2009: Hungry For Change: Transcending Feast, Famine, and Frenzy

This year's theme, chosen in light of converging environmental and food crises, was Hungry for Change: Transcending Feast, Famine and Frenzy. Over 60 events, ranging from hip hop and direct action workshops to expert panels, addressed issues surrounding the food crisis and other imminent dangers facing our global community.

The speed at which the challenges confronting our world expand and escalate into frenzy is enough to cause panic in any observer: a global financial meltdown, a globe heating up as the scramble for oil continues, and peace and human security still elusive in much of the world. With global food prices rising rapidly, Oxfam estimates that the well being and livelihoods of 290 million people in vulnerable countries are under immediate threat. Meanwhile, obesity rates are rising worldwide.

The theme Hungry for Change called us to examine the intersection of global phenomena such as climate change, economic disparity and economic crises, the effects of global trade on food prices and failed policy that culminates in persistent food challenges and a current food crisis, with special attention to the devastating impacts on the developing world. It explored why people are starving in a world that produces enough food to feed everyone, what can be done to mitigate the impacts of the crisis and how to plan for the food security of coming generations. The theme also invited broader discussion on global inequity, instability and societal transformation.

Our keynote speaker, hunger expert and outspoken democracy advocate Frances Moore Lappé, once noted:

"Hope is a stance, not a calculation. We don't find hope. We become hope."

We invite all who are hungry for change to learn more about current local and global challenges, renew hope for forging new solutions and actively engage as global citizens.

Featured guests:

  • Keynote speaker Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity and Courage in a World Gone Mad
  • Palagummi Sainath, dedicated development reporter and photojournalist once described by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen as "one of the world's foremost experts on poverty and hunger"
  • George Monbiot, Guardian columnist, environmental activist, and author of Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning
View the International Week 2009 Program