After three years, on 3–5 June, the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) achieved the first environmental knowledge commons in the digital age of its kind at GLF Bonn. Looking at sustainable landscape knowledge as a shared resource, nearly 5,000 participants joined in from 146 countries and 6 continents to discuss how to rebuild the planet’s food systems after the coronavirus pandemic. The numbers — 300 speakers, hundreds of organizations, 235,000 engagements on social, 22,000 messages plus 2,500 articles exchanged amongst participants — highlighted the need for platforms like GLF to grow and continue including the voices of diverse knowledge holders from every corner of the world.
“I can’t believe it,” said one participant. ”I am in the middle of the nomadic Mongolian countryside and enjoying the Global Landscapes Forum [Digital Conference]. Thanks to the digital world.”
With a social media reach of over 50 million, the conference blazed a trail for connecting large numbers of experts and practitioners simultaneously while lowering the carbon emissions from air travel, logistics, and more.
“These kinds of events are what digital does well,” said media theorist from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Douglas Rushkoff during a session on media consumption and how it shapes narratives. “We need more [events] like this, rather than killing the planet.”