As our world continues to become more interconnected, we feel it is essential that we acknowledge the power of diverse perspectives and experiences. As such, we are delighted to begin introducing the speakers who will inspire young changemakers at our 2023 Global Student Conference series happening in Boston, Singapore, and Edinburgh. Our annual conferences are a cornerstone of the CAS Trips mission, and this year we are bringing together a diverse roster of nine speakers to shed light on our topic: The Future of Food: Global Issues, Local Solutions.
Today, we will introduce you to three. Representing initiatives and organizations working to create positive change, each speaker — Isaias Hernandez, Brenda Black, and Taahira Ayoob — has a unique perspective on how we can create a more sustainable and equitable food system for the future. We have no doubt that our student participants will benefit tremendously from having the opportunity to hear their stories and understand their vision for a more just and compassionate world.
Isaias Hernandez of QueerBrownVegan
First up is Isaias Hernandez, better known as QueerBrownVegan. Isaias is a queer Latinx activist and educator dedicated to promoting social and environmental justice. Through their popular Instagram account, QueerBrownVegan, and work in their local community, Isaias shares knowledge on the intersectional nature of the climate crisis and advocates for compassion and inclusivity. They believe that we can all work together to create a better world for all beings, human and non-human alike.
Isaias is committed to building a world where people no longer struggle to learn about environmentalism and uses their platform to advocate for a more sustainable food system that prioritizes the ethical treatment of animals and supports local agriculture. He has also been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and anti-racism efforts, showing how these issues are interconnected and cannot be addressed in isolation. We are excited to learn more about their mission and know they will challenge students to think critically about the impact of their food choices on the planet and marginalized communities—exploring how we can shift towards more sustainable and just food systems.
Brenda Black of Edinburgh Community Food
Next, we have Brenda Black, who represents Edinburgh Community Food. Brenda is a community food worker passionate about promoting healthy, sustainable food systems. In her work with Edinburgh Community Food, a non-profit organization that works to create a fairer, more sustainable food system in Edinburgh, Brenda runs a range of programs, including community gardens, cooking classes, and food waste reduction initiatives.
By increasing access to healthy, sustainable food choices, Brenda is helping to create a fairer and more sustainable food system at the community level. As an organization, Edinburgh Community Food empowers people with the skills and knowledge to grow, cook, and eat healthy food. We are excited to host Brenda and give students the opportunity to learn about cultivating a culture of more equitable distribution of food resources and reducing food waste. Brenda’s work is an inspiring example of how local action can contribute to a more sustainable and just global food system.
Taahira Ayoob of Spize Zi Kitchen
Finally, we have Taahira Ayoob from Spize Zi Kitchen. Taahira is an entrepreneur who is passionate about showcasing the flavors and traditions of her Indian Muslim heritage. Together, she and her mother run Spize Zi Kitchen, a cooking school where visitors come to learn, share, eat, and laugh together—exploring the meaning of food and its central role in community building. Offering an experience to learn heirloom recipes of Indian Muslim food homemade by grandmothers and mothers, Taahira shows how honoring culinary traditions helps build appreciation and respect for a culture.
By blending the flavors and techniques of Singaporean Indian Muslim Food, Spize Zi Kitchen is promoting the value of cultural exchange and celebrating the diversity of our global food heritage. Their work challenges visitors to move beyond narrow definitions of “authentic” cuisine and to appreciate the richness of international food cultures.
The Future of Food: Global Issues, Local Solutions
Together, our keynote speakers are challenging us to think about the future of food more holistically and inclusively. They are advocating for a food system that is not only sustainable and equitable but also celebrates the diversity of our global food heritage.
We know that by engaging with their work and ideas, students at the Global Student Conference will be inspired to think critically about the future of food, and put words into action by discussing solutions and innovations that can act as a vital catalyst for initiating changes at home that can have far-reaching benefits across the world.
Details of our 2023 Global Student Conferences
Singapore – Malaysia | 3 – 8 July, 2023 | Enrollment closes: May 1st, 2023
Edinburgh, Scotland | July 17 – 22, 2023 | Enrollment closes: May 1st, 2023
Boston, USA | 31 July – 5 August 2023 | Enrollment closes: May 1st, 2023
Each conference’s itinerary includes local transport, airport transfers, accommodation, all meals, CAS activities, and CAS Trips staff. Trained and qualified professionals lead all activities, while our dedicated CAS Trips team will be on hand to assist every step of the way, 24 hours a day – from the arrivals gate to the departure lounge.