Note: This the "Letter from the Executive Director" from the Proceedings of the 2019 Water for Food Global Conference that took place April 29-30, 2019 in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.
The conference convened leading international experts and organizations – more than 400 participants from 15 countries – to discuss “Water for a Hungry World: Innovation in Water and Food Security,” focusing on the next generation of research, smart technology, policy development and best practices that are achieving breakthroughs in this vitally important mission. The conference included 30 sessions and headlined a week of water and food security-related presentations, exhibits, side events, networking opportunities and tours.
To build more resilient, water smart and productive agricultural and food systems, we need to harness the entrepreneurial spirit of farmers, scientists, companies, philanthropists, investors, government agencies and nonprofit organizations that are at the forefront of change. The 2019 Water for Food Global Conference spurred conversations among a spectrum of stakeholders who understand that feeding our growing world population, while ensuring sustainable water resources, requires new approaches to overcome a host of interconnected challenges, such as climate change, water scarcity and pollution, economic disparity, shifting food preferences, food waste, soil degradation, ecosystem threats and competing demands for resources. We need a focused commitment to developing sustainable solutions for water and food security, leveraging the skills and experience of a diverse and talented network of stakeholders.
It will take time to realize the real impact of this knowledge-sharing event, but we have already received excellent feedback from our participants, with more than 92% of survey respondents rating it as a “valuable” conference. We will conduct another follow-up survey in the fall to see how our participants are using the information gained to develop new projects and partnerships, build capacity and develop new solutions to this global challenge of ensuring water and food security for our world. Thank you all for your participation and support. We have begun the process of planning for the 2020 Water for Food Global conference and welcome your thoughts and inputs as to how we can use this event to deliver on the vision of a water and food secure world.
You can view the full proceedings from the 2019 Water for Food Global Conference.