Taking Root: Global Trends in Agricultural Biotechnology

Nearly two decades of experience have shown that agricultural biotechnology has the potential to address some of the world’s pressing challenges. Its potential, however, cannot be addressed in isolation. Instead it should be part of a larger effort to expand the technological options needed to address persistent and emerging agricultural challenges.

The aim of this paper is to review the evidence on global trends in the application of agricultural biotechnology and identify some of their salient benefits. The paper is cognizant that biotechnology alone cannot solve the world’s agricultural challenges. But even though it is not a silver bullet, it should still be included in the package of technological options available to farmers. The evidence available today suggests that public policy should appeal more to pragmatism and less to ideology when seeking solutions to global agricultural challenges.


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Why Nigeria Matters to the World

“Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and 26th in the world. Its GDP stands at $510 billion with immense growth potential. A stable and peaceful Nigeria will contribute to Africa’s rise and integration into the global economy. On the other hand, an unstable, stagnant and conflict-driven Nigeria will be a threat to regional and global stability.”


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Be inspired by the future: 5 of our favourite innovation triggers

At Board of Innovation we always try to grasp the future. That’s why we created a future scan with +200 triggers to spice up your next innovation brainstorm. Free Download: FutureScan Poster (PDF) Are you always wondering what direction the future will take? What will our behaviour look like within the context of new environments and inventions? We threw it … Read More

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Confronting Dangerous Climate Change

From the endangered Arctic to the nation’s capital, the challenges posed by human-caused climate change have been front and center at the Belfer Center’s Environment and Natural Resources Program (ENRP).

ENRP sponsored a delegation of 12 HKS students and Belfer Center research fellows to attend the 2014 Arctic Circle Assembly, held in Reykjavik, Iceland from October 29 to November 2. The Assembly convened delegations from 40 nations as well as senior industry and NGO leaders to discuss national security and energy as well as environmental issues facing the region.


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27 options to find revenues for your new idea

Why did we make a tool to find new revenues? As an agency specialised in business model innovation, we support our clients to develop sustainable new revenue streams. By asking the right questions, different options to ‘cash in on your new idea’ will arise. Unfortunately, we can’t be everywhere at the same time. That’s why we made a flowchart to help … Read More

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Negawatt in the making: Ghanaians host the first energy efficiency Challenge


Challenge participants at the Negawatt Weekend kickoff on March 14.
Photo: Alison Roadburg

As a rapidly urbanizing capital, Accra, Ghana has been experiencing increased economic activity, coupled with rising migration. An increase in urban residents means an uptick in the demand for energy, both electricity and fuel.

The city has constrained human and financial resources to respond to this issue, as energy supply is struggling to keep up with ever-growing demand. Consequently, severe electricity shortages occur at the national level, resulting in frequent load shedding and energy price inflation, to the tune of 12 percent in the third quarter of 2014 alone.

Dumsor or load shedding has become part of the everyday life of local inhabitants; in fact, it is such a chronic issue that it has even made it into Wikipedia. Under the current timetable, residential customers have up to 24 hours of power outage for every 12 hours of power and are forced to use back-up power, kerosene lamps or be without power. At the same time, the Energy Commission of Ghana estimates that every year end-use electricity waste is around 30 percent of all of the electricity consumed, which in part, is due to the inefficiency of appliances and their overuse by the population. As is well known, inefficient use of energy contributes to higher levels of energy consumption than needed.

Although energy supply in the city is so often an issue, creative energies are bubbling in local information technology and innovation hubs, ready for a “spillover” into other sectors such as energy. Accra is home to a growing community of technologists and innovators, offering great and untapped potential for a new force to offer solutions, particularly, in the area of energy efficiency.

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