It was an action packed weekend. Nowhere else would students in the morning, get to speak with and ask some tough questions to the Vice-President of Chartwells, get your hands dirty learning to make palette boxes for a raised garden in the afternoon. Eat a delicious and mostly vegetarian meal in the evening and (if you’re not exhausted and ready for bed) spend the rest of the night continuing your conversations of the day with new friends into the wee hours of the morning... If it were up to me, the summit wouldn’t be one of those recommended textbooks, but a required one.
As President at the Georgian College Students’ Association (GCSA) for the Georgian College Barrie Campus, I was not fully prepared by how informed and educated I would become over the course of the 3 day conference. Each session was refined, succinct, and involved each participant as much as possible.
Whether it was listening to keynote speakers discuss food insecurity, Indigenous recipes, how to source food locally, seed libraries, or simply just engaging in our questions, everyone’s interests were piqued. This momentum overflowed into our breakout sessions where we discussed issues on a deeper level and began to collaborate. These intimate sessions are where the real magic began to emerge... I found these sessions the most useful because students who had doubts about what they could do were replenished with hope...It was truly liberating to hear and feel the powerful drive of my peers.
I developed the ability to concisely speak about food systems related issues. After attending the workshops and speaker panels, I now feel knowledgeable enough to talk about sustainable food initiatives, debunk myths and talk about why this is an important issue and what can be done about it. I gained the ability to really network and build personal connections with other delegates.