What is agroecology? What would it take for agroecology to take root in North America?

Video interviews from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)'s second symposium on agroecology, by Devon Sampson and Antonio Roman Alcalá.  

As the term "agroecology" moves into public conversations and more powerful institutions like the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, we're curious about what "agroecology" means to different people, and what it would take for agroecology to take root in North America the way it has in Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and other parts of the world. At the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's second symposium on agroecology, we interviewed people we met in the hallway.  

We had two questions.  What is agroecology? and, What would it take for agroecology to take root in North America? One dynamic of the symposium was a discussion about what agroecology is, anyway.  Is agroecology an updated synonym of sustainable agriculture, encompassing a wide range agricultural practices that do slightly less damage to people and the earth? Or is it a movement for transformative change and a scientific, practical, and political resistance to corporate food systems? Another dynamic is that in many places, especially parts of Latin America, Africa, and India, agroecology is growing in scale and power.  But we rarely hear about it in North America.  We know people in those places are always getting unsolicited advice from North Americans, so thought it would be fun to ask for their take on building a North American agroecology movement.

Here are some perspectives from the halls of the FAO.  We'd also like to hear your answers to these two questions.  Upload a video to youtube or vimeo and send us a link at, and we will post it here.