Margaret A. Gilliam Lecture Series in Food Security

The Institute annually hosts the Margaret A. Gilliam Lecture in Food Security, bringing notable speakers to address topics of global concern.

April 29, 2021 via ZOOM

Supporting Indigenous Food Sovereignty: A Community-led Approach to Reclaiming Food Systems & Nourishing Communities
Jacquelyn Wright
, President and CEO of Canadian Feed the Children


May 5, 2020  via ZOOM

Gilliam Lecture in Good Security 2020 posterFood security in Canada in times of COVID-19: a paradigm shift
Dr Gisèle Yasmeen, Executive Director - Food Secure Canada

COVID-19 has drawn attention to the precariousness and interdependence of our food system. Canadians, and others around the world, are experiencing challenges feeding themselves. People are being forced to choose between paying their rent or putting food on the table. This includes groups that already have difficulty doing so, due to poverty or mobility issues. This crisis demands that we ask serious questions about the structural inequalities in our food system. While providing urgent support is essential, COVID-19 could provide an opening for something much greater. Now is the time to respond by strengthening local, regional and domestic food supply chains and building more robust social protection to ensure people can access the basics. The current industrial food system is also in need of transformation. How will our response to COVID-19 address the climate crisis as well as diet-related disease and promote sustainable livelihoods? This presentation will delve into how food policies and associated programming such as institutional procurement – including school food – which could provide the kind of levers to transition Canada toward a healthier, more just and sustainable food system.

November 18, 2019 from 14h00-16h00
Special Edition of the Margaret A. Gilliam Lecture in Food Security: Sowing the Future and Developing Roots

Protection of our environment and achieving food security have become major global concerns. Initiatives to engage international and local actors can take various shapes.

This special edition of the Margaret A. Gilliam lecture will present novel ideas to get involve and generate new knowledge in global and local food security. Together, we look forward to contribute positively in changing lives.




Isabelle Germain, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, St-Hyacinthe
Students and teachers from Programme DéfiMonde, Collège Sainte-Anne
M. Yvan Cardinal, Mayor, Town of Pincourt
Mélanie Blais and students from Projet Vert, École secondaire du Chêne-Bleu, Pincourt



March 2018

Food Security Dimensions in a Dynamic World
Mr. Sanjeev Asthana, Chairman, National Skills Foundation of India

It is argued that a strategy for attacking poverty in conjunction with policies to ensure food security, offers the best hope of swiftly reducing mass poverty and hunger. However, ground evidence suggests that policy and economic growth alone will not take care of the problem of food security. The technological revolutions in the space of post-harvest management, food transportation, transparency & accountability in government food security programmes and climate smart agriculture, hold the real potential to address the food security concerns. While the productivity dimension of agriculture calls for due attention, issues of access, stability and utilization call for innovative applications from non-agricultural sectors to address the burgeoning food security concerns. Food security challenges are not only about the agriculture sector. They are about the ability of mankind to find innovative, technological and market centric solutions from other sectors too, that can develop solutions at a scale which can make an impact near them as well as build lasting solutions for the world.


Mr Sanjeev Asthana is a recognized leader in Food & Agriculture with over 25 years of experience in India and internationally. Currently, he is the “Founder and Managing Partner” of I-Farm Venture Advisors; “Chairman” Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI) and “Chairman” National Skills Foundation of India (NSFI), and serves on various boards in private and public sector. Mr Asthana is a “Non Resident Fellow” at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Mr Asthana has served on several task forces and committees of the Government of India. He is on the national committees of all leading industry and trade chambers viz. CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM and PHDCCI. Earlier, Mr Asthana served as President and Chief Executive of Reliance Retail; Asia Pac trading head, in Singapore at Cargill Inc, Country Head of ITC Global Holdings, Indonesia and Head of East Europe, Bucharest, Romania. He works closely at policy level with governmental and international institutions like GAIN, UNICEF, World Bank, IFC, ADB etc and leading companies on Agriculture, Food Security, Nutrition, Livelihoods and Sustainability. His international affiliations are with IIED UK, Mainumby, Bolivia, Columbia University, New York. Mr Asthana is a regular speaker at leading conferences in India and internationally. Some of the recent ones include Harvard University, World Bank in Beijing and Singapore, ADB, Manila, EU Parliament, Brussels, G-20 Consultation at Istanbul and The Chicago Council, Washington DC.



