Special Session: Agritecture & AgTech X
Agritecture and AgTech X are proud to be partnering with GFIA in Focus Canada to bring thought provoking content and tailored networking opportunities to this exceptional 2-day event. As consultants and community builders within the urban and controlled environment agriculture industry, our work is centered around promoting agricultural entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability worldwide.
About Agritecture & AgTech X
Founded in 2014, Agritecture Consulting has worked with over 70 entrepreneurs, companies, and organizations across the globe to turn their urban and controlled environment agriculture concepts into reality. Agritecture’s unique team of interdisciplinary consultants, led by industry thought-leader Henry Gordon-Smith, enables us to provide our clients with the tools, data, knowledge, and network to ensure their long-term success. In addition to consulting, Agritecture is well known for our curated and engaging events that promote honest conversations and build connects across sectors and industries, including the annual AgLanta Conference and our custom designed Agritecture Workshops.
Launched in 2017, AgTech X exists to create new pathways for sustainable food & agriculture innovation. Our community is comprised of researchers, chefs, career transitioners, and entrepreneurs – among many others – brought together by a desire to create positive change within the food system through technology and impact-driven business models. AgTech X runs New York City’s only coworking lab focused on the future of food and agriculture, and hosts a variety of events, tours, and classes for the agtech community.
With a combined global reach of over 70,000 and a strong millennial following, Agritecture and AgTech X have one of the largest audiences of emerging professionals in the agtech industry.
Ontario has enormous agricultural capability with a thriving rural farming community and one of the world’s fasted growing indoor farming sectors. Recent studies estimate that the region generates $12.3 Billion in annual economic activity from food production and processing, contributing around $35 Billion to Canada’s national economy through economic multipliers. Despite this strong agricultural base, Ontario remains a net importer of food products such as fruits and vegetables, with an annual food import bill of almost $20 Billion. It is estimated that with modern agricultural innovations over half of these imported goods could be produced locally, keeping money within the regional economy and practically eliminating the agri-food trade deficit. This situation is not unique to Ontario, and indeed cities and regions all over the world have the potential to produce a significant amount of their imported fresh food locally.
During the Agritecture and AgTech X interactive special session, we will explore the recent advances within the controlled environment agriculture industry and examine the untapped synergies between urban and rural farming communities that can enhance and support the production and distribution of local food.
Topics that will be explored include:
- Bridging the urban-rural divide to create a more robust local food system
- The role of smart food systems in tomorrow’s resilient cities
Entrepreneurship and innovation within controlled environment agriculture
- Highlighting emerging leaders within CEA and urban food systems
- Spotlighting new research relevant to Ontario’s agriculture future
13:30 AgTech X intro + Speed Networking
This session will activate the audience by dividing them into their areas of interest (based on a survey sent in advance) and then connect them with like-minded potential collaborators in a well-structured yet fun way.
14:00 Spotlight on Emerging Leaders & Innovators
A highlight of 4-5 researchers, entrepreneurs, and emerging leaders for brief presentations on obstacles, learnings, and successes in their own work.
14:40 Keynote Address by Industry Thought-Leader Henry Gordon-Smith
A 30 minute keynote followed by Q&A. This talk will share an updated and fresh approach for cities to connect their smart cities work with the critical need for resilient and local food systems.
15:10 Panel discussion: Public-Private Partnerships for Building a Stronger Urban Food System
A deeper dive into the topic above by local experts in a panel format.
A focus on new partnership models and examples will be emphasized.
A dynamic talk on an exciting local project that relates to the theme of the event. Ideally with a special announcement included.
16:30 Panel discussion: Harnessing Untapped Synergies Between Rural and Urban Agriculture in Ontario and Beyond
Focused on the HUGE potential for local agriculture in Ontario, the issues of labor and farmer age, and the role that urban and smart agriculture will play in strengthening the resilience of the food system.