Nuffield 2017 Contemporary Scholars Conference (CSC)
11th March – 18th March 2017. At Brasilia, Brazil
A PDF version of the conference booklet can be downloaded from this link (11.3 MB)
A Personal Reflection
by Tom Levitt
If you don’t feel uncomfortable, then you are not making the most of being Nuffield scholar. Or so we were told pretty early on at the Nuffield contemporary scholars conference in Brasilia.
As a journalist in a cohort of mainly farmers, I had every reason to feel like an oddity. But the week ahead was a surprise. Both in terms of the welcome I felt and the minds and personalities behind that reception.
If a Nuffield scholarship is about your travels, your study and your experiences, then the conference is about your fellow scholars.
I’ve visited plenty of agricultural businesses and farms around the world in ten plus years as a journalist. The routine was predictable. Lot’s of people talking at you. Telling you what to believe. And just one mind to question it all.
Here in Brazil, however, was a sea of inquisition at every moment. How often, I thought to myself, will I spend ten successive days in close proximity to seventy people representing not just experts in their fields of agriculture, but motivated and driven to listen, engage and learn?
Yes, we had guest speakers, political heavyweights and ambassadors, and visits to farms and local enterprises. But the conference week and a half for me was not about what I heard from the lectern or the field, but the questions, reactions and thoughts of my fellow scholars.
In the UK farming and farmers are still caricatured by stereotypes and generalisations. Listening to my fellow scholars from eleven different countries - Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK and the US - I heard something different. Independent minds engaged and ready to tackle the complex challenges of the world today.
Every session and visit brought another illustration of the diversity of perspectives and interests within the group. The scholars were not a cross-section of farmers in a stereotypical sense, but a cross-section of society today.
Today, Australian farmers can happily talk about gender equality, Kiwis can ponder synthetic milk and an Englishman can openly talk about emotion and succession policy. That this might come as a surprise to anyone shows a misplaced perception of the farming community amongst the wider public. And dare I say it myself.
Nuffield scholars have already put their head above the parapet, but here at the conference they talked openly of their hopes, fears and ‘the big C’: the consumer. A producer wants to feed the world, but they also want the respect and support of the people they are feeding. A social license to operate, as some might call it. Being part of the community, not apart from it.
My perception of the conference and the scholars that I was fortunate enough to meet was of a group already very much in tune with the world around them today. Yet at the same time, realistic enough to realise they might not know it all. They might not be right. And not scared or uncomfortable of change. The future of food and farming is in safe hands.
- Carla Borges Download
- Eamon Sheehan Download
- Georgie Cartanza Download
- Lara Ladyman - Colours of the CSC Download
- Lara Ladyman - Rising from Rubbish Download
- Jaap Dun Download
- Kathryn Stack Download
- Matthew Gunningham Download
- Roger Mercer Download
- Stephanie Chanfreau Download
- Thato Moagi Download
- Welcome to the CSC - opening slides View Presentation
- Effective Communication - TED Talk with Celeste Headlee View Video
- FYI Value Innovation - The Strategic Logic of High Growth - by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne View Presentation
- Embrapa Cerrados Technical Visit View Presentation
- Self Leadership - Karen Brosnan View Presentation
Saturday 11th March
- Brazilian History - Joao Adrien SRB View Presentation
- Cooperative Conversations Model Explained View Presentation
Sunday 12th March
- Global Supply Chainand Food Security - Guilherme Nastari Datagro View Presentation
- Leadership Industry Perspective - Eduardo RiedelView Presentation
- Leadership - Strategy and Innovation - Craig Bell View Presentation
Tuesday 14th March
- Big Data - Bayer Case Study - Ivan Moreno View Presentation
- Global Financial Outlook - Andy Duff View Presentation
- Scholar Panel - Brazil - Carla Borges View Presentation
- Scholar Panel - European Union - Kathryn Stack View Presentation
- Scholar Panel - Netherlands - Willem View Presentation
- Scholar Panel - South Africa - Hlami View Presentation
- Scholar Panel - USA Poultry - Georgie Cartanza View Presentation
Wednesday 15th March
- Amazons - Flying Rivers - Margi MossView Presentation
- Amazons - Novo Camporanching Case Study - Fransisco Beduschi NetoView Presentation
- Research Models - Balde Cheio - Andre Novo View Presentation
- Research Models Case Study - MS Foundation View Presentation
- Research Models - - Agrisus Ondino Bataglia View Presentation
- Sustainable Land Use - Case Study - Agrisus Ondino Bataglia - Simon Wallace View Presentation
Friday 17th March
- Cultural Understanding and Empathy - Creating Place in a Global World View Presentation
- Family Succession - Aline Bortoli - Bom Futuro View Presentation
- Family Succession - Grupo Araunah - Jonadan Ma View Presentation
- Future Of Food - Water Futures - Alberto Palombo View Presentation
- Future Of Food - Cecilia Fialho View Presentation
- Future Of Food - Vertical Farming - Luciano Loman View Presentation