Altus Impact at the International Conference for Research and Development

Jesse teaching

Altus Impact had a busy week at the International Conference for Research and Development in Bern, Switzerland in September 2017.

Vanja and Jesse convened a rich discussion on "How to Build Transformational Partnerships in a world of conflicting priorities when Scientists are from Mars, Policymakers are from Venus?"

Abstract: In a world of 7.4 billion humans and counting, sustainable development is about understanding and managing tradeoffs between economic, socio-cultural, and environmental goals. Thus, ‘success’ in sustainable development requires partnerships between scientists, whom produce understanding about people and the natural world, and policymakers & private sector managers, whom are best placed to know on-the-ground priorities and social, political, and cultural frameworks. However, partnerships between scientists and policymakers & the private sector can be fraught with difficulty. Obstacles include speaking different ‘languages’ – e.g. the language of scientific jargon vs. the language of politics or dollars – as well as having widely divergent outcome and implementation priorities. The session include reflections and contemporary best practices looking at how to bridge this science-policy gap in sustainable development and environmental conservation. With panelists from the academic, non-governmental and corporate sectors, the session provide a roadmap to designing transformational partnerships in sustainable development by focusing on creating long-term, participatory processes.

Speakers included Alexandra Boethius, Co-founder of the Impact Hub Geneva; Iggy Bassi, CEO of CERVEST; Daan Groot, CEO of Nature squared; and Dr. Eric Abitbol, Senior consultant in conflict transformation, sustainability and dialogue at Universalia.

It was a well-attended session! We are working on doing a small article with the main lessons from the session. 

Vanja also had the opportunity to present a study on full-sun versus shade-grown cocoa systems in Ghana, at a session organised by the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, on organic farming and agroforestry systems. 

Alexandra and Daan debating questions from the audience
Iggy explaining the rationale behind the novel Cervest platform for predicting & managing risk, threats and opportunities in global agri-food markets.

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