Francisco Noguera

Notes from Granada: A Different Kind of Conference

Far from the traditional panel format that assumes some people know and others listen, the ANDE Conference’s format has striked me as engaging and action oriented.

Here’s how it worked yesterday: The day got started with a keynote presentation from Randall Kempner where he made the case for ANDE, shared what it’s accomplished and where it’s going. The presentation was quick, well delivered and addressed primarily at the organizations attending the conference but not yet part of ANDE.

Shortly after that, the group (140+ people) broke into smaller sessions to work together on different training workshops that span across a wide range of topics relevant to ANDE’s member organizations. Due diligence and deal structuring, staff and leadership development, environmental performance metrics and the use of Web 2.0; that´s just a sample of the topics that were discussed. Everybody participates; everybody adds to the discussion; someone volunteers to take notes and specific action-oriented conversations take place during and after the sessions.

This is worth remarking, as it differs significantly from the traditional format of the many conferences that cover this space. And it makes sense, given the kind of people and organizations that are in the room. Today started in the same vein with a short and informative presentation from IGNIA´s Alvaro Rodriguez We’ve just broken into groups and I’m sitting at a session on agribusiness led by Root Capital, Technoserve and CIAT.

So I’m off as to avoid being the guy with the open laptop at the workshop. I’ll come back tonight and write takeawys of the second day of this important gathering.

Until then!