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oxford real farming conference call for ideas and proposals now open

Posted: June 14 2022

Visit https://orfc.org.uk/orfc-2023-call-for-ideas-and-proposals/ for more information!

IN-PERSON Conference, Oxford, UK
This is going to be bigger and better than ever! In addition to our regular venues, we will be taking on rooms at two new sites: The Story Museum, alongside St Aldates Church and the Northgate Centre, next door to the Oxford Town Hall. All the venues are within a 5 minute walk of each other, so there will be plenty of choice of sessions as well as places to meet up. There will also be more tickets available for January, which is good news for those who have missed out before.

Length of sessions
In response to your feedback, the sessions in Oxford will remain at 90 minutes. This should give you a good amount of time to present your ideas and take questions, or to break into groups to explore the topic further. However, it will reduce the amount of sessions, so we apologise in advance if we can’t take your proposal further.

Format of sessions
You can suggest a talk, a panel discussion, a workshop, a practical demonstration or something else entirely! There will also be space for cultural events, including music, dance, theatre, storytelling etc, so please be creative and let us know what you have in mind.

New speakers welcome
ORFC has a very strong and vocal community, which we are delighted to see return each year. However, we would also like to encourage new speakers to come forward, so this year we are limiting the number of sessions that any one speaker can take part in to TWO. We hope this will encourage new people to share their views and experiences with us. You don’t need to be a seasoned orator, we just want to hear what you have to say. (This new policy should also help with our scheduling nightmares!)

Speaker tickets
ORFC always asks everyone who attends the conference and can afford to pay for their ticket to do so, regardless of whether they are a speaker or a delegate. The reasons for this are twofold: firstly, we want to encourage speakers to be a part of the whole conference and not just their sessions; and secondly, we want to keep the conference affordable to all, and this is only possible when speakers who can afford to pay, do so (especially as a third of conference attendees are speakers!).

However, if cost would be a barrier for speakers to attend, please let the conference team know directly on [email protected] (This will not affect whether your submission gets accepted.)

Conference topics
The conference never sets a theme, as we want to hear about your interests and concerns. However, we always welcome new and innovative farm practice sessions and personal accounts of your farming practice and food or farming enterprise. We also want to hear about the work you’ve been doing, especially if it involves differing groups and individuals. We look to you to suggest pressing issues that the ORFC community needs to consider and discuss.

The topics covered are broad in scope. They include general themes such as agroecology, food sovereignty, climate change, biodiversity, food and farming policy, economic democracy, land and food justice, workers’ rights and land-based spirituality. However, we are also interested in the ‘offbeat’, so please do send this “Call” to other groups and organisations that might not be on our mailing list.

Timeframe for submissions
We will be looking through the submissions in late June/early July and aim to contact everyone – whether you’ve been successful or not – in August. This year, we will be asking you to have your session organised earlier as we will need speakers and programme details confirmed by mid-October. Bar a last minute Covid variant, this should make for a seamlessly organised hybrid conference!

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