Over a decade of distinguished lectures
Guest lectures have been one of the key features of university life for centuries. They offer the chance to listen to some of the world’s greatest minds discuss issues of common interest in the finest detail.
Nottingham Trent University has had the privilege of hosting a number of distinguished speakers on a broad array of stimulating subject areas since 2006. The lectures are free, open to all, and are based on our City Campus.
To view lecture videos from previous lectures, choose the relevant event from our Past Distinguished Lectures page and play the video.
For any other queries, or if you experience any difficulties with the online booking process, please email the Events Team.
Our 2019/20 distinguished lecture series begins in November, but event bookings are now open. Take a look at the details and dates below and reserve your place today.
Wednesday 1 April 2020 - Helen Browning OBE, Making the case for an agro-ecological future for food and farming
Helen has a very mixed organic farm in Wiltshire, with dairy, beef, pigs and cereals. She is also experimenting with agro-forestry. Her products are sold through the Helen Browning’s Organic brand in retailers, big and small, as well as through her mini hotel and restaurant / pub on the farm, and through her restaurant in Swindon.
She is Chief Executive of the Soil Association, a member of the Food Ethics Council, trustee of the RSPB and was recently appointed to the Food Farming and Countryside Commission hosted by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) as well as the BBC’s Rural Affairs Advisory Committee.
Prior to rejoining the Soil Association, Helen was Director of External Affairs for the National Trust. She has had a number of roles in agri-politics over the years, including the Government’s Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food (‘the Curry Commission’) and chaired the England Animal Health and Welfare Implementation Group. Helen was awarded an OBE in 1998 for her services to organic farming.
Food and farming is under the microscope like never before. Alongside climate change, the biodiversity crash, and the rise of non-communicable diseases, sustainably feeding our growing population a healthy diet is one of the biggest issues of our time.
With all domestic policies in play as we prepare to leave the EU, now is the time to put in place the regulatory and economic framework which will move food and farming from the villains of the story, to a force for good.
So what should those policies be, and how realistic is it to make this transition over the next ten years?
Humanity’s ability to survive and prosper depends on the fundamentals of healthy, fertile soil; clean water; a thriving biosphere; and a stable climate, all of which require wise land management, and the prioritisation of these goals at the expense of short-term profits. Agro-ecology offers a way forward, and alongside dietary change, could deliver the food future we need.
What knowledge and investment will farmers and land managers need to achieve this? And what role will technology play? Is there a silver bullet or several, which will disrupt the current tensions and allow us to have our cake and eat it?
As protesters around the world are telling us, ‘the time is now’. Can we – will we – act ethically and rapidly enough to prevent the social upheaval and misery that is otherwise only accelerating?
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