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Inspirational Committee

Fritjof Capra

Author of "The Web of Life" ("La rete della vita”), coauthor of "The Systems View of Life" ("Vita e natura”)

"In the new systems view of life, metabolism — the intake, digestion, and transformation of food — is seen as life's central characteristic. This means that understanding the ecological, social, and cultural aspects of food connects us with the very essence of life. Such a systemic understanding of food and life will be at the very heart of the International Society of Gastronomic Sciences and Studies.”

Bio: Fritjof Capra, Ph.D., physicist and systems theorist, was a founding director (1995-2020) of the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California. He serves on the faculty of the Amana-Key executive education program in São Paulo, Brazil, and is a Fellow of Schumacher College in the UK. He also serves on the Council of Earth Charter International. Capra is the author of several international bestsellers, including The Tao of Physics, The Web of Life, and The Science of Leonardo. He is coauthor with Pier Luigi Luisi of the multidisciplinary textbook, The Systems View of Life. Capra's online course, known as "Capra Course," is based on his textbook. 
Talk: Food and Life
In the new systemic understanding of life that has recently been developed at the forefront of science, metabolism is seen as life's central characteristic. Metabolism is the continuous flow of energy and matter through networks of chemical processes, which allows a living organism to continually regenerate itself. In other words, metabolism is the intake, digestion, and transformation of food. This means that understanding the ecological, social, and cultural aspects of food connects us with the very essence of life. 

Gary P. Nahban

Agroecologist, Franciscan Brother and Lyrical Celebrator of Food Biodiversity
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"Due to climate change, food crops grown on a third of the world's land mass are hitting a point for no return, because of high temperatures and water scarcity. The disparities between those farmworkers who bring us our daily bread while suffering heat and dehydration, and those in agribusiness who make money off them in air-conditioned corporate headquarters have never been greater.   It is time to redesign our food systems for land health, human health and community well-being, and this event will play a pivotal role in doing so."

Gary Paul Nabhan is a Lebanese-American ethnobotanist. He is celebrated as a pioneer in food relocalization and in efforts to conserve and repatriate heritage seeds of all land-based cultures. Nabhan has been called 'the lyrical poet of food biodiversity'. He serves as the Kellogg endowed chair for food security in the US/Mexico borderlands at the University of Arizona and as an ecumenical Franciscan Brother. His 32 books include Coming home to eat, Renewing America's Food Tradition, Food from the Radical Center, and Genes, Foods, and Cultures. His community-based work focuses on collaboration conservation of the links between biodiversity and cultural diversity. He farms of the U.S./Mexico border, with 120 varieties of fruits trees and other desert-adapted food plants. He has been honored as the father of the local food Movement by Time Magazine and is recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Award. He co-initiates the designation of Tucson, Arizona as the first UNESCO city of Gastronomy in the U.S.

Nancy Turner

Ethnobotanist, Retired Professor University of Victoria (Canada), and a long time Slow Food member
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Nutritious food is central to the survival of all of us – human and non-human alike. But more than nourishing our bodies, the food we eat is fundamental to human cultural identity. Our stories, our languages, our ceremonies and celebrations revolve significantly around food, its tending, harvesting, preparation, and presentation. In short, food represents a celebration of biocultural diversity. The Slow Food movement, founded in the late 1980s in Italy by the visionary Carlo Petrini, has symbolized global recognition of the centrality of locally-sourced food, produced sustainably and enjoyed as a part of people’s cultural identity. Despite threats from the increasingly globalized, homogenized corporate food economy, Slow Food has built powerful and growing worldwide networks of like-minded people, producers and consumers alike, who understand the critical importance of sustainably produced local food, for human health and the health of our planet. Now, the movement will be raised to even higher levels through the founding of the International Society of Gastronomic Sciences and Studies. As an ethnobotanist, I have worked with and learned from Indigenous knowledge holders, especially in western Canada for over 50 years, documenting and promoting the significance of Indigenous food and its sustainability. Having been affiliated with the Slow Food movement for over 20 years, including teaching courses at the University of Gastronomic Sciences at Pollenzo, I consider it a great honour to serve on the advisory committee for this inspired emergent Society.

Bio: Nancy Turner is an ethnobotanist, retired Professor, University of Victoria, Canada and a long time Slow Food member. She has worked with First Nations elders and cultural specialists in northwestern North America for over 50 years, helping to document, retain and promote their traditional knowledge of plants and environments. Her two-volume award-winning book, Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge (2014; McGill-Queen’s University Press), integrates her long-term research. She has authored/co-authored/co-edited 30 other books, including: The Earth’s Blanket; “Keeping it Living”; Saanich Ethnobotany, and Food Plants of Coastal First Peoples, and over 150 book chapters and papers. Recent books included Plants, People and Places: the Roles of Ethnobotany and Ethnoecology in Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights (edited, 2020), Plants of Haida Gwaii, 3rd Ed. (2021), Luschiim’s Plants: A Hul’q’umi’num’ (Cowichan) Ethnobotany (2021). She has received a number of awards for her work, including Order of British Columbia (1999) and Order of Canada (2009), and honorary degrees from four Universities.

Chido Govera

Founder and Director, The Future of Hope Foundation
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Chido Govera is a young Zimbabwean woman. She grew up as an orphan, and turned into a parent at the age of 7, mothering her brother and caring for her nearly blind grandmother.
At age 11, she had the unique opportunity to learn about food and mushrooms. Mushroom farming enabled her to feed those dearest to her. Mushrooms gave her the chance to help other orphans who lived closed by.
By today she has become and important Social entrepreneur and founder of the Future of Hope Foundation. Through the foundation, Chido fulfills her commitment to ending poverty, abuse, self-pity, and victimhood at the grassroots level in Africa through food security. 
Over the years, as a young professional, she reached out to over 1,000 women in communities in Zimbabwe, Congo, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania and South Africa. Her work has reached schools and communities in India, aboriginals in Australia, and entrepreneurs in the US and around Europe.
The simplified sustainable mushroom farming method provides food security by converting organic residues into food, motivating people at different levels to take on entrepreneurial opportunities in both the developed and developing parts of the world. Committed to engaging women and girls in socio-economic development and to reach their full potential.

Satish Kumar

Peace-pilgrim, life-long activist and former monk, Satish Kumar has been inspiring global change for over 50 years.
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Aged 9, Kumar renounced the world and became a wandering Jain monk. Inspired by Gandhi, he decided at 18 that he could achieve more back in the world, campaigning to turn Gandhi's vision of a peaceful future into reality. In his early 20s, he was inspired by the British peace activist, Bertrand Russell who was arrested aged 89 at an anti-nuclear demonstration. This prompted Kumar's peace pilgrimage from India to Moscow, London, Paris, and America. Walking with no money and depending on the kindness and hospitality of strangers, he delivered a humble packet of 'peace tea' to the leaders of the four capitals of the nuclear world. Now in his 80s, he has devoted his life to campaigning for ecological regeneration, social justice, and spiritual fulfilment.
Kumar founded The Resurgence Trust, an educational charity that seeks to inform and inspire a just future for all.
In recognition of his commitment to animal welfare and compassionate living, Satish was elected vice-president of the RSPCA. In 2014, he was appointed an Oxfam UK Ambassador and is also a member of the Advisory Council of the Gross National Happiness Centre of Bhutan.
Satish has been awarded Honorary Doctorates at the University of Lancaster, the University of Exeter, the University of Suffolk, the University of Wales, and the University of Plymouth. He also received the Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for promoting Gandhian values outside of India.
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