The Ag Innovation Showcase: A Platform for Tackling Some of the Most Prominent Global Issues
In 2015, all UN Member States embraced the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which encompasses a, “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future” (United Nations). The core of this proposal includes the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (United Nations). These goals acknowledge that the actions for minimizing climate change should be incorporated into the methods for tackling issues surrounding development (United Nations). At the global political level, there is a long history of conferences, protocols, and agreements that have occurred so that a global force consisting of states and non-state actors could work together to alleviate the effects of climate change on the planet. Larta and its annual agriculture industry conference, the Ag Innovation Showcase (AIS), recognizes the need for a grassroots approach to effectively meet these hefty goals. AIS is a platform for such discussions, formations of ideas, partnerships, and actions that must take place to tackle some of the SDGs, such as; 2. Zero Hunger, 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, 12. Responsible Consumption and Production, and 13. Climate Action.
The AIS consists of an innovation showcase, curated seminars, and plenary sessions, with peer to peer learning through campfire sessions and lightning talks that will be interspersed throughout the two-day program. These programs will be exploring links between biodiversity loss, climate change, and examine how the agri-food system can adapt to feed a growing population while reducing its impact on Earth’s ecosystem. These themes directly correlate to goals 2, 9, 12 and 13 of the SDGs of which all UN member states have adopted.
2019 Ag Showcase partner, AURI states, “Most agricultural entities, including producers and agribusinesses, are looking at ways to produce food in a more sustainable manner. The Ag Innovation Showcase offers solutions by providing a proven platform for informing and interacting with critical elements across the value chain to understand the constraints while also illustrating a suite of potentially innovative tools to help meet increasing consumer demand around the SDGs”.
Moreover, one of the Showcases’ redeeming qualities is that it focuses on providing a significant platform for cutting edge innovations in the ag-tech space. These innovations span the entire link of the agriculture supply chain. This enables AIS attendees to think about unique tactics and steps that can be taken to improve sustainable agriculture development. Sustainable agriculture development paves the global state systems’ way of being that much closer to reaching some of the SDGs on global hunger, innovation, and climate action. Also, throughout the lifetime of AIS, an exploration of global and national problems related to soil health, food production, food sustainability, food waste, and food security have taken place. AIS has been at the forefront of bringing thought leaders and influencers in the field of agriculture and related industry to initiate dialogue and drive collaborations domestically and internationally. Since 2008, the entrepreneurs that have presented at AIS have cumulatively raised over $1.7 Billion and 6 companies were acquired post-showcase.
The Ag Innovation Showcase provides a key step to tackling some of the world’s most prominent issues that are laid out through the SDGs. By discussing and providing an opportunity for leaders, entrepreneurs, industries, and institutions to network and connect ideas, the Ag Showcase contributes to improving innovation in global sustainable ag development.
In its 11th edition, the Showcase comes to Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, which hosts one of the largest foods and agricultural economies anywhere. This year’s theme is, “The Power of Convergence” and tickets are available on our website: www.agshowcase.com.
“SDGs .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.” United Nations, United Nations, sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs.