Big data, big questions

Thursday, February 25, 12-3 PM Pacific 

The next NFUniversity Climate Class will take a deep dive into the implications of digital agriculture.

Drones, robotics, self-driving tractors, smart farms. There’s an app for that! What are the implications of the emerging digital agriculture technologies for farmers? What are the promises and the pitfalls? Who controls the information generated as farmers’ equipment sends data to the cloud while they work their fields?  Which companies are investing in the new agriculture technologies and why? How is a data-centred production changing how agriculture markets are structured? How does this technology affect farm labour? Will high tech help us solve climate change? Join this NFUniversity class to explore these and other big questions around big data.


Jim Thomas is the Researcher Director with the ETC Group, which works to address the socioeconomic and ecological issues surrounding new technologies that could have an impact on the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. For over twenty-five years Jim has been tracking and investigating the impacts of synthetic biology, geoengineering, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, big data and other emerging technology platforms as they affect human rights, biodiversity, equity and food systems.

In addition to authoring ETC Group reports on these topics, Jim has been an observer in related UN processes, convened international civil society collaborations, appeared in several documentaries and published stories in The Guardian, New Internationalist, Huffington Post, Slate and The Ecologist. Over the years, Jim has been invited to present ETC Group’s research to princes, peasants, policymakers, poets, protestors and private equity investors alike.

Sign up for the class:

NFUniversity Feb 25 Class Registration


Registration for all NFUniversity classes is free. After you register, you will receive an email with details about how to join the class via Zoom, or by phone.

If you have questions about registration, please call (306) 652-9465 or email

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