The Youth Ag-Summit (YAS), taking place this week (October 9-13), has piled on the pressure for each of the delegates to work to ‘champion change, be a leader and be inspirational’.
Young leaders from across the globe have this morning kick-started a pledge to revolutionise innovative and sustainable ways to feed a hungry planet.
100 young people from 49 countries were urged to work together to co-create entrepreneurial ways to promote sustainable farming and generate innovative, sustainable and actionable solutions to global food security challenges.
Speaking at the Bayer event in Brussels, member of the Board of Management of Bayer and president of the Crop Science Division Liam Condon said: “You have a tremendous power and ability to shape if you really want to.
Just asked to raise our hands if we are in love w farming 🙋🙋what a lovely question! What a view to see a room full of hands up #agvocate— Kelly Hodgins (@KjHodgins)
“Focus on something absolutely real and try and find a better solution than the one that exists today.”
The group of 18-25 year-olds were also encouraged by YAS alumni to ‘get comfortable with being uncomfortable’.
YAS 2015 graduate Bridgette Byrne, Australia, added: “Failure is not a bad thing. I would fail if I did not even try.”
The four UK delegates, Luca Steel, studying at the University of Bath; Emily Davis studying at the University of Nottingham; Cork student Sophie Healy-Thow and Surrey accountant Luke Blomfield are competing as part of their international breakout groups for up to €10,000 funding from Bayer to implement their concrete ideas which will be put into practice back home.
Other speakers throughout the week include Professor Louise O. Fresco, president of Wageningen University and Research, Caleb Harper, director of Open Agriculture (OpenAG) Initiative at the MIT Media Lab and Hugh Evans, chief executive of Global Citizen.
Mr Condon added: “By inspiring our youth to advocate for science and sustainable agriculture, we hope to tap into the creativity of young minds to help solve a major societal challenge.”
For live coverage of the event, follow @FGlaurendean and keep up-to-date with #agvocate on twitter.