Keynote Speakers

Julie Dawson

Julie Dawson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her background is in organic plant breeding and participatory research. Research topics include season extension methods, organic and participatory variety trials and variety selection for small-acreage farms and gardens as well as extension resources for urban growers. She leads a project called the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative with other plant breeders to test varieties with local farmers and chefs, focused on flavor for local food systems.

At the conference, Julie Dawson will share her experience about collaboration all along the value chain with plant breeders, seed producers, farmers, chefs and consumers to develop varieties for local food systems.

Phil Howard

Phil Howard is an Associate Professor of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University, and a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems. He is the author of Concentration and Power in the Food System: Who Controls What We Eat? His visualizations of food system changes have been featured in numerous outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and The Ecologist. More information about Phil Howard is available here:

At the conference, Phil Howard will share his experience on bridging information gaps between producers and consumers to develop more diversified and sustainable food systems and how to make the sociotechnical regime more prone to crop diversification.

Emmanuel Petel

Policy coordinator at the Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development at the European Commission.

Emmanuel Petel will give a presentation on the role of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and research and innovation in supporting crop diversification (more information coming soon).