Geography 2050 STL - Themes


Transforming the Agricultural Enterprise for the Future
It is no secret that modern agricultural practices, the global food enterprise of our ever increasingly prosperous and consumptive species, have massive implications for our planet. More than a century ago, agribusiness began its transformation into a fossil fuel-intensive enterprise that has spread to the furthest reaches of our planet. And, humanity as an ever more consumptive species has grown explosively from 1.6B to 8B since 1900. Left on its current course, modern agriculture could undermine our planet and its climate. Still combating global hunger requires serious thinking about and commitments to agriculture. How can hunger be eradicated while transforming agriculture away from being a major climate driver?

The Geography of Food Security – From Global to Local
Nations seek food security – that is, being able to produce enough nutritional food for its own population. Globalization has instead pushed the global economy towards long and complex supply chains that can be challenging to maintain. This has resulted in food security vulnerabilities between nations as human conflict, climate change, pandemics and other forces undermine these supply chains. This fragility, as well as localized food insecurity in our communities has led to significant pushback to these far-reaching networks through relocalization, community farming, and the like.

Geospatial Tech, the 4th Agricultural Revolution, and its Geographic Implications
The future of food involves technology in many ways unimagined in the not so distant past. The geographic footprint of agriculture, our larger food economy, and our consumption habits have evolved over time, as this mix of technologies has evolved. The introduction of precision geospatial technologies of various kinds has played a major role in this evolution, and will continue to. This part of the symposium will showcase a range of technologies that will reshape the future geography of food, whether it is entirely new foods, new ways of producing food, or fundamental shifts in humanity’s food habits.

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