19-23 Oct 2020

Online & Global


The need for resilient food systems comes into stark relief during a crisis. Responses must be agile and adaptive, facilitating the quickest possible recovery while equipping these systems to adaptively manage or avert crises in the future.

The event theme, Digital Dynamism for Adaptive Food Systems, will examine food system resilience and highlight how digital tools and technologies can help us sense, respond and (re)build better systems in times of global food security crises.

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What is digital dynamism?

Digital tools and technologies are effective when they are designed with adaptability, interoperability, and precision in mind. The BIG DATA Platform will explore not only how technologies can build resilient food systems, but how stakeholders can build technologies that respond and adapt to changing challenges.

“Digital dynamism” refers to the new food system-wide capabilities that can be built in the context of rapidly digitizing economies and societies worldwide, leveraging their speed, adaptability, ease of connection across actors and domains, the potential precision of resulting tools and practices, and new avenues for reaching scale.

The first “One CGIAR” event

As the world’s largest global agricultural innovation network, CGIAR brings evidence to policymakers, innovation to partners, and new tools to harness the economic, environmental, and nutritional power of agriculture.

This will be the first One CGIAR hosted convention, leveraging inclusive inputs from each of the global Centers offering a glimpse of how they are employing digitally-enabled, dynamic methods to combat global food security challenges flowing from current crises.

Key discussion themes

This event will examine what it takes to build long term resilient food systems that leverage collaboration between CGIAR Centers, global agripreneur networks, food companies, crisis relief organizations, and local actors.

Agile digital technologies

Examining the promise of transformative digital innovations and how to target them towards response, recovery, and resilience related to food security challenges. Considering, also, the role of analytic frameworks and big data computation in building these adaptive value chains.

Natural and digital ecosystems

Specifically examining the interaction between humans, natural ecosystems, and animal science.

Food security in the times of crisis

Measuring and building resilience: To build a resilient food system with the agility to react to shocks as they happen, we need to identify and measure the weak links in our global framework that cause crises.

Inclusive digital transformation

On (re)building inclusive value chains that rebalance local and global, and effective management of gender, and other, exclusion in digital food systems

Event schedule

Mark your calendars!

21 October 2020, 12:00 – 16:00 CEST

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22 October 2020, 12:00 – 17:30 CEST

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23 October 2020, 15:00 – 19:30 CEST

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Featured sessions

Digital dynamism & the data: towards agility, transparency, and sustainability

There is a pressing need for transparency and accountability in food systems – ensuring that they are sustainable for our planet and population. How do we operationalize sustainability aims and existing data to create trusted, timely, actionable and credible information to guide the collective actions we need?

Panelists: Jessica Fanzo, Andrew Knepp, TBD

CGIAR digital strategy

This session will explore the emerging trends in digital technologies and data-driven decision-making and discuss the role the CGIAR can play in addressing these trends.

Panelists: Brian King

Digital innovation in the time of COVID-19

The COVID-19 global crisis has made us take stock and ask – how do we foster innovation in a virtual age? This session will explore the ways in which venture capitalists, incubators, and innovators are redesigning their practices to support entrepreneurs in solving pressing food security challenges.

Panelists: Ram Dhulipala, Vikas Raj, Kyriacos Koupparis

State of the evidence in digital agriculture

What’s the state of evidence in digital agriculture and sustainable development? How can stakeholders provide resources to connect efforts and interventions?

Panelists: Jonathan Mockshell, Raissa Fabregas, Jaron Porciello

Computational Sustainability

Agricultural research for development is constantly evolving to meet changing global demands and integrate new technologies and methods. Currently, applied, responsible digital technology use, leveraging the array and massive amounts of newly available data, has begun to accelerate efforts to generate timely analytics that balance environmental, socioeconomic, biodiversity, and conservation goals. This conversation will explore the past, present and future of agricultural research and examine emerging computational tools that can be used to derive answers to key questions about sustainability, food systems, and development.

