In my last post I promised to tell you more about what went down on Agroecology Day 2016! So let’s go through it!
For me, the day really began at 08:00 when I was dropped off by my parents in Alnarp to go in and help out with all of the final preparations. This entailed finalizing our very short and simple powerpoint, practicing our introduction speech, meeting and talking to speakers and workshop-leaders, and finally to fix our microphones before we went up on stage.
It was scary talking in front of so many people, and we were already running 10 minutes late, so we felt kind of stressed. But once a few minutes had passed things calmed down and we concluded our introduction with information of what we had planned before leaving the stage. What happened next was really awesome.
Directly after leaving the stage I went up to the control room to where the technicians sit and monitor everything – and from this vantage point everything felt really different. Just looking at how my fellow students continuing with their presentations, our speakers coming on, the Q&A session starting.. It finally felt like we had the situation under control. After months of preparations we were executing as a team – and really seeing the fruits of our labor. It felt great.
After our first speaker, Rebecka Jalvemyr went off stage, we had our first fika, after which our workshops began. These included BeeUrban, Hemma Odlat (Home Grown), LUCSUS (Lund University W-Shop on Action Research), Rinnebäcks Gård (CSA+Golf Course) and Rude Food (Issues with food waste). At this point, we were still delayed, and people were moving rather slowly across the school area to get to their workshops. But once everybody had arrived, I heard from friends that they had a great time. Perhaps the workshops weren’t very “workshopy”, but people said that they still felt engaging and interesting – and that’s really what we were aiming for.
At 12:00, lunch was ready to be served, and we were really happy to have chosen Rude Food Malmö to do this. They made awesome soup, breads and spreads from food that would have been thrown away – and they saved us from the labor intensive task of cooking food ourselves. Something that in retrospect would have been pretty much impossible with the amount of people we had at our disposal (8).
After lunch I had to run away for a “job interview” that went great – so I missed out on our last two speakers (Daniel Björklund from Skillebyholm Biodynamic School of Järna and Konstantinos Karantininis, Economics Professor at SLU). But from the footage I’ve seen and from the people I’ve been talking to, it sounded like people were enjoying themselves.
When the clock struck 15.30 we invited Freiburg Scientific Theatre on stage. At this point, none of us committee members really had a lot to do, so this was probably the first time during the whole day when all of us could just sit down, breathe, and enjoy the atmosphere we’d tried to create for so many months.
About one hour later, we had the verdict. Success! Freiburg executed perfectly – and delivered a tantalizing performance that really made me laugh and think. They sent a clear message that people were really eager to discuss in the Q&A that followed, and I think that people who chose to stay the whole day really felt that their performance somehow summarized the day in a really nice way.
What happened next is history. We had a great after-conference mingle event and the day was concluded some time around midnight.
All in all, I feel really happy to have been a part of this event. And should somehow, anybody from future agroecology classes happen upon this blog post, don’t feel scared to aim for the skies. Challenge yourselves. Spread the word. Make people meet. And arrange a darned awesome conference! It was a blast!
That’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by to read!
Hope you’ve had a great weekend and see you around!