Join us for an exciting exploration of food sovereignty!

When: 18 October 2017

Where: University of Helsinki City Centre Campus, Fabianinkatu 33

What: A one day seminar discussing food and food sovereignty. Specifically we will discuss the following topics:

  • What it means to be food sovereign?
  • How is food sovereignty expressed in different spatial contexts?
  • How can food sovereignty be used as a trans-regional framing devices to start conversations about food and the attendant eco-cultural issues?

Who: This seminar is open to all levels of students (bachelors, masters, and doctoral) as well as members of the broader community who are interested in food systems.

Why: Food issues need a common language between the policy makers, academics, and grassroots activists to help move toward transformative development. To this end, we have invited 3 keynote speakers, one from each of these fields to discuss food sovereignty and food systems (2 confirmed, see below, and one to be announced).

How: From 09:00 – 12:00 we will have keynotes and time for discussion (with a 15 minute coffee break at 10:30). We will have lunch from 12:00 – 13:00, followed by parallel sessions from 13:00 – 16:00 (with a 15 minute coffee break at 14:30).


8:30– 9:00


University Main Building

Fabianinkatu 33


Coffee and Registration

9:00 – 9:15


9:15 – 10:00

Keynote 1 – MP Pekka Haavisto

10:00 – 10:45

Keynote 2 – Ruby van der Wekken

10:45 – 11:00

Stretching/bathroom break

11:00 – 12:00

Keynote 3 – Dr. Jason W. Moore

12:00 – 13:00

UniCafe Päärakennus

Fabianinkatu 33

Lunch (hosted for those who have registered)

13:00 – 14:00

University Main Building

Fabianinkatu 33

Room 7

Keynote 4 – Thomas Snellman

14:00 – 14:30

Talk – Maria Ehrnström-Fuentes

14:30 – 15:00


Coffee/networking break

15:00 – 16:00

University Main Building

Fabianinkatu 33

Room 7 and 8

Group Work: Nordic food sovereignty future scenarios

16:00 – 16:30

University Main Building

Fabianinkatu 33


Reflection on the day

16:30 –>

Fabianinkatu 37

Optional – socializing at Thirsty Scholar

Registration: Please complete the online form by 15 September if you wish to offer a presentation during the afternoon sessions. The seminar welcomes a wide range of contributions – scientific papers, practitioner stories, video-presentations about food sovereignty, food security, or alternative supply chains. Please submit an abstract or description of your presentation (max. 1000 characters). All proposals will be reviewed and decisions regarding presentations will be made by 20 September 2017.
Registration for audience participation should be completed by 10 October at the latest.
Participation in the seminar is free of charge, but please note that space is limited.

Keynote speakers:

Pekka Haavisto - Member of Parliament, President of European Institute of Peace.
Food Sovereignty: from global to local
Mr. Pekka Haavisto is a Finnish MP and Special Envoy of the Foreign Minister on Peacebuilding. He is a former party leader of the Finnish Green Party, as well as former Chairman of the European Greens. He has been minister twice (environment, development, state ownership). Mr. Haavisto established UNEP’s post-conflict activities 1999-2006 in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Liberia and the Sudan, and worked as the European Unionin Special Representative in Sudan and Darfur 2005-2007. Currently he is the President of the Board in the European Institute of Peace (EIP).

Ruby van der Wekken - Siemenpuu Foundation and Oma Maa food cooperative
Food sovereignty now! So South, so North
"Food sovereignty now!" is a core demand which civil society movements are increasingly standing up for globally. Small farmers not only feed the majority of our populations, they also cool our planet. Food sovereignty now! is a demand arising from struggles in both South and North, by movements in the South like mass rural farmers movement Via Campesina, whilst in the North one of the forms this struggle has taken is in the form of Community Supported Agriculture. Whilst differing conditions, these struggles, and the forms they take, are well connected in the context of structural societal and economical change necessary to combat threatening realities like climate change.
Ruby van der Wekken considers herself a member of the global justice movement. She works for the Siemenpuu Foundation (which supports partners in the Global South around issues of ecological democracy), is a member of Oma Maa food cooperative, as well as of, wanting to promote the discussion around solidarity economy and the commons in Finland. 

Prof. Jason W. Moore - Environmental Historian and Historical Geographer, Author, University Professor
The Crucible of Cheap Food: Capital, Class, and Climate in the Unmaking of Modern Agriculture
Jason W. Moore is an associate professor of sociology at Binghamton University in New York, USA. He is author and editor, most recently, of Capitalism in the Web of Life (Verso, 2015), Capitalocene or Antropocene? (Ombre Corte, 2017), and, with Raj Patel, A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things (University of California Press, 2017). His books and essays on environmental history, capitalism, and social theory have been widely recognized, including the Alice Hamilton Prize of the American Society for Environmental History (2003), the Distinguished Scholarship Award of the Section on the Political Economy of the World-System (American Sociological Association, 2002 and 2015), and the Byres and Bernstein Prize in Agrarian Change (2011). He is chair (2017-18) of the Political Economy of the World-System Section (ASA), and coordinates the World-Ecology Research Network.

This one day seminar is sponsored by UniPID and offered in collaboration with a week-long course for doctoral students organised by the Doctoral Programme in Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences (DENVI) in collaboration with the Doctoral Programme in Political, Societal and Regional Change (PYAM). You do not have to take part in the course to attend and/or present at the seminar day.
Course details