Conference Envisions a Very Different Future Harvest

future-harvestThirty years ago, Bruce Springsteen wrote the lyric “from small things, mama, big things one day come.” In a sense, that was part of the message of Fred Kirschenmann’s keynote address at the 12th annual conference of Future Harvest-Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, although his address had more of a positive twist than the song.

By way of encouraging the small-scale farmers who made up about 75 percent of his Jan. 15 audience, Kirschenmann alluded to their farms as incubators for ideas that could become mainstreamed in the not-so-distant future.

“We are going to be moving toward a food system that looks like what a lot of you are doing on a small scale now,” said Kirschenmann, himself an organic farmer and rancher in North Dakota.

In making the point that innovation can be a collective endeavor, rather than the solitary pursuit of a rare genius, Kirschenmann referenced a book by Richard Ogle entitled “Smart World: Breakthrough Creativity and the New Science of Ideas“. The book introduces the notion of “idea spaces” as a launching pad for innovation. The author, Richard Ogle, describes an idea space as:

“A domain or world viewed from the perspective of the intelligence embedded in it, intelligence that we can use – consciously or not – both to solve our everyday problems and to make the creative leaps that lead to breakthrough.” Read More >