November 2017

FAO's Voices of the Hungry project, Diet Quality and Gender Equality
Andrew Rzepa, Project Managing Partner at Gallup, delivered a presentation on the

On behalf of the United Nations and through the World Poll, Gallup annually measures food insecurity across 140 countries using the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES). Andrew Rzepa will discuss the challenges the project has faced over the past five years, FIES’s adoption as a Sustainable Development Goal 2 indicator and how other UN organisations such the World Food Programme plan to use FIES to understand the relationship between gender equality and food security. Finally, new developments and measurement frameworks Gallup is involved in will be presented, including the development of an indicator for the measurement of diet quality on a global scale.


February 2017

From the Ground Up: the multi-functionality of land
Bruce H. Moore, Civil society activist, international development advisor and former United Nations Director

Whereas the property rights of poor people were previously seen as a call for social justice, today land rights are understood to also be at the nexus of the economic, environmental, political and social order. If these issue and challenges are approached separately, the responses to one often offsets one or more of the others, due to competing and powerful vested interests and the common exclusion of those most highly affected - the land poor. When land issues and rights take multi-functionality as their starting point, the potential for a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable outcome rises significantly. The agenda for change and the ways to get there are well known. The multi-functional potential of land to simultaneously work on multiple levels of economic, environmental and social importance are within reach. Whereas the “nay-sayers” say there is a need to know more, citizens are saying more than enough is known to do more. While leaders who are not listening are doing so at their peril, they put the rest of their people at peril. Citizen voices must be heard. It is in our common interest.


At present, Bruce Moore serves on the Board of Transparency International Canada and is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Huairou Commission, an international alliance of grassroots women’s organizations; Canadians for Tax Fairness; and the Institute for Global Food Security at McGill University. He is the immediate past Chair of the North South Institute, an international development research institute; and, the Forum on Democratic Global Governance. Additionally, he is a member of the C20, the civil society consultative body to the G20. From 1998-2008, he was the founding Director of the International Land Coalition (headquartered in Rome), an alliance of United Nations, civil society, and multilateral organizations working to enable rural poor families to gain their land and resource rights. His civil society career, from 1973 to 1998, included 10 years as the Director of Partners in Rural Development. He has chaired the NGO Advisory Committee to the United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development; served on the international executive of the Society for International Development 1998-2008; been an advisor to the European Commission, FAO, African Union, Asian Development Bank, and World Bank. He has chaired a number of high-level policy dialogues during the UN Commission on Sustainable Development; and served on the committee that designed the action plan for the Commission on the Legal Empowerment of the Poor.



August 2016

Reshaping the global food system for a sustainable future
Dr. Shenggen Fan, Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

The triple burden of malnutrition—the coexistence of hunger, undernutrition, and overweight and obesity globally causes enormous loss in human lives and economic opportunities. In the meantime, the global food system is increasingly vulnerable due to several pressures, including population growth, rising urbanization, land and water constraints, climate change, and persistent conflicts. . A reshaping of the global food system is needed to ensure that Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as those on sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition, responsible production and consumption, and climate action, are met by 2030. This new food system must be productive and efficient, environmentally sustainable and climate-smart, inclusive, nutrition- and health-driven, and business-friendly in order to achieve multiple SDGs. In this presentation, Dr. Fan will provide an overview of the state of global food security and nutrition and discuss how to reshape the global food system to feed the world healthily and sustainably. 


Shenggen Fan (樊胜根) has been director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) since 2009. Dr Fan joined IFPRI in 1995 as a research fellow, conducting extensive research on pro-poor development strategies in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He led IFPRI’s program on public investment before becoming the director of the Institute’s Development Strategy and Governance Division in 2005. He is one of the Champions of Target 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals, dedicated to inspiring ambition, mobilizing action, and accelerating progress toward cutting global food loss and waste. He serves as a member of the Lead Group for the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. He serves as advisor to many national governments (including China and Vietnam) on agriculture, food security and nutrition.In 2014, Dr. Fan received the Hunger Hero Award from the World Food Programme in recognition of his commitment to and leadership in fighting hunger worldwide. Dr Fan received a PhD in applied economics from the University of Minnesota and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Nanjing Agricultural University in China.



