Workshop Highlights Role of Interdisciplinary Approaches to Innovation

The agenda for the third annual UC Berkeley-Solidaridad workshop on Innovation in Agrifood Supply Chains – People-Planet-Profitability is shaping up to be the best yet. The programme, which will take place on 18 and 19 April in Berkeley, California, offers a comprehensive examination of all aspects of supply chain sustainability.

A Look at Interdisciplinary Innovation

Unique this year is the triple focus on supply chain innovation from environmental, social and economic perspectives.

A diverse group of speakers, with varied experiences and perspectives, representing business, academia and civil society, will present global insights on the topic. Under the broad themes of economic, social, environmental and technological innovation, Solidaridad’s goal is to ensure rich, interdisciplinary discussions among the speakers and participants, while offering concrete tools and takeaways.

A Diverse Lineup of Sustainability Experts

Participants can look forward to two days of talks and panel discussions, punctuated by networking breaks, case working and a dinner reception.

Speakers from international corporations, US-based companies and entrepreneurs will represent the business sector. These will include:

  • John Scharffenberger, serial entrepreneur

  • Stewart Lindsay of global agribusiness Bunge

  • Dennis Hoover, formerly of Costco and presently leading Organic Coup

  • California farmer Stuart Woolf of Woolf Farming

  • Kannan Pashupathy of Google

  • Rod Cook of Ag-View Consulting

  • Naty Barak of Netafim

  • William Rosenzweig of the Food Business School

  • Jim Lugg of Jim Lugg and Associates

From addressing global commodity trade challenges and climate variability to leveraging emerging ag-tech and supporting next generation farmers and entrepreneurs, the speakers will have a broad range of insights to share from the business perspective.

Nico Roozen, executive director of the Solidaridad Network and pioneer of the Fairtrade movement and Paul Rice, CEO of Fair Trade USA, together with other speakers, promise an engaging discussion on social innovation in supply chains. Leonardo Colombo Fleck of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Rafael Flor of the Rockefeller Foundation have also been invited to discuss civil society interests in developing resilient agrifood supply chains.

An Emphasis on Evidence-Based Innovation and the Bioeconomy

Bolstering the programme with “real-world” academic perspectives, Michael Boland and Marc Bellemare of the University of Minnesota, Julia Christensen Hughes from the University of Guelph, Avishay Braverman of the Ben-Gurion University, Israel, Carl Pray from Rutgers University and Max Auffhammer from UC Berkeley will present insights from their work with universities, companies and global organizations such as the World Bank. These researchers will focus on topics of policy and technological innovation, international development, food security and climate change.

Solidaridad is also excited to include a session on the emergent bioeconomy and its linkages with agrifood supply chains, especially given UC Berkeley’s pioneering advances in this field. Gregory Graff from Colorado State University, Kent Bradford of the World Food Center, UC Davis, Felicia Wu from Michigan State University and Susan Jenkins from the Innovative Genomics Institute at UC Berkeley will be speaking on topics including gene editing, intellectual property and technology transfer in agriculture, and human health.

More speakers will be confirmed in the coming days. Stay tuned by checking the programme agenda.

The Programme Overview

The programme will be led by Dr David Zilberman, Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics from UC Berkeley and Dr Tom Reardon, Professor of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University. The workshop has been developed together with Solidaridad, an international non-profit organization with over 45 years of experience in facilitating the development of socially responsible, environmentally sound, and economically viable commodity supply chains.

The training is targeted at emerging and senior leaders, scholars, policy makers and professionals associated with the agrifood industry. Members of the non-profit and public sectors who are engaged with the sector will also be greatly benefitted. A certificate of completion from the University of California, Berkeley, will be provided at the end of the programme.

The workshop is being organized by the International and Executive Programs at the College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley and Solidaridad North America. It is part of the Global Food Summit, Germany and is supported by the University of Guelph, Canada; the Giannini Foundation, California; Michigan State University; the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); the UC Davis World Food Center; Mars, Incorporated; and the Energy Biosciences Institute.

For more information on the programme, registrations and price discounts, view the programme website. Discounted prices are available until 15 March.

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