When I entered the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for a conference on Monday morning, I knew my week would include breakthroughs and realizations — not only for myself, but for the world.
For one week I joined Planet Forward at FAO’s Committee on World Security (CFS) 46th conference in Rome, Italy. As I sit down to reflect on the gathering, I feel as if a million doors have opened before me.
I’m a college student at SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry, a small STEM campus in Syracuse, New York, studying environmental studies. That said, it often feels like a bubble, and that bubble can sometimes be blinding. In Rome, we’ve met and heard from delegates, stakeholders, youth, and others from around the globe working to solve issues around world hunger and nutrition. My mind has opened to a greater understanding of what is going on on a national level, and of course, a global level. I know this will be useful information to know as I move forward in my life and career surrounding environmental and humanitarian issues.
Prior to this week, I have had an ingrained way of thinking that encompassed a relatively strong distaste for technology. I thought that the issues facing the earth, such as world hunger, and climate change could not be fixed by technology, because in my mind, these issues were caused by technology. As I moved forward through the week, I listened. I heard what the technology advocates had to say, I heard from the farmers themselves, and the people fighting for the right to food, that technology holds a great deal of space in the solution to world hunger. I don’t believe that it is the only solution, but I can now zoom out from the space I am from, and understand there are other ways to go about addressing issues of this suffering. This is just one example of the many takeaways I have received from the past week.
This all said, as a correspondent with Planet Forward, I viewed much of this week through the lens of a storyteller. As of late, I am in the process of creating a story highlighting the fine balance of technology in development. As my perspective and understanding transformed throughout the week, I recognized its relevance in the battle against troubling issues, such as world hunger. Through a series of journal entries, tracking the days I spent in the FAO building in Rome, I will unravel my fear of technology in development, and refer to its power in reducing suffering and actually getting humans closer to the land; closer to the earth.