Virtual Event: CGIAR Convention on Big Data in Agriculture

Digital Dynamism for Adaptive Food Systems
Date: October 21-23
Location: Online & Global

register here


The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for agile, dynamic food systems which can adapt quickly to changing circumstances and manage or avert future crises. Supply chain issues are increasing food prices in many countries, while job losses and falling incomes further affect people’s access to nutritious food: the UN World Food Programme estimates that an additional 130 million people could be faced with acute food insecurity by the end of this year.   

Innovations in digital tools and technologies, particularly ‘big data’ collection and management, provide fresh opportunities to (re)build systems and address food security issues more effectively across the globe.

The Big Data in Agriculture 2020 convention: Digital Dynamism for Adaptive Food Systems aims to help enable data analysts, programmers, agripreneurs, policymakers, food companies, civil society organizations and local actors to connect, level up and co-create the resilient and adaptive food systems of the future.

One CGIAR for Digital Dynamism

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

This event 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.

At the Big Data in Agriculture convention, CGIAR researchers will join global partners to examine what it takes to build long term resilient food systems that leverage collaboration between CGIAR Research Centers, global agripreneur networks, food companies, crisis relief organizations, and local actors.

Key discussion themes include:

  • 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.

Featured Speakers

Lin Nease
Chief Economist
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Jessica Fanzo
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics, Department of International Health
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Andrew Knepp
Agricultural Sustainability Leader, Agronomist
Bayer Crop Science
Kyriacos Koupparis
Head of Frontier Innovations
United Nations World Food Programme
Raissa Fabregas
Assistant Professor
Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin
Danielle Wood
Assistant Professor, Media Arts and Sciences Program
Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Maximo Torero
Chief Economist
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Sara Mbago-Bhunu
Director, East and Southern Africa Division
Cheryl Palm
Research Professor, Soil Biological and Ecological Processes, Institute for Sustainable Food System
University of Florida
See the full list of speakers

Convention Agenda

DAY ONE:  October 21, 2020, 12:00 – 16:00 CEST
DAY TWO:  October 22, 2020, 12:00 – 17:30 CEST
DAY THREE:  October 23, 2020, 15:00 – 19:30 CEST


Here is a snapshot of some of the sessions in which CGIAR Research Centers, Programs and Platforms are participating. For the latest information on the agenda, please visit the Digital Dynamism for Adaptive Food Systems website.

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

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

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

Panelists: Brian King

Data science showcase
This session will showcase agricultural data science applications from CGIAR researchers and discuss how best their work can be supported by the Platform and partners. Apply to participate.

Panelists: Jawoo Koo, CGIAR Researchers

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

See the full agenda


Header photo: CIMMYT researcher Pratima Baral demonstrates the use of a farming app in Nepal. The technology assists farmers in remote areas, who would otherwise have limited access to information on market prices and services. Photo by C. de Bode/CGIAR.

Related news