The fifth annual Ag Innovation Summit returns to the Lory Student Center on the Colorado State University campus Dec. 5 and 6. Since its debut in 2015, the summit has brought together representatives from higher education, industry and government with a range of diverse perspectives to spark conversations about the future of agriculture.
This year, the summit will focus on the theme of “Building the Innovation Mindset.” Registration and ticket information is available online.
Innovation in agriculture
“This year, we wanted to think of innovation as the science of organization – how we can be innovative in designing processes and teams,” said Paula Mills of the CSU College of Agricultural Sciences, who organizes the annual summit. “One way innovation shows up is in diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion makes sense, not just naturally, but also in the sense of prosperous business in agriculture.”
The event features two keynote speakers: Saswati Bora, head of food systems innovation for the World Economic Forum, and Robb Fraley, former executive vice president and chief technology officer for Monsanto.
As the head of food systems innovation at the World Economic Forum, Bora leads a global initiative to use technology and innovations to address food systems challenges. She is also responsible for content development, partnership facilitation, and program development on food systems transformation. Speaking at the summit on Thursday, Bora will address global forces – macroeconomic, environmental, political, social, technological and financial – that are demanding a relentless focus on innovation in agriculture.
Fraley, who speaks on Friday, led a team of agricultural scientists at Monsanto dedicated to developing seeds and solutions that help farmers around the world yield a more abundant, affordable and sustainable food supply. His keynote will focus on the importance of disruptive thinking and technologies to a successful future for global agriculture.
A wealth of panels featuring a range of people, perspectives and experiences fill out this year’s Ag Innovation summit.
Highlights include Polly Ruhland of the United Soybean Board, who will discuss the importance of treating ag education as STEM education.
Quentin Tyler, the associate dean and director for diversity, equity and inclusion at Michigan State University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, will join a panel on leveraging diversity as a catalyst for innovation.
Florian Schattenmann, vice president for research and development at Cargill, will be part of a leadership roundtable on how to crack the code on innovation.
The final industry panel will feature Candace Laing, vice president of sustainability and stakeholder relations at Nutrien, who will discuss innovation as it relates to a company’s triple bottom line.
Select female leaders from the Summit program will reprise their roles as panelists at a networking event on Friday evening, where they’ll share wisdom from their leadership journey with students.
Sesquicentennial Colloquium Series
As Colorado State University celebrates its 150th anniversary, the 2019 Ag Innovation Summit is officially part of the university’s Sesquicentennial Colloquium Series. This will be the fourth installment in the series.
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