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Jonathan Foley      

Expert on Global Sustainability, Food Security, Freshwater & Climate Change

By mid-century, approximately 9 billion people will populate the Earth, all requiring adequate food. When it's taken us 10 thousand years of agriculture to be able to narrowly feed 7 billion people today - 1 billion of which are undernourished and 2 billion of which want the same protein-rich meals the First World enjoys - how can we possibly double our food supply in 38 years and maintain a sustainable world?

Dr. Jonathan Foley tackles these challenges by developing strategies to increase the world's food availability while simultaneously decreasing the impact on the environment. As director of the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota, Foley envisions a future in which sustainable agriculture feeds the world; renewable energy powers homes, vehicles, and businesses; every person has access to food, clean water, and shelter; oceans, lakes, and rivers are unimpaired; cities have vibrant economies, neighborhoods, and cultures; and thriving ecosystems support thriving economies and societies.

Bridging the gap between academia and the business world, Foley assists organizations in becoming more competitive while benefitting the environment. He is a regular advisor to large corporations, NGOs, and governments around the world. "We have the tools to fix this," he says. All we need is a concerted effort.

Jonathan Foley speaks on global sustainability issues - specifically, food and land use, climate change, fresh water, and biodiversity - to major foundations, corporate audiences, universities, and relief organizations. He has delivered keynotes at acclaimed venues such as the Aspen Environmental Forum, the Chautauqua Institution, and TED.

Videos


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Stewardship in the Anthropocene
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Speech Topics


How We Can Feed 9 Billion People by 2050 & Still Sustain the Planet

This presentation is a road map for companies, governments, nonprofits, and academia on one of the most important issues facing our future. The world's food system faces three incredible challenges. First, we must find ways to feed all 7 billion people on Earth today, including the 1 billion who are currently chronically hungry. Second, we must find ways to double the amount of food the world produces by 2050 in order to keep up with population growth, economic growth, and associated changes in diet and biofuel consumption. Finally, we need to make agriculture truly sustainable -- respecting the planet's limited land and water resources, biodiversity, and climate -- in order for future generations to prosper. These interwoven problems might be the biggest challenges facing civilization in the 21st century.

But speaker Jonathan Foley is optimistic. He outlines these challenges as well as the opportunities to reinvent agriculture and the global food system in the coming years. He provides a series of strategic steps that businesses, NGOs, and governments can take right now to help achieve transformative results at the global scale. A noted international expert on global food security and the environment, Foley shows us how we can fix our food system and ensure that current and future generations have healthy food on a healthy planet.

We Have Outgrown the Earth -- Now What? Strategies to Build a Great Future

Feeding and housing over 7 billion people has put incredible strains on our planet's resources, particularly in terms of land and freshwater. We already have cleared, paved, or grazed nearly 40 percent of the Earth's land surface and we consume an extraordinary share of our planet's water, making many major aquifers, rivers, and lakes routinely run dry. Unfortunately, the pressures of population growth, economic development, and increasing rates of consumption mean that our planet's land and water will be put under even more strain in the future. But it doesn't have to be this way.

In this presentation, speaker Jonathan Foley outlines a set of strategies that can dramatically improve our use of land and water, with dramatic gains in efficiency and performance, to manage these resources sustainably in the future. A global expert on land and water use, Foley shows us that we have the tools to simultaneously boost our quality of life and the sustainability of our resources so that current and future generations can live in a more prosperous and sustainable way.

Inflection Point: How We Can Find Solutions to Our Global Sustainability Challenges

With a growing population, increasing consumption, a rapidly changing climate, diminishing natural resources, loss of biodiversity, and increasing threats to health and security, our planet is definitely in crisis. Not only do we live in a time of unparalleled change, we also live at a time that will determine the course of our civilization and our planet for centuries and millennia to come. But while the global environmental challenges we face are dire, we still have opportunities to solve them.

In this presentation, global sustainability speaker Jonathan Foley outlines key global strategies that can help us reinvent our global food, water, and energy systems and begin to chart a more sustainable future. A regular consultant to Fortune 500 companies, international NGOs, and global governments, Foley has developed new strategies for addressing our global challenges and presents a hopeful picture of a future in which we live in a sustainable world, with long-term, enduring prosperity.

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