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CfP for session on: Digitization, Big Data and the New Geographies of Food, Biennial German Geography Congress, Kiel, autumn 2019
Digitization, “big data” and advanced analytics profoundly reshape the way the food chain operates, opening up new spaces of legibility, control, and value extraction at every node of it. Among others, this includes the proliferation of smart and precision farming technologies at the point of production, the implementation of blockchain technologies that enable buyers to trace their ordered products in real time across the wholefood chain, or the production and harnessing of unseen volumes of consumer data by (online) retailers and other actors interested in selling “stuff”, or the information related to it. Such changes are likely to result in new geographies of food chains.
While industry players have celebrated these various moments of digitally induced food chain transformation under banners such as agriculture 4.0 or the smart food chain, critics have voiced concerns. These concerns relate to the monetization and commodification of various forms of data along the food supply chain, raising issues of data sovereignty; the spread of oligopolistic practices of a few key data brokers known from other domains of the agtech economy; and the potential for capital to intensify the control over, and extraction of, value from labour and nature.
The aim of this session is to critically interrogate the risks and opportunities that lie within digital food futures. We invite proposals for papers addressing (but not limited to) one or more of the following aspects of the “digital revolution” across the food chain:
– Smart farming, precision farming, and drone farming
– Blockchain technologies and their impact on supply chain management, logistics, and producer-consumer relations
– Silicon Valley goes farming: the rise of AG tech focused venture capital and private equity
– The tendency for oligopolization in data-based domains of the economy
– The implications of digital technologies and automation for labour and nature
– Issues of big data and data sovereignty
– Environmental footprint management
– Emergence of closed/privatized versus open/open source platforms
– The changing spatiality, sociality and materiality of digital food chains
– Entry points for digital political activism and a radicalization of food futures
We welcome submissions in English or German. Please direct any questions to the session organizers Sarah Ruth Sippel ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) and Stefan Ouma ( email@example.com ).
Abstracts need to be submitted directly through the conference website ( https://www.con-gressa.de/dkg2019/ ) on or before January 25, 2019. You need to provide a title (max. 160 characters), a short abstract (max. 200 characters) and a full abstract (max. 2,500 characters). Papers will be selected based on a review by session organizers. Authors will be notified about the status of their submission by the end of March 2019, registration will start April 1st 2019 ( https://www.dkg2019.de/registrierung/ ).
The biennial German Geography Congress (Deutscher Kongress für Geography, DKG) is the most important geography conference in Germany. For more information see ( https://www.dkg2019.de/ , in German only, but deepl will help).