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IFOAM - Organics International Innovation Summit to be Held at the NOFA Summer Conference

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2019 June Issue Newsletter

By Caro Roszell, NOFA/Mass Education Director and Denise Godinho, Head of Communications at IFOAM - Organics International

NOFA is honored to be hosting this year’s Organic Farming Innovation Award (OFIA) Summit on Saturday August 10  at the 2019 Summer Conference!  Founded in 1972 and with around 800 members in over 127 countries, IFOAM - Organics International represents the global organic movement. Its main activities include facilitating capacity development for sustainable production; raising awareness and acting as a resource center for organic communications; advocating for and supporting the creation of a policy environment conducive to positive change.

We are looking forward to hosting IFOAM - Organics International community members and are excited to learn from their organizers. IFOAM - Organics International will be leading activities during several workshop slots at the Conference on Saturday, which all conference attendees are welcome to attend (no special registration pass is needed).

The 6th  Organic Farming Innovation Award (OFIA) Summit: Nurturing a Culture of Improvement in Organic Agriculture (2 workshop sessions): The Organic Farming Innovation Award (OFIA) is a prize awarded to highlight organic innovations of scientists, extension agents, and practitioners. Worldwide, there is an urgent need for sustainable solutions to poverty, food insecurity, soil erosion, biodiversity decline, and climate change. Innovations in organic agriculture have a crucial role in the search for local or scalable solutions for more sustainable and regenerative farming. It is one of the main roles of agricultural research, and farmers are often the innovators.

The summit will have the thematic focus of ‘Nurturing a Culture of Improvement in Organic Agriculture’, tying into the debate of how innovations can spur and nurture the growth of organic agriculture as envisioned in Organic 3.0 (

Two interactive panel discussions, each preceded by an introductory presentation from a keynote speaker, will address the ‘Role of Innovation’ and ‘Nurturing a Culture of Improvement’, looking at how innovations can address increasing health and environmental concerns, whilst factoring in the needs of farmers and consumers.

We are pleased to have two OFIA Award winners - Dr. S. Tanveer Hossain from Bangladesh and Mike Hands from Great Britain - present their projects and share their insights on the importance of innovation. The event will be structured as follows:

  Presentations by:

  • Chair: Louise Luttikholt, Executive Director, IFOAM – Organics International
  • Julie Rawson, Executive Director, Northeast Organic Farming Association/ Massachusetts Chapter
  • Dr. S. Tanveer Hossain, Program Officer, Agriculture Department, Asian Productivity Organization and 2014 OFIA Awardee
  • Konrad Hauptfleisch, Head of Capacity Development, IFOAM – Organics International
  • Mike Hands, Director, Inga Foundation and OFIA 2017 Awardee
  • Interactive Discussion Round with the panelists and L. Luttikholt (moderated by K. Hauptfleisch).

The audience will be invited to engage with speakers and share their first-hand experience of innovative practices and thinking in organic with other conference participants.

Konrad Hauptfleisch, Head of Capacity Development at IFOAM – Organics InternationalOrganic Leadership Workshop: Konrad Hauptfleisch, Head of Capacity Development at IFOAM – Organics International, will lead a workshop session entitled ‘Innovative Leadership: Addressing the Generation Gap’.  

The workshop aims to address the combined issues of succession planning, entrepreneurialism, diversity and renewal in organic agriculture, which are regularly brought up in debates on the future of organic agriculture. Innovative leadership practices are fundamental to helping us break out of old paradigms. Benchmarking outside of the (organic) sector can inspire the development of leadership capabilities in younger generations.

In this 90-minute interactive session, inspired by the Organic Leadership Course of IFOAM – Organics International, participants will address the challenges around leadership renewal and innovation.

This workshop will be run as a fishbowl, which is particularly useful for enabling a large number of people to contribute to the discussion and for providing a more dynamic and interactive setup than the more traditional panel discussions with consecutive presentations and space for Q&A. Adding a global perspective, this session will draw on examples from the global organic movement to then cast a spotlight on the North American situation, giving organic practitioners the space to come together to explore their experience and views.

For conference details and to register online click here.


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