Leadership Team Meets in France
The CCRP annual leadership team meeting was held early March in Montpellier, France. After months of planning, the meeting was cut from five days to two because of the emerging coronavirus pandemic. Although participants had an ambitious agenda to cover in a short time, they nonetheless tackled several critical items:
- Shared program and regional analyses, strategies, and plans, and learned about emerging McKnight Foundation priorities.
- Engaged with the CCRP’s strategic learning questions about supporting agroecological transitions.
- Forged connections among cross-cutting grantees and regional and program teams.
- Learned from key organizations based in France, including local host, the Agropolis Foundation.
Attendees included representatives from McKnight Foundation leadership, CCRP program leadership, regional team members from the Andes, East & Southern Africa, and West Africa, along with cross-cutting project representatives, support teams (IMEP, RMS, facilitation, FRN, and others), and special guests. The rich exchange was shaped by participants’ unique experiences, ranging from local community engagement to global conversations, biophysical science to social systems, the philanthropic sector to the agroecology field. The vibrancy of views contributed to moving the CCRP forward in its understanding of the program’s trajectory and strategic learning objectives.
In the weeks leading up to the meeting, sub-teams produced and/or shared pre-readings, presentations, and materials. Special guests from the Agropolis Foundation showcased their efforts to promote agroecological transitions, while Biovision shared research findings on financial flows in agricultural research.
Presentations included the Program Analysis, Strategy, & Plan with an eye toward the CCRP’s role in moving systems from degenerative to regenerative agriculture. Each regional team presented a Regional Analysis, Strategy, & Plan that provided a nuanced understanding of its regional context/portfolio, agroecology on the ground, farmer roles, and how it is nudging research and development systems toward agroecology and has animated local-global connections.
The research methods support (RMS) presentation focused on the CCRP’s theory of change and the need for change in research systems. Presenters raised several questions to inform and further their work in collaboration with others in the CCRP.
The FAO’s work over the past five-plus years has focused on the Agroecology Knowledge Hub, the 10 Elements of Agroecology framework, the TAPE assessment tool, and soil health and carbon restoration, specifically what opportunities may exist to further integrate CCRP input into these efforts.The Soils project has been working at local (soils toolkit) and global (true cost accounting community of practice) levels. The team has helped deepen partnerships by connecting local and global actors while also building new relationships, such as bringing in human-centered design to improve the soils toolkit.
The FRN Information System project is in a learning phase and currently working to understand and potentially improve information flow systems within and amongst CCRP farmer research networks.
The Agroecology Support project shared preliminary but promising opportunities to 1) deepen capacity-building in agroecology, 2) advance agroecological assessment and monitoring, 3) coalesce support teams and key CCRP initiatives around agroecology, and 4) best use lessons learned to engage diverse, global actors in a dialogue that advances agroecology.