Negotiating Complexity: Lessons from Food Security

Jack Williams's picture
February 22, 2023 to February 23, 2023
Subject Fields: 
Diplomacy and International Relations, Government and Public Service, Humanities, Social Sciences, Public Policy

Russia’s war in Ukraine triggered a sharp rise in food, fuel and fertiliser prices, leading to a spiralling food crisis that has affected the whole world. The war has merely exacerbated an already precarious situation with global food supplies reeling from the effects of other conflicts, economic pressure, the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Addressing these complex challenges involves a range of actors with patient negotiation and mediation skills key to finding successful solutions both in the short and long term. This online conference examines cases related to food security to draw lessons for the conduct of complex negotiations.

The conference is part of an annual series on the dynamics of global cooperation organised by the Institute for Global Negotiation in partnership with the Chair of Political Philosophy at the University of Zurich. The aim of the series is to provide students and young professionals with the chance to explore contemporary issues in the field of global cooperation with senior practitioners and academics. To this end, the virtual conference includes a keynote address and three expert-led panel discussions.


Keynote Address: The Role of Mediation in the Russia-Ukraine Grain Deal 

​Expert: Richard Wilcox, Senior Advisor Conflict Mediation, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue

Moderated by Francis Cheneval, University of Zurich and Jack R. Williams, IGN

Panel 1: Negotiating on the Ground

Expert: Abdulrahman Najeh, World Food Program

Chaired by: Vera E. Hauser, IGN


Panel 2: Stakeholder Engagement: A Case Study from EU Agriculture and Food Policies 

​Expert: Lara Fornabaio, Agriculture Lead, Client Earth

​Chaired by: Erika Zanellato, IGN

Panel 3: Mediating between Competing Necessities

​This panel explores how we can engage local communities when there are competing needs specifically in the area of environment vs. food security.

Expert: TBC

Chaired by: Alexandra Pintilie, IGN


Participation in the conference is ​open to all who are interested - simply complete the registration form below by 17:00(CET) on Monday 21 February.

Application for panel participation is encouraged for early-stage researchers and professionals who are interested in taking part in one of the three panel discussions. To apply please send your CV and a short letter of motivation outlining which panel you'd like to take part in and why to Panel applications are accepted until 17:00 (CET) on Friday 10 February 2023.