Project carried out in cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation.
An autonomous tractor without a driver crosses acres of fields, guided by data transferred in real time from a drone hovering in the air. A distant scenario? For some time already big-tech has been entering the agricultural sector, amassing more and more power and overtaking means of production in this industry. Who controls the contemporary food system? Huge platforms do not spare means to make an increasing number of farmers dependent on them, and oversee crops and supply chains. The increasing influence of platforms in agriculture will be the point of departure for the discussion. Technological modernisation packaged in smart solutions in fact appropriates the means of production, leading to the colonization of nature and monopolization of the food market.
Perhaps innovation in agriculture does not have to come from large corporations, and new technological tools can produce farming communities that form cooperatives or other informal groups and function as open source technologies accessible to all? Together with our guests, we will also try to ponder how new technologies can support farmers working in agroecology. What original, alternative and innovative technologies is agroecology already developing? What grass-roots activities based on open source technologies can support smaller farmers who run green farms, farming cooperatives and more direct ways of healthy food distribution?
Andrea Beste is an agricultural scientist, graduate geographer and soil expert. She studied Geography Studies at the University of Mainz, with focus on “Site-specific agriculture in the tropics and mid-latitudes” and received her PhD in agricultural sciences (organic and conventional crop production) at the Giessen University in 2002. Founder of the Institute for Soil Conservation & Sustainable Agriculture. Since 2008 she has worked as a free political advisor to the European Parliament, the German Bundestag and various German Federal State Parliaments on environmental, agricultural and food policy. Since 2017 Beste has been a permanent member of the Advisory Expert Group for Technical Advice on Organic Farming Practice of the EU Commission. Starting from 2020, she is also a member of Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative.
Karolina Jarmołowska is a translator and academic lecturer by profession. Lover of food based on simple, quality local produce. Co-creator of Targ Pietruszkowy in Cracow’s Podgórze, the only agricultural market in Poland that is a member of the Earth Markets Slow Food network. Vice-president of the Targ Pietruszkowy Foundation.
Paweł Kobielus was born in 1969 in Wadowice. His life is linked with the countryside since his childhood. Eco-gardener and farmer. In 1990 he established an ecological farm “Brzozowy Gaj”. In 2021 he was the principal initiator of the project “Ekoosada Opolnica” within which he created a model farm: “Siedlisko Natury”. Promoter of self-sufficiency, natural crops and bio-construction. Seeker of alternative, environmentally-friendly ways of life.
Kuba Kulesza works as a designer in Evidence Prime where he builds Laser.ai – a computer system for the automation of systematic reviews in medical sciences. Co-founder and coordinator of a research and design collective the Grupa Robocza which organises design workshops, training sessions and discussion panels. They are currently developing the Minimum Viable Utopia programme whose main purpose is to develop an action strategy for the reality dominated by computational processes. Within the programme, they are currently conducting a seminar on post-platforms. Co-author of the course Social Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice. He conducts a course in Psychology for Designers at the UX & Product Design, Faculty of Humanities of the AGH in Cracow. He is also the expert in charge of the strategy stage and product defining in the post-graduate programme User Experience Design/Product Design at the SWPS University in Katowice. A board member and boxer at the Institute of Sport Development in Cracow.
Jan Skoczylas is a translator and author of texts published e.g. in Dzikie Życie monthly and Zielone Wiadomości. Member of Pracownia na rzecz Wszystkich Istot (PNRWI), “Dobrze” Food Cooperative and Nyeleni Polska, for years he was the editor of Zielone Wiadomości. Graduate of English philology and the Climate Guardians course at the PNRWI. In his free time, he hikes in the mountains and woods.
Weronika Koralewska is a designer of educational programmes, facilitator, coordinator and coach in the current of informal education, with experience in ecological education, deep ecology, food sovereignty, intercultural education and art. Political scientist by education. Independent consultant of numerous NGOs in Poland and abroad. Co-founder of the Agro-Perma-Lab Foundation, curator of the critical path and UX/UI designer in the project Supermarket Museum. Member of the Food Sovereignty Movement Nyeleni Polska.