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Ag Science

Red Deer Man to Lecture Max Planck PhDs

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Todayville is pleased to announce that our own Agriculture TV producer, Nick Saik, has been invited to speak to many of Europe’s leading PhDs at the famous Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam-Golm Germany.

As a featured speaker at the Plants and People Conference 2019 in September, Nick has been invited to discuss effective science and agricultural communication –something he has proven very successful at despite him doing so during an era of divisiveness. And to think that it all started with an argument with his father.

Nick was a hippy filmmaker working in Vancouver on fairly shallow, big budget Hollywood fare when his former farmboy father suggested that he come home to tell the story of modern agriculture. There was only one problem. Nick didn’t believe in the approaches of modern agriculture.

Sharing a healthy respect for science, that lead the TEDTalk agricultural expert that advises everyone from Bill Gates to African Presidents to challenge his son: prove me wrong.

That challenge led to a lot of learning and several highly involved trips around the world. Nick met with the scientists and farmers who were directly engaged in the innovations necessary to feed the world’s growing population. The father’s strategy was wise.

“I had no business even having an opinion about something I knew so little about back then,” says the younger Saik when referring to his previous self. “Today my main advantage is my ignorant humility. It’s a healthy place to work from.”

A handcam provided for Nick Saik’s early start in the field of communications.

That is what the young Albertan has to offer Europe’s leading scientists: He can not only show lay people how to do meaningful research, even more importantly he can actually model the behaviour of someone who will change their mind if the evidence is good.

Today’s brain science is quite clear: that is not a natural inclination for human beings. We are impacted by confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance and are very often little more than creatures of habit.

“The best way to change someone’s mind is to let them change it themselves,” says Saik. In a world where most seek only to reinforce their existing opinions, Nick’s willingness to be naive and open is at the heart of why he has become so popular as a science and agriculture educator and public speaker.

His unique position as neither a scientist, nor farmer, nor activist allows him to genuinely represent the average person’s perspective because, like him, most people are none of those things.

“There’s an awareness in science that it accidentally became a closed shop. It wasn’t very friendly when it came to dumb questions. But I ask a lot of dumb questions myself, so instead of dismissing people’s concerns I actually share them, so I look into them and then share what I learn. And it turns out people like that.”

Nick is good at modelling respect, and at helping people understand each other. His Facebook page may have the most respectful and informative comment section on that entire platform.

In a world of binary, either-or thinking, Nick uses everything from LEGO to musical styles to help explain and/or analogize the essence behind what could otherwise be complex ideas. He’s even funny, having had single videos that, in their various forms and on their various channels, have been seen over 50 million times.

Supported by a large cast of farmers and scientists that are perpetually adding to his knowledge, Nick continues to learn every week. That was ultimately why he came to call his company KNOW IDEAS MEDIA. (Even the logo shows two distinct circles of thought being tied together by communication. He’s as earnest as they come.)  Click on the Know Ideas Media banner below to see Nick’s work on Todayville Agriculture.

 

 

The company’s principles of optimism, reason, science, respect and maybe most importantly, compassion may be just what agriculture needs. In a world divided by many people shouting many points of opposition, voices of clarity, unity and cooperation are like a breath of fresh air. It that context it makes sense that a voice of reason in Red Deer was heard as far away as the most hallowed halls of Europe.

Respectful and informative exchange. If it seems too simple, we only need to remember that it was that very approach that lead Nick Saik all the way from the shallows of Hollywood fare to the meaningful depths of discussing food security at one of the leading educational institutions on Earth.

If he keeps this up, Nick’s ignorant humility might just lead him to follow in his father’s footsteps. He too may one day be advising billionaires and world leaders, and that’s pretty impressive for a guy who’s claim to fame is that he is ‘just one of us.’

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Ag Business

With the world’s population soaring to 10 billion people, Robert Saik explores how farmers “might” be able to feed everyone

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Earth’s population will be close to 10 billion people by 2050.  So consider this line from Robert Saik’s “FOOD 5.0″…

“In order to feed the world, we have to grow 10,000 years’ worth of food in the next 30 years, which means farmers worldwide must increase their food production by 60 to 70%.”

If that doesn’t wake you up… probably nothing can.  How will farmers do it?  Even with today’s technology this it going to take an overwhelming international effort to avoid a mass-starvation.

His first book, “The Agriculture Manifesto – Ten Key Drivers That Will Shape Agriculture in the Next Decade” was a 2014 Best of Amazon Books and this TEDx Talk “Will Agriculture be Allowed to Feed 9 Billion People?” has been viewed over 150,000 times.

In a time where more and more people (in the first world) are demanding to know where their food is coming from and how food is being produced, “FOOD 5.0 How We Feed The Future” should be required reading.

Robert Saik in the Author Hour Podcast:

“Food 5.0, How We Feed the Future was written for an urban audience, more so than a farming audience. My mental image of who I wrote the book for was a 33-year-old mom in a city with some kids who is working and raising her kids.”

“We live in a time now where all the technologies are smashing together–they are converging on the farm to reshape the farm in ways that urban people just simply do not understand. It is happening at a breakneck pace and farms are far more sophisticated, far more advanced than people realize.”

” you’re going to realize and learn a lot about food production and a lot about marketing.”

In FOOD 5.0 How We Feed The Future, Robert Saik examines “how technology convergence is reshaping the farm and the consumer”.

Robert has been hailed as an agriculture futurist with unparalleled insight into where the industry is headed.  He’s worked with a variety of agriculturalists from Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture to Bill Gates.

He is the CEO of DOT Farm Solutions, which supports farmers adopting autonomous robotics in broad acre agriculture.  He’s also the founder of AG Viser Pro, a platform that Uber-izes knowledge and wisdom, enabling farmers to instantaneously connect with agriculture experts worldwide.

Robert is a passionate keynote speaker and is executive producer of the Know Ideas Media a science based multi-media company addressing issues such as GMO’s and their use in food production.  (Know Ideas Media is a partner in Todayville.com/Agriculture)

He serves on several Boards, is an advisor to Olds College, is a member of the A100 (Alberta Tech Entrepreneur Network), a student of Strategic Coach and Singularity University and a member of Abundance 360.  As a partner in Perigro Venture Partners he participates in early stage technology investments.

He been recognized for agriculture leadership by the Alberta Institute of Agrologists (Provincial Distinguished Agrologist of the Year) and in 2016 was awarded Canadian Agri-Marketer of the Year by the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association.

Here’s a story produced by Todayville on Robert’s visit to Seattle to brief Bill Gates.

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