned to a panel on one of the three following categories:

  • Biophysical Constraints: This theme is about land use, water use, and other environmental considerations of agricultural production. Do we have the agricultural capacity to produce enough food to feed our growing global population? Do we have the policies and laws in place to meet demand? How are ecological limits affecting the ability of different regions to produce their own food? What technology and scientific advances are available to support agricultural production? What are alternatives to just increased agricultural capacity to reach the goal of feeding humanity?
  • Geopolitical Context: This theme is about power in the food system, and food sovereignty from a local and global perspective. What role do governments and institutions play in guaranteeing or providing food? How does current trade policy affect the ability of communities to meet their food needs? How does the economy influence who does or does not have access to food? How much individual agency should one have over one’s food? How do international policy and legal decisions impact the growing, distribution, availability and access of food to everyone?
  • Behavioral and Cultural Considerations: This theme is about how biological and social factors affect what and how we eat. What individual and social circumstances determine a person’s relationship with food? How do laws and policies aid or detract from helping society determine best practices for the individual and common good? How do diet and consumer demand drive food production and distribution systems? How might behavior change be leveraged to shift production and consumption patterns?

Potential presentation topics include, but are not limited to:

    • Land access and tenure
    • National policy initiatives
    • Water rights
    • Food assistance programs
    • Agricultural subsidies/anti-subsidy policies
    • Intellectual property
    • International trade agreements
    • Domestic trade policy
    • Gender
    • International human rights covenants
    • Nutrition
    • Culinary traditions
    • Climate change
    • Food justice
    • Public health
    • Measuring food security
    • Biotechnology

Submission process: Individuals wishing to submit a proposal should submit a proposal to food.systems@uvm.edu by January 15, 2015 January 26, 2015. The proposal (MS Word or PDF) should contain the following information:

  • Title of presentation
  • Name, address, e-mail, phone number, and affiliation of presenter or primary contact
  • 4-6 keywords
  • Presentation description (1500 words maximum; title and any references cited are in addition to this word limit)

Proposals that do not comply with these guidelines will not be reviewed. Electronic acknowledgments of submissions will be sent to all submitters.

Review process: Proposals will be reviewed by the Summit Proposal Review Committee, comprised of UVM and Vermont Law School faculty and affiliates.

Proposals will be considered in terms of their significance to the field, strength of methodology/design (if research) or argument (if commentary), and clarity of writing. Special consideration will be given to proposals on scholarship or projects that are working across academic disciplines and/or across different sectors of the food system, as well as to proposals by practitioners working outside of academia. Individuals will be notified of the status of their proposal by March 1, 2015.

Accepted presenters will receive complimentary registration to the Summit. Scholarships are available on a case-by-case basis to presenters who need financial support for travel and lodging in order to participate.

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For questions about accessibility or to request accommodations please contact Alison Nihart by email at alison.nihart@uvm.edu or phone at 802-656-3831. One week's advance notice will allow us to provide seamless access.

Contact food.systems@uvm.edu for more information on the UVM Food Systems Summit.

Last modified July 13 2015 09:59 AM