Logo: DDI International

Farming, Food, and HipHop – our new professional community and leadership development initiative coming to a venue near you

DDI Team

What do Farming, Food, and HipHop have to do with each other?

Shouldn’t it rather be farming, food, and country music? Not if you are asking us. Over 20 people (among them 4 farmers) in 8 countries from Africa, Europe, Russia, and the USA are already participating in our beginning discussion group on how to create a DDI professional community (resulting eventually in a separate specialized training track) under the Farming – Food – HipHop umbrella. (Yes, you are very welcome to participate, whether you like country music or another type of creative expression.)

The group comprises individuals who believe that farming, food production, organic lifestyles, art and global politics, environmental issues and global warming, the old permaculture ideas, and modern biophysics including bioengineering are all connected, and that we need new approaches to facilitate and lead among the many stakeholders. Small farmers, large food companies, tribal issues of land division, innovative ways of dealing with water resources, social activists for animal survival and international corporations who focus on genetically engineering seeds are among the many stakeholders that have to contribute value and perspective on how to find global solutions that work for everyone and the survival of the planet. We believe we can contribute to forming a new direction in which these stakeholders do not see themselves only as each other’s enemies and treat each other as if they were the very problem that we are facing, but instead start to work together on common challenges we are all facing. We see them all as potential allies, who each bring important and needed perspectives to the table. We have to learn to jam together, and use our tensions and differences to form new and creative solutions, as we see it in the world of music with the HipHop mashup combining old earworms with new rap rhythms and lyrics that go beyond political correctness. Food and Farming and the issues connected to them are as much a political and community development issue as a technological one. We bring them all together. Please join us if this sounds exciting to you!

Pictures taken by Andrea and Magda: Flowers, cows, pigs, and farmers debating with environmentalists: Facilitated by Dr. Andrea Fink-Kessler, Germany.

Dr. Andrea Fink-Kessler

Andrea has been consulting government groups, cooperatives and private initiatives on agricultural issues and just published a cutting edge book on milk, and all that is connected to it, history, science, symbolism, etc. She is a DDI student from Germany and part of the FarmingFoodHipHop group. Here is what she writes:


What a wonderful idea of a DDI Farming Food and Hiphop Group! As a freelancer and as a person that has been engaged for decades in agricultural policy and is working together with farmers and a non-governmental farmers’ association (that forms a sort of opposition to the official “Farmers Organisation” – Deutscher Bauernverband – in Germany), I see a necessity for developing new forms of working together, of “making policy”. Our “old” ways, our adhering to a policy that is polarizing, comes out of the spirit of the years of 1970. I feel it comes to a limit, stuck in the old belief systems. The young people I meet, they don’t want to follow this old policy style but don’t know how to do otherwise.

On the other hand, at least in Germany, we have a lot of conflicts in the countryside - conflicts around mass production of meat and large and industrially organized livestock-holdings. Alliances of citizens and NGOs are being formed against this.

Farmers – small farmers as well as those with larger farms – get more and more marginalized in society and in their villages. Regulations and controls pretend to implement new standards for animal welfare and environmental protection, but they finally promote a further industrialization of agriculture.

What we need is dialogue – new ways of coming together. Worldwork will help – I feel this clearly. How can these ideas and methods be integrated so that they become helpful for the society to solve these severe and deep conflicts about the future of our agricultural and nutritional system? I am looking forward to discuss, exercise and bring WW and Deep Democracy into this part of our world.


Magdalena Schatzman

Magdalena, a farmer and musician, lives and works on her farm and also gives avantgarde concerts and teaches unintentional music seminars. Here is what she writes about her involvement with the FarmingFoodHipHop initiative as a DDI student:


My interest in this FarmingFoodHipHop group has its source in the love for this planet, for all beings, animals,  human beings, spirits, stones, trees, water, plants, vegetables…

Another interest of mine is the connection between all the topics, beginning with farming, continuing with cultural and climate change, including environmental creativity … Deep Democracy offers here the wholeness of culture!

A third interest is the possibility of relating with farmers or those who are interested in farming from other cultures, and their issues. I also enjoy working on my relationship to the sides; positions that at times seems strange to me, or might be considered "enemy" from the viewpoint of a little farmer.

I am sure that with these trainings I will find new ways for my personal life as a farmer and musician, and new possibilities for working with others on future issues of the planet.

Working on the farm for me means working with nature, following nature. So I am thinking this is  near to the approach of Deep Democracy; finding next steps, finding solutions. I am looking very forward to learn  with others on this new and exciting track.


For more info or to be part of it, email Hiphopfoodfarm@deepdemocracyinstitute.org