October 2014

Change Management in Agriculture to Achieve Smallholder Impact at Scale
Marco Ferrono, PhD., Executive Director, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, Basel, Switzerland

Both product developers and policy wonks seek impact at scale. But the uptake of agricultural innovations among small-scale farmers is often limited in both low- and middle-income countries, despite claims to the contrary in the literature on the rates of return to agricultural research. This talk will develop a conceptual and practical framework on ‘scaling up’ with reference to key innovation domains in agriculture and food security. Episodes of adoption of innovations will be assessed along with the reasons behind ‘dis-adoption’ and the complete failure of some innovations to spread.


Marco Ferroni is Executive Director of the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture. The Foundation’s mission is to modernize agriculture and small-scale farming by the route of sustainable intensification, diversification and links to markets. Scalable solutions for farmers is the motto in six work thrusts: R&D, market-led extension, seed systems incubation, risk management, policy development and outreach. Before joining the Foundation in 2008, Dr. Ferroni held executive and advisory positions at the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank in Washington DC. Earlier in his career he worked as a finance and trade diplomat in his native Switzerland. Mr. Ferroni holds a doctoral degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University.



November 2013

Future Challenges in Food and Agriculture
Dr. Richard Godwin, PhD, Dr(hc), DSc,  FREng,  Hon FIAgrE, Hon FRASE, Fellow ASABE and Fellow RAS; Professor, Cranfield University and Harper Adams University, UK

With global population increase, changes in size and nature of per capita demand, national and international governance of the food system, climate change, competition for key resources and changes in values and ethical stances of consumers, we are faced with the challenges of balancing future demand and supply sustainably; ensuring stability in supply - protecting the most vulnerable from volatility; achieving global access to food and ending hunger; managing the contribution of the food system to the mitigation of climate change; maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services while feeding the world. Join Dr. Richard Godwin as he address these issues and offer possible solutions.


RICHARD J GODWIN PhD, Dr(hc), DSc, FREng, Hon FIAgrE, Hon FRASE, Fellow ASABE and Fellow RAS holds Professorships at Cranfield University, Czech University of Life Sciences and Harper Adams University Colleges respectively and in this capacity he supervises research programmes and provides academic leadership. He has had a long career as a researcher and educator in the field of agricultural engineering, soil and waste management and precision agriculture. His contributions have resulted in an improved fundamental understanding of soil - machine systems; the development of improved soil engaging tools and methods; and the transfer of principles to designers, extension advisors and farmers. The transfer of this through the development of training programmes in “Soil Management”, such as the BASIS programme, has helped in both improved crop production systems and the environment. He was lead author of the RASE report “The Current Status of Soil and Water Management in England” published in 2008; which reflected on the issues faced by UK Agriculture due to the lack of applied research and trained professionals to communicate with farmers.



November 2012

Ensuring Global Food Security: Unlocking the potential of smallholder agriculture
Kanayo F. Nwanze, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development


Kanayo F. Nwanze began his term as IFAD’s fifth President on 1 April 2009. He brings to the job over 30 years of experience across three continents in poverty reduction through agriculture, rural development and research. Under Nwanze’s leadership, IFAD has stepped up its advocacy efforts to ensure that agriculture is a central part of the international development agenda, and that the concerns and needs of smallholders and other poor rural people are recognized by governments around the world. Nwanze served as IFAD’s Vice-President for two years before taking the organization’s helm. Prior to that, he was Director-General of the Africa Rice Center for a decade. Nwanze was instrumental in introducing and promoting New Rice for Africa (NERICA), a high-yield, drought- and pest-resistant rice variety developed specifically for the African landscape. Nwanze earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and a Doctorate in Agricultural Entomology from Kansas State University. He has received numerous honours and awards including Doctor of Science, honoris causa from McGill University.


March 2012

Rewiring Science, Business and Public Goods for Global Food Security
Marco Ferroni, PhD., Executive Director, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, Basel, Switzerland

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