The 7th annual SCAA Symposium held in Seattle this past April was the final event under than name.
In case you’re not familiar with the Symposium concept, it was an educational and networking program held in the days leading up to the annual SCAA Event. Speakers leading the way in numerous fields within the coffee industry were carefully chosen, and given a wider stage with more dramatic lighting and bigger demonstration tools than are found in typical trade show seminar settings. It was, to borrow from marketing speak, a congregation of coffee’s “thought leaders.”
While Symposium as we know it is history, the concept is being redeveloped and expanded under the name Re:co (regarding coffee). Dublin-based World Coffee Events, organizer of events such as the World Barista Championship, is taking organizational control with the support of its parent organizations, the SCAA and the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE).
Unlike Symposium, which always took place on U.S. soil, the Re:Co Symposium will be moving around the globe, with the inaugural event happening in conjunction with the upcoming Nordic World of Coffee event, June 16-18 in Gothenburg, Sweden (Re:co will actually commence June 15, leading up to the show). A second Re:co Symposium is scheduled for Guatemala City in August. Organizers say Re:co “will continue to be a platform for the most innovative and inspirational industry leaders in coffee, science, economics, and academia to present ideas, solutions, and take a look at the issues that are impacting specialty coffee across the supply chain.”
The Gothenburg Re:co will have a decidedly European bent, with approximately 12 individual speakers lined up to explore a wide range of subjects related to the industry — where it is now; where can it go; and how can it get there. Of course, the content possibilities are almost endless within that framework, but a first glimpse at the schedule suggests a wealth of knowledge is about to be dropped. Here is who is speaking, with a brief bit on the what:
Where are We Now?
- James Hoffmann
Welcome and Overview
- Nils Erichsen
The State of the European Coffee Market
- Hugh Gilmartin
The Specialty Coffee Community, and the Role of Trust
- Pascale Schuit
Is Coffee Sustainable?
- Leonardo Lombardini
World Coffee Research and the Role of Science
Where Can We Go?
- Chahan Yeretzian
New Roasting and Technology Paradigms
- Michael Sheridan
Castillo and Caturra: Exploring the Differences Using the WCR Lexicon
- Charles Spence
Multi-Sensory Experience and Coffee, the Role of Sound
- Isabelle Legeron
Lessons from the ‘Natural Wine’ Movement
How Do We Get There?
- Camille Delebecque
Biotechnology and Coffee Flavor
- Morten Münchow
Behavioral Research – A New Way to Understand the Coffee Market
- Paul Stack
Collaboration, a Global View
For coffee people not able to travel to Gothenburg in two weeks, let’s hope the Re:co Symposium organizers continue the SCAA Symposium’s practice of posting the sessions online, for the benefit of the industry’s collective coffee knowledge.