Future forward: advancing climate solutions through science, innovation and technology
This session will gather examples of science-based evidence of climate change adaptation and mitigation, technological advancements and innovative solutions suitable for agrifood system actors. Recognizing the urgent need for action, the session will reunite highly skilled academics, government, private sector and non-governmental organization innovators to share experiences in areas such as behavioural science, circular economy, entrepreneurship, food and policy accelerators, and forest monitoring.
Dr. Qu Dongyu took office on 1 August 2019 as the ninth Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and was re-elected for a second four-year term on 2 July 2023.
Before first being elected as FAO Director-General, Dr. Qu served as China’s Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), where one of his achievements was to promote inclusive and innovative development and make sure information and communication technologies (ICT) were available in rural areas so that more than 400 million farmers could use their smartphones as a new farming tool. Another national initiative led by Dr. Qu was to improve reporting of wholesale prices for agricultural products in China and foster the establishment of more than 100 specialty production areas geared to making local comparative advantages work to the benefit of local farmers.
Born in 1963 to a rice-growing family in China’s Hunan Province, Dr. Qu studied horticultural science at Hunan Agricultural University and then plant breeding and genetics at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. He later added environmental science to his knowledge portfolio while earning a PhD at Wageningen University, in the Netherlands.
She has two decades of experience in agricultural research and development in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
She is internationally known for her work on promoting neglected and underutilized crops, use of non-fresh water in agriculture, and empowerment of women in science.
Luis, the Founder & CEO of MOSS.Earth, started his impactful career in finance at Credit Suisse. His venture, MOSS, aims to combat climate change and preserve the Amazon via a digital transaction platform for carbon credits, fusing economic insights with a deep commitment to sustainability.
Caroline Busse is the CEO and co-founder of Nadar, a remote sensing company offering better and more reliable forest carbon and deforestation monitoring for organizations in the voluntary and commodity supply chain markets. She has a background in data science, management, and remote sensing and years of experience as a data scientist at tech startups and in the nature conservation sector such as at WWF.
An esteemed Mandela Washington Fellow and Zimbabwe’s Science Ambassador, Sicelo focuses on #STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and youth empowerment. Known as "STEM Lady," she's been recognized among the Top Ten Outstanding Young People in Zimbabwe. Her initiatives prioritize empowering girls in STEM as a tool for income growth and family well-being.
A behavioural economics professor at the University of Copenhagen, Dr. Gravert co-founded Impactually, a #behaviouralscience consultancy. Her research is at the intersection of psychology, public policy, and environmental sustainability, employing field experiments to guide decision-making in reducing environmental impacts.
Dr. Martin is the Director of the Office of Innovation at FAO.
With a wealth of expertise in Diplomacy, Global Health, Food and Nutrition Security, Epidemiology and Spatial Analysis, he has more than 20 years of field experience developing strategies and policies, exploring, and experimenting to source solutions to fight against hunger while championing the gender agenda.
Dr. Martin joined FAO in 1998, in the Animal Production and Health Division. Since then, he has held various positions at FAO and the UN, including Animal Health Officer of Infectious Disease Analysis and Early Warning, Senior Technical Advisor, Head of Animal Health Early Warning System (EMPRES), FAO Representative in Senegal and Head of the Regional Resilience Team for West Africa and the Sahel. Since May 2020, he has served as the United Nations Resident Coordinator (UNRC) in Guinea, overseeing some 24 UN agencies, funds and programmes.
Born on June 5, 1979, in Rutsiro, Rwanda, Minister Musafiri holds degrees in development and applied economics from the National University of Rwanda and a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Bonn. His professional journey includes serving as the executive director of the Strategy and Policy Council in President Paul Kagame's office, a board member of the National Bank of Rwanda, and, most recently, as the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente's cabinet as of March 2023.
An award-winning innovation thinker, Navi is the co-author of the bestsellers Frugal Innovation and Jugaad Innovation. With dual Franco-American nationality and a rich academic background, he’s worked extensively on turning innovative thinking into practical solutions.
Dr Shi Yan is a farmer in China who studied at Renmin University and Minnesota's Earthrise Farm in the United States in 2008 to explore the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model. She returned to China and founded Little Donkey Farm in 2011, China's first CSA, and then Shared Harvest Farm in 2012 which has since grown to serve 800 families in Beijing and uses the power of social media to update its community on produce availability and drop-off locations.