Panelists: Cheryl Palm, Danielle Wood, Brian King

Featured Speakers

Sara Mbago-Bhunu

Sara Mbago-Bhunu

Director, East and Southern Africa Division, IFAD

Lin Nease

Lin Nease

Chief Economist, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Raissa Fabregas

Raissa Fabregas

Assistant Professor, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin

Andrew Knepp

Andrew Knepp

Agricultural Sustainability Leader | Agronomist Bayer Crop Science

Danielle Wood

Danielle Wood

Assistant Professor, Media Arts and Sciences Program, Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Maximo Torero

Maximo Torero

Chief Economist, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Jessica Fanzo

Jessica Fanzo

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics

Kyriacos Koupparis

Kyriacos Koupparis

Head of Frontier Innovations, United Nations World Food Programme

Cheryl Palm

Cheryl Palm

Research Professor, Soil Biological and Ecological Processes, Institute for Sustainable Food System, University of Florida

Alpha Sennon

Alpha Sennon

Founder, WhyFarm

The 2020 Inspire Challengers

Like every year since the inception of the Inspire Challenge in 2017, the 2020 winners will be announced during the Convention.

The Challenge aims to demonstrate the power of big data analytics through inspiring and innovative projects. The COVID-19 related crisis provides a further opportunity to test a key part of our theory of change: that data and digital tools bring critical capabilities for agile adaptation in food systems.

Since in 2017, the Inspire Challenge has awarded a combined total of USD2.5 million in 21 grants to 14 projects, which have have contributed to build the evidence base for digital agriculture.


Learn from the best

Learn from leading industry experts and scientists, from across the globe, as they discuss current issues and cutting-edge solutions and share their knowledge and expertise.

Expand your network

We are focused on getting people together to connect thought leaders and change-makers in the technology and agriculture world to catalyze impactful new partnerships

Industry Insight

The themes and topics discussed and the innovations presented, are at the frontier of the agricultural transformation. This is your chance to get ahead of the curve and participate in the conversations that will help shape the future of digital agriculture.

Discover cutting edge technology

From demos at the innovation bazaar to in-depth Q&As with industry experts, be the first to discover the latest cutting-edge tools, technological advances and innovation projects that are transforming the agricultural research and development landscape.

Previous conventions

What participants say

Marieke de Ruyter de Wildt Founder, The Fork

"Not only was the kick-off very refreshing, the whole convention was packed with nice inspiring surprises. The crowd truly reflected the agricultural ecosystem, very international, all ages, different backgrounds and full of commitment to make sense out of data for better food.

Tonya Nyakeya - THINKLab & Ecosystem Lead, IBM Research

"A timely and well-articulated event with a clear message – leverage data to predict, prescribe, and produce more food, more sustainably. It was a great platform to provide practical solutions and participate in a dynamic networking experience, from which I have been able to mine and build relationships that continue to create strategic value and benefit.

The convention is focused on getting people together and opening the conversation. It is a great opportunity to get the big data in agriculture revolution really moving.

Elwyn Grainger-Jones
Managing Director, Institutional Strategy and Systems, CGIAR System Organization

"The convention offered a glimpse into the huge potential of unlocking our databanks to develop user-friendly technologies capable of driving food system transformation. Big data is at the heart of the future and the transformation of outcome delivery.

Barbara Wells - Director General, International Potato Center

Ram Dhulipala
Strategy & Operations Officer, ICRISAT Innovation Hub (iHub)

"We have CGIAR centers and, on the opposite end of the spectrum, for-profit companies like Amazon and IBM, bringing together a diverse community of practitioners using ICTs to fundamentally transform industries. I think this is a first for agriculture

Robin Lougee -Research Industry Lead for Consumer Products & Agriculture, IBM

"I’m inspired by the vision of what the group is trying to do. There are 400% more people here than expected. I believe this group has the power to change the world.

My biggest takeaway was expanding my network of people doing really interesting things in agriculture research. Specifically identifying areas where that research can be applied to our company.

Jehiel Oliver
CEO, Hello Tractor

Partnerships Opportunities

These were some of our partners and donors from our 2019 convention. Get in touch about opportunities for our 2020 event

Diamond Sponsor

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Silver Sponsors

Media Partner