Leading international thinkers on topics from climate change to conservation, and animal welfare to agroecology gathered in London in May 2023 to discuss solutions to transform the world’s food system to ensure a future of regeneration rather than extinction.
Extinction or Regeneration 2023 highlights
This highly successful two-day conference – held in partnership with IPES Food and other partners – was organised to share better ways of producing our food to ensure it works for people, animals and the planet. It featured a dynamic schedule of talks and interactive sessions, as well as roundtables and networking opportunities, with 740 delegates joining either in person or online from 41 countries around the world. A further 370,000 people watched the event in China as it was live streamed on several official Government websites.
Regenerative and sustainable solutions
Speakers included the UN’s Stefanos Fotiou and Corinna Hawkes, IPES-Food’s Olivier de Schutter, activist Vandana Shiva, author Carl Safina, farmer Seth Watkins and cultivated meat pioneer Isha Datar. They were joined by dozens of other environmental, food policy, public health, food business farming and animal welfare experts. Watch all the presentations at the conference.
Speakers also highlighted important examples of how regenerative and sustainable solutions are working across farming, business and policy, including:
- Rune-Christoffer Dragsdahl of the Danish Vegetarian Society shared how Denmark is leading the way in setting national dietary guidelines urging people to eat a more plant-rich diet, including less meat and more legumes.
- Sustainable Procurement Manager of contract caterer Compass Group, Rachel Eyres, emphasised that including more plant-forward dishes in their service had improved the company’s versatility and enabled agile supply chains.
- Waitrose Executive Director, James Bailey told the audience that what’s needed is disruptive thinking and collaboration with industry to bring consumers on the journey towards more regenerative food production.
- Susan Chomba, Director of Viable Landscapes for Africa at the World Resources Institute, promoted farmer-managed natural regeneration and successful regreening in Africa. She said: “For African contexts, farmers know the resilience of indigenous crops. But we have become blind in terms of prioritizing them".
Spreading the message worldwide
Vital topics were explored through the varied programme including how to transform food systems in policy and practice, the need to reduce our overconsumption of meat and other animal proteins, how to shift investment towards regenerative, agroecological practices and the necessity of tackling the way we eat for the sake of human health. The event attracted extensive worldwide media coverage, with media stories generating almost 2 billion opportunities to read about it in 13 different countries. Our hashtag #Extinction2023 also trended on Twitter in the UK on both days.
Extinction or Regeneration 2023 followed our successful landmark conference in 2017, Extinction and Livestock, which examined how livestock production is devastating biodiversity and pushing wildlife to the brink of extinction. Six years on, experts from myriad sectors, including industry and academia have showcased their ground-breaking practical solutions towards a regenerative food system