Thursday, October 12, 2023

8:30 a.m.- 9:30 a.m.
Weyerhaeuser Boardroom

Agro-botics and Resistance: The question of human sovereignty in global agricultural production
Mathilda Barr ’25, Minori Kishi ’25

Over the past 30 years, Agro-bots have increased the precision and efficiency of food production, expediting tasks such as harvesting and picking, pest-control, and improving the quality of crop monitoring. This AI revolution has challenged the way that food producers have historically engaged with sustainability, efficiency, and land stewardship. This session will investigate how Artificial Intelligence and automated agricultural technology have shaped our global food production systems. We hope to investigate the ethics of using AI-assisted agriculture to feed the world’s population, and understand the impacts of this exponential technological development on farmers, rural community livelihoods, and consumers around the world. We plan to introduce differing perspectives from agricultural research scientists, international agriculture engineering companies, community-oriented agroecologists, and/ or global perspectives on land stewardship.

Guest speakers: Dr. David Mulla (University of Minnesota) and Dr. Nikos Papanikolopoulos (University of Minnesota, Director Robotics Institute)

Friday, October 13, 2023

9:40 a.m.- 10:40 a.m.
Davis Court, Markim Hall

China’s Developmental Paradox
Jerry Park Piao ‘25, Winnie Ren ‘26

In a rapidly evolving China, the quest for individual selfhood intersects with modernity, affecting artistic expression, gender roles, and societal governance. This presentation aims to explore these intricate relationships, probing whether individuals are finding or losing their sense of self in the complexities of modern life. As we look to the future, the focus will extend beyond the evolution of Chinese identity to the broader concept of human emancipation. We will discuss both the promise and the perils that lie ahead, examining potential avenues for fostering a more holistic sense of self that transcends individualism. By reconnecting individuals to a collective “species being,” we aim to harmonize personal and communal aspirations, offering a nuanced perspective on the challenges and opportunities that await in an increasingly modern China.


1:10 – 2:10 p.m.
Davis Court, Markim Hall

Superhuman Superfoods: Exploring the Impact of Nutritional Ideas on Our Future
Adam Rose ’25, Liv Whitmore ‘26

Throughout the twentieth century, ‘Western’ nutritionists emerged as the authorities on food consumption. Their focus leaned heavily towards vitamins, calories, and similar metrics, seeking to perfect human bodies. Collaborating with governments, they disseminated notions of the ‘ideal’ human physique through official channels. However, in the digital age, twentieth-century experts have yielded ground to amateur influencers, profit-driven corporations, alongside other previously marginalized voices to guide consumers on ‘healthy’ lifestyles. Join us for an enlightening discussion featuring a cross-cultural nutritional scientist, an Olympian athlete and nutritionist, and an expert on indigenous herbs. Together, they will shed light on the present and future of our nutritional culture. Explore the exciting intersection of food, science, and culture with us!
Guest speakers:
Dr. Craig Hassel; Rasa Troup ; Francesca Garcia– Francesca works at an indigenous non profit, North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems or also known as NATIFS, where she is an Herbal Educator. In this role she is able to create accessible and educational content around different plants and speak on the medicines that they offer and how to work with them. The primary focus being to promote indigenous food ways, education and facilitate indigenous food access. She completed two Herbalist Apprenticeships through the Medicine Tree Herbal Pharmacy in Minneapolis, MN with Herbalist Jessie Belden, and she is continuing her herbalist studies with Master Herbalist, Lise Wolff and learning even more under her supervisor Linda Black Elk, who facilitates teachings surrounding food as medicine.