We recorded these five conversations at my home in Oxford early in 2023. Between them they summarize most of the main ideas behind the Oxford Real Farming Conference and the College for Real Farming and Food Culture. Thus (clicking on a link, will take you to the related video):
- Session I. Why we need the Global Renaissance – and why it must be led by us, people at large. Our leaders are not focused on the things that matter and are not getting to the roots of the world’s problems.
- Session II: The Biosphere. We must of course look after ourselves – create convivial societies and foster personal fulfilment — but we also need to look after the natural world. This needs good ecology: excellent science and technique underpinned by the moral/metaphysical sense of “oneness”.
- Session III: Agroecology, Food Sovereignty, and an appropriate Food Culture. Get food and farming right and everything else can fall into place. But we can’t get farming right unless we get the rest right too.
- Session IV: Infrastructure. None of what we need to do is possible without appropriate governance (do we need government at all?) and an appropriate economy. None of the existing, conventional economic formulae will do!
- Session V: A shift of mindset. All our thoughts and actions are underpinned by ideas and attitudes that we take for granted – ideas rooted in science, our concept of morality, metaphysics and the arts. All must be re-examined.
Colin Tudge is co-founder of the Real Farming Trust and author of The Great Re-Think. Ian Rappel is an ecologist and Director of the College for Real Farming and Food Culture. The conversations were filmed and recorded by Brett Price. We are very grateful to Andrea Barbieri, Brittany Oakes, Sarah Buckingham, and Ruth Tudge (nee West) for all their technical and intellectual input.