World class Keynote Speakers delivering powerful Organicology-styled addresses. 

From researchers to activists, writers and lawyers, Organicology has invited some of the most powerful and entertaining speakers who will delight and entertain us while delivering thought provoking ideas. Each day we’ll hear from a different keynote.  

2017 Keynotes

Introduction and Welcome address by David Lively

David is one of the founders of the Organicology conference - you may recognize him as one of the "Lively" characters in our Great Debates skits! He serves the organic foods trade as vice president of sales & marketing at Organically Grown Company (OGC). He farmed professionally from 1979-1985, during which time he participated in the creation of OGC as an organic produce distributor. Over his career, his work has focused on production, purchasing, promotion and sales, as well as policy and trade infrastructure issues and efforts. He is a co-founder of the Organic Produce Wholesalers Coalition and Sustainable Food Trade Association and is currently serving on the Organic Trade Association Board.  

Mas Masumoto,  Masumoto Family Farm

Changing Season and the Ties That Bind: Generations, Disruption and Farming

Mas Masumoto is an organic peach and grape farmer on the Masutmoto Family Farm and the author of ten books including: Epitaph for a PeachWisdom of the Last Farmer, Heirlooms, Letters to the Valley, Four Seasons in Five Senses, Harvest Son, Country Voices, and Silent Strength. His latest book, Changing Season, A Father, A Daughter, A Family Farm was published in 2016 and written with his daughter, Nikiko Masumoto. He, along with his wife, Marcy, and daughter, Nikiko, published a family farm cookbook, The Perfect Peach in 2013. A feature documentary, Changing Season on the Masumoto Family Farm, about the theme of succession on a family farm, has been featured at film festivals and nationally broadcast on PBS in May, 2016.

A third generation farmer, Mas grows organic peaches, nectarines, and raisins on an 80 acre farm south of Fresno, Calif. He is currently a columnist for The Fresno Bee and the Sacramento Bee. He was a Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellow from 2006-2008. His writing awards include Commonwealth Club Silver medal, Julia Child Cookbook award, the James Clavell Literacy Award and a finalist in the James Beard Foundation Awards. Wisdom of the Last Farmer was honored as “Best Environmental Writing in 2009” by National Resources Defense Council. The Perfect Peach was named by USA Today as one of best summer cookbooks in 2013. He received the “Award of Distinction” from UC Davis in 2003 and the California Central Valley "Excellence in Business" Award in 2007. He is currently a board member of the Central Valley Community Foundation and the Public Policy Institute of California. He has served on the James Irvine Foundation from 2002-2014 and is the former chair of the California Council for the Humanities board. In 2013, President Obama appointed him to the National Council on the Arts, the board for the National Endowment for the Arts. Masumoto (62) is married to Marcy Masumoto, EdD, and they have a daughter, Nikiko, 30, and a son, Korio, 23.

Eric Holt Giménez, Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy

Food Sovereignty: Transforming the Food System

Eric Holt-Giménez, Ph.D. is the executive director of Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy (July 2006—Present). Called one of the country's “most established food think tanks” by the New York Times, Food First’s mission is to end the injustices that cause hunger, poverty and environmental degradation throughout the world. Food First believes that a world free of hunger is possible if farmers and communities take back control of the food systems presently dominated by transnational agri-foods industries.

Eric has published many magazine and academic articles on agroecology, development, food justice and food sovereignty and is author/editor of several Food First books, including: Food Movements Unite! Strategies to transform our food system (2011), Food Rebellions: Crisis and the Hunger for Justice (2009) and Campesino a Campesino: Voices from Latin America’s Farmer to Farmer Movement for Sustainable Agriculture (2006) in which he chronicles his involvement with this movement in Mexico and Central America over two and a half decades. Eric lectures internationally and teaches undergraduate and graduate classes and courses at the University of California, Boston University, Antioch University in Colombia and The National Gastronomic University of Italy. He has a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California—Santa Cruz and a M.Sc. in International Agricultural Development from University of California—Davis. 

At Food First, Eric’s research and writing has concentrated on the global food crisis, the U.S. Farm Bill, the expansion of agrofuels, land grabs, neighborhood food systems, the agrarian question and food movements. In his words, “Successful social movements are formed by integrating activism with livelihoods.  These integrated movements create the deep sustained social pressure that produces political will—the key to changing the financial, governmental and market structures that presently work against sustainability.”

Nikki Silvestri, Live Real/People's Grocery

Economic Development and Climate-Beneficial Agriculture:
How to Make it Work for All People

Nikki Silvestri is the co-founder and CEO of Silvestri Strategies, a project design and management firm working to support thriving communities, economies, and natural environments. 

As the Co-Founder of Live Real and former executive director of People's Grocery and Green for All, Nikki has built and strengthened social equity for underrepresented populations in food systems, social services, public health, climate solutions, and economic development. A nationally recognized thought leader, her many honors include being named one of The Root's 100 Most Influential African Americans in 2014.

An accomplished communicator, Nikki is well known for her combination of vulnerability and razor-sharp analysis. In addition to her speaking appearances at conferences and private events, Nikki regularly forwards the message of equitable economies through numerous media channels., the Huffington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle have featured her writing, and her recent television appearances include All In with Chris Hayes and the Melissa Harris Perry Show on MSNBC. 

Nikki began her work in social change through the foster care system in Southern California, where she directed Foster Youth Empowerment Workshops. She has a master's degree in African American Studies from UCLA, and is originally from Los Angeles. She currently lives in Oakland, with her husband.