The Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (AFSA) is proud to present the 6th annual Food Sovereignty Convergence, and the first ever online Convergence!

We’re excited to be taking the Convergence ‘un-conference’ format online this year, with a series of sessions across the week of 15-24 October, which means you can join us from wherever you are! 

This year, Convergence will be free for AFSA Members. 

If you’re not a member yet, we’d still love to see you at Convergence! You can choose to either start a membership ahead of Convergence to receive your ticket, or purchase a ticket and have your ticket price credited towards your AFSA membership if you choose to join at a later date.

Convergence is a space where Australia’s food sovereignty movement comes together to debate, collaborate, share, and strategize to advance food sovereignty in Australia, and build the movement for the future. From farmers to consumer advocates, food rights activists to chefs, from researchers to community organisers: we encourage everyone working on food sovereignty and food system change to join us to help shape the agenda for the coming year.

Convergence will open on  Thursday 15 October as we join epidemiologist and food systems writer, Rob Wallace, in conversation with a host of writers, activists, and growers, includingAnna Lappe (Diet for a Hot Planet) and Jahi Chappell (Beginning to End Hunger), for the launch of his new book Dead Epidemiologists: On the Origins of COVID-19 See the full list of speakers below.

The plenary launch is free to members and non-members, with a donation encouraged to support the Pandemic Research for the People research network.

Monday 19 – Friday 23 Oct will see daily sessions in which we come together to discuss the topics decided by you – Convergence sessions are an opportunity to delve into the issues you want to debate, collaborate, and strategise on with your food sovereignty comrades, and to explore how to transform the food system in the coming year. 

See the schedule below to find out more about how Convergence discussions are determined by participants.

Convergence will wrap up on Saturday 24 October with a plenary session to bring together ideas and actions from the week, followed by AFSA’s Annual General Meeting.

The Food Sovereignty Convergence is central to determining the work that AFSA does to advance food sovereignty and address the important issues in our food system. We encourage everyone’s input on identifying the key issues for the food sovereignty agenda, and for discussion at Convergence. We look forward to seeing many voices join this year’s conversations on food sovereignty and hope to have your voice be one of them! 

Ahead of Convergence, we encourage you to join the FSC Facebook group to stay up to date and join the pre-event discussions about what issues and topics you would like included at Convergence.

Convergence 2020 Schedule

Thurs 15 Oct, 11am (AEDT) 

Launch plenary Dead Epidemiologists: On the Origins of COVID-19 

Free for members and non-members – donation to PReP encouraged

The launch will help to raise funds for Pandemic Research for the People. PReP is an independent research network producing resources and knowledge to help communities around the world affected by the pandemic, and to transform political and environmental landscapes to prevent future crises. 

Speakers:

Rob Wallace, co-author, Dead Epidemiologists & Big Farms Make Big Flu

Tammi Jonas, co-author, Farming Democracy & President, Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance

Mike Davis, author, The Monster Enters

Anna Lappé, author, Diet for a Hot Planet

Jahi Chappell, author, Beginning to End Hunger

Ben Ehrenreich, author, Desert Notebooks Organics Network

Mindy Fullilove, author, Main Street

Firoze Manji, host, Organising in the Times of COVID-19

Luis Fernando Chaves, co-author, Clear-Cutting Disease Control

Etant Dupain, documentary director, Madan Sara

Graham Christensen, director, GC Resolve, Fifth-generation farmer, Nebraska

Edgar Rivera Colón, co-author, Principles and Practice of Narrative Medicine

Music from DJ Justin Cheatham 

You can make an optional donation to PReP when you register for the plenary.

Thurs 15 Oct – Sat 17 Oct

Online voting for session topics.

In keeping with the unconference format, session topics will be propopsed by participants throughout the lead up to Convergence. 

Each participant will have the opportunity to propose a topic that you’d like to discuss with your fellow food sovereignty supporters. Proposed topics will be compiled shared with all participants and voted for online ahead of the first session.

Monday 19 Oct – Friday 23 Oct, 12pm – 1pm AEDT:

Convergence Unconference sessions

(What’s an Unconference? See how it works here )

Daily Convergence Unconference sessions will run each day at 12 pm, from Monday 19 Oct to Friday 23 Oct. Participants can join as many sessions as they are interested in. 

Topics for each session will be scheduled according to participant votes and shared by Sun18 Oct, so that participants can register for their preferred sessions. 

Saturday 24 Oct – 10 am – 12 pm AEDT:

Plenary wrap-up 

Come together with all your fellow Convergers to share the ideas, reflections, and plans for action explored throughout the week.

Saturday 24 Oct – 1pm – 2:30pm AEDT

AFSA Annual General Meeting

Convergence concludes on Saturday with AFSA’s Annual General Meeting, where AFSA members raise, discuss, and vote on key issues for action and governance decisions for the coming year. 

How to register 

Members: Check your membership email for an access code to unlock your free ticket. Click the ‘Enter Promo Code’ at the top of the ticket page to enter your access code and select your Members’ ticket.

If you wish to attend both the Launch Plenary and Convergence discussions, please ensure that you register for both events, as they will be ticketed separately.

Links to sign up for your preferred Unconference sessions during Convergence will be sent out to ticket holders in the weekend before the event. Participants will be notified by email and via the FSC Facebook page when session sign-up opens.