Hedgehog or Fox? The ancient Greek poet Archilochus taught us that "the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing". Adapting this slightly, we can still ask today: What is the best approach to solving problems with ICT -- "hedgehog" solutions built to do one thing incredibly well (like the hedgehog's daunting defences); or unified, multi-faceted "fox" solutions that synthesize many capabilities (like the crafty hunter)? Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, advocates focused "hedgehog" strategies that make just a few companies incomparably powerful; whereas Steve Jobs' ability to transform whole ecosystems was a superb display of "foxy" strategy. In this session we examine our "hedgehogs" and our "foxes" in ICT4Ag by asking our eminent panel of speakers to address some key questions. How can we encourage the development of mobile applications that are locally relevant and yet support the entire value chain process? What is the current state of ICT solutions for extension services to farmers that span the Agricultural Value Chain? Conversely, what are the advantages and disadvantages of providing specific mobile applications? What are the advantages and disadvantages of either approach?
Please come and join the discussion to decide for yourself: Hedgehog or Fox?
Currently the Global Director of Mobile Agriculture Innovation for , a US-based social enterprise that specialises in the use of mobile telecom technologies for tackling some of the biggest problems facing the poor. I am responsible for identifying, developing and implementing solutions for the problems of agricultural productivity and livelihoods that are addressable through mobile technology-based strategies.