On November 4, 2019, 100 young leaders from around the globe who share a passion for agriculture kicked off the 2019 Youth Ag Summit in Brasilia, Brazil. The three-day Summit was filled with valuable lessons and inspiring presentations headlined by sustainability and agricultural innovation thought leaders. At the end of the Summit, six delegates were either awarded a €5000 bursary to help fund their Thrive for Change projects or a networking opportunity to expand their opportunities to agvocate. We caught up with a few of these delegates to recap their experience at the Summit and learn how they’ve made progress on their initiatives in the past year.
Saadman Faisal is an agricultural innovation enthusiast. Through his research, discovered that food waste is a main reason of the economic and social distress in his home country of Bangladesh. To help reduce food waste, Saadman founded Shotej (“Fresh”) Tag, which utilizes the power of technology to identify the market needs in developing areas of Asia.
He is completing his bachelor’s degree in marketing at the Bangladesh University of Professionals.
One of Kelcie Miller-Anderson’s first words were “why,” and ever since then she’s never stopped asking questions. She loves to use science and innovation to solve big problems. Through her start-up BumbleChain, Kelcie Miller-Anderson works to improve economic opportunities for sustainable honey producers, so they can help ensure that bees maintain their important role in ecosystems as pollinators.
She is a dedicated environmentalist and fierce industry advocate, with her sights set on changing the way the world remediates. Passionate about creating change, she believes one of the best ways to create the largest impact is by empowering the next generation of changemakers.
An aspiring technologist from rural Brazil, Maycon Santos has worked to develop technologies that can explore the social impact of agriculture. For several years, he witnessed kids going hungry because of the local public schools’ inability to provide meals throughout the entire academic year. He simultaneously realized the philanthropic potential of farmers in Brazil. As a self-described “technology nerd,” Maycon used his coding skills to build SobreViver, a mobile app that connects schools in need of food with nearby farmers who are willing to donate; therefore, helping guarantee food security in schools and tackling food waste.
Over the last six years of being a social entrepreneur, Mikayla has realized that one of the most important things is how the community can provide support and be a source of inspiration. As a co-founder of KinoSol, Mikayla and her team aim to tackle food insecurity by providing smallholder farmers with a solar food dehydrator to extend the shelf-life of food. She and her team also expanded their efforts to include community trainings focused on food preservation and basic business and entrepreneurship skills to help families use our technology as an income generation tool. Mikayla says she and her team wouldn’t be where they are today without the support of the global community. By continuing to expand our community, we can positively change the world together!
Grace Scott is a microbiology researcher who had planned to conduct trials on beneficial bacteria in rice in Southeast Asia prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. With those trials on hold, Grace is now working at new non-profit called SoilCQuest that also is interested in ensuring the sustainability of rice.
She was inspired to apply, and ultimately attend, the 2019 Youth Ag Summit by her friend Justin Whittle, who attended the 2015 Youth Ag Summit in Australia. She hopes to mentor young women in agriculture science careers and speak about positive experiences and opportunities within the industry.
After receiving her undergraduate degree, Alice Mei-wong Dien has dedicated her professional career to fighting hunger and helping people. She attended the International Student Conference on Global Citizenship in Bali in 2017, where she worked with students from all over the world to discover the interrelations between water, food, and energy, as well as brainstorm how to use the connection to combat global warming and feed the world. Prior to this experience, Alice thought in order to make an impact in agriculture, that an individual had to have a technical background in agriculture or food. But her interactions with those she met at the conference challenged her to reframe her perspective: one only needs to have awareness of current global issues coupled with a passion for developing innovative solutions to make real changes worldwide.