Goal - enabling capacity for change in agriculture and its future communities. An example:
New technologies used to great effect
Dr Liz Wedderburn
Making excellent use of new technologies, a Rural Futures conference organised by the Scottish Agricultural College and AgResearch, as part of their ongoing collaboration, brought together about 60 delegates in Scotland and 50 in Hamilton, New Zealand for discussions last year.
With a fairly new IT system, AgResearch’s technical staff helped organisers put together a conference plan to minimise travel and work in a more carbon-neutral way.
One of the organisers, AgResearch Senior Scientist Dr Liz Wedderburn, says the combination of the venues in Scotland and Hamilton; a website to upload presentations; podcasts of session summaries; a focus on audience participation; and a willingness by delegates to work in new ways culminated in very useful dialogue.
Four New Zealanders travelled to speak in person in Scotland and four Scottish scientists came to present views in New Zealand.
“It certainly resulted in cost-savings and got a lot of debate going, with the mainly market focus of New Zealand agriculture as a comparison to the policy focus of Scotland.
“This project resulted in a continuing collaboration with the Scottish delegates and AgResearch is now looking at how it might use this format again for another upcoming conference.”