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A mix of digital and physical events brings Terra Madre to every corner of the world

Terra Madre
Carlo Petrini, founder and President of Slow Food

MILAN – The international association Slow Food announces a completely revolutionized format for its most important event dedicated to the future of food, Terra Madre Salone del Gusto. The event will show its resilient spirit by adapting to the new conditions imposed by the Covid-19 emergency: it will be a six-month journey that includes an extraordinary calendar of initiatives: a mix of innovative digital formats and diffuse physical events that unite the thousands of nodes of the Slow Food network and its million activists, as well as many other organizations, institutions and businesses.

From October 8 and for the following six months, the digital formats of Terra Madre will be hosted on a digital platform. This platform is a strategic tool developed to deal with the new measures imposed on physical gatherings of people all over the world.

Terra Madre will end with the Slow Food International Congress, scheduled to take place in Turin in April 2021, during which Slow Food delegates will express all their ideas for the future of food that have arisen from the six-month journey of the event.
What’s new for the 2020 edition of Terra Madre?

Thanks to its diffuse events all over the world, this will be the largest and widest-ranging edition ever: in terms of the number of countries involved (almost 160!), of participants, the quantity of “actions for change” which will be put into effect by a million of activists across the world.

Moreover, in the new geography of Terra Madre, Slow Food will put political borders between states and regions into the background and focus attention on four global ecosystems (highlands, water lands, lowlands, and urban lands).

Slow Food activists will analyze the various shared frailties, problems, solutions, and opportunities of these ecosystems, framing the debate as part of the fight against the ongoing climate and environmental crisis, which remains the greatest threat to the future of humanity.

What’s the theme of the 2020 edition?

Our Food, our Planet, our Future. Our relationships with our food – how we produce it, distribute it, choose it and eat it – have enormous impacts on our planet, and consequently, our future. At Terra Madre, we will try to understand where we are going, and to identify the corrective action needed to ensure a better future… because we are running out of time!

The food system has been deeply affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The impacts on the supply of and demand for food have had serious consequences on the four pillars of food security: availability, access, utilization, and stability. So how is it possible to feed the planet and guarantee good, clean and fair food for all? Slow Food has the answer: biodiversity. The association maintains that the only way forward is through the promotion of biodiversity in all its forms: from invisible bacteria to the largest species, as well as the diversity of human knowledge and cultures. This mission is more timely and urgent than ever. And in order to fulfill this mission, we believe that Terra Madre is necessary.

How will the platform work?

The platform will be completely free; all visitors need is an internet connection. It provides a catalogue of conferences, forums, webinars, e-learning courses and workshops, a section dedicated to the showcase and e-commerce of products (where producers will be able to upload videos, pics and info about their activities), a Premium section dedicated to the press and a Business-to-Business section dedicated to exhibitors. Content will be provided in different languages.

Some new formats developed for the 2020 edition include:

  • Food talks -> a collective framework of the future we want and need: 15-minute talks on specific issues by special guests, as well as farmers, producers and cooks, who will offer their visions of the environment, agriculture and food.
  • How it’s made → video activities where you’ll discover new skills and satisfy your curiosities—even ones you didn’t know you had.
  • The Relay on Oct 10 → a miniseries in five parts that crosses continents and time-zones with a global dialog on the big questions of our age: the climate and environmental crisis; migration as a consequence of the degradation of natural resources; equity, inclusion and justice; the devastation of the Amazon rainforest and the battles of indigenous people for their rights.
  • Terra Madre World → curious to see what your local Slow Food network is organizing? From September, a great world map will light up with Slow Food events organized by our activists worldwide.

Special Guests at Terra Madre

Among the people invited, the following have already confirmed their participation:

  • Sunita Narain. Indian environmentalist and activist. She was included in a list of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2016.
  • Dan Barber. Chef at the Blue Hill restaurant in Greenwich Village, New York, and New York Times columnist who writes about agricultural revolution.
  • Larissa Mies Bombardi. Professor at University of São Paulo, she is particularly focused on human and agricultural geography, and on the use of pesticides in Brazil.
  • Fritijof Capra. Austrian physicist, economist, and writer. He has worked on sustainable development, ecology, and the theory of complexity.
  • Dave Goulson. Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex, his specialist subjects are ecology and the conservation of insects (with a focus on the decline of pollinators)
  • Carolyn Steel. British architect and prominent exponent of the urban ecosystem.
  • Paul Collier. British economist and Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government. In his opinion, capitalism must necessarily be ethical to function.
  • Franco Farinelli, former professor of Geography at the University of Bologna and Professor at the Universities of Geneva, Los Angeles (UCLA), Berkeley (UCB) and the Sorbonne in Paris

Videos – Some of the issues up for discussion at Terra Madre