Keynote speakers

We are delighted to inform you that we have two confirmed keynote speakers, one is a distinguished academic, the other is a prominent activist in the world of agrifood.

Ben White, Emeritus Professor of Rural Sociology, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague

rtemagicc_ben_white_01-jpgBorn in England in 1946, Ben White has a BA in Philosophy and Ancient History (1968) from Oxford University and MPhil (1971) and PhD (1976) in Anthropology from Columbia University. After an assignment as Specialist with the Agro-Economic Survey of Indonesia (1975-1980) he taught for more than 30 years (19802011) at the International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague where he is now Emeritus Professor of Rural Sociology. From 1997-2006 he was also Professor Extraordinary in Social Sciences, University of Amsterdam. For many years he was Chair of the Editorial Board of Development and Change. His research interests focus on processes of agrarian change (with a focus on land tenure, employment and livelihoods) and also the anthropology and history of childhood and youth, particularly in the area of child work, education and youth employment.

Henry Saragih, Chair of Indonesian Peasant Union (Serikat Petani Indonesia)

henry-saragihBorn in Sumatra, Indonesia in 1964, Henry Saragih has a degree in Public Administration from Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU). As an activist, Saragih started out his activism from his rural hometown in a fight against land-grabbing maneuver of large corporations. Since then, he has been working closely with peasants in the rural areas, touching issues around food sovereignty, agrarian reform and farmers’ right, through his position as the Chair of Indonesian Peasant Union. He was also the Secretary General of La Via Campesina for two periods (2004-2008 and 2008-2013), with which he represented billion of peasants in many forums around the world. Among his accolades include the Global Justice Award from the Institute for Global Justice (IGJ) in 2007, nominated by The Guardian as one of the “50 people who could save the planet” in 2008, and among the “Green Giants: The Eco Power List” by The Observer Ethical Awards in 2011.