Climate change, agriculture and food security are among the most pressing problems the world faces. They are complex issues that affect every one of us; they are particularly pressing for rural communities in developing countries where margins of success, and risks of failure, are narrow. Success depends on the willingness and ability of individuals, communities and agencies to collectively address 'wicked problems' that typically can't be addressed by any one individual or household. To move forward, we need to navigate a course between different perspectives and draw on the many different "knowledges" of different stakeholders. Social and participatory approaches help collective decision making by enabling collective learning and communication. While ICTs are frequently used to amplify and broadcast often one-way information and advice to rural communities, this session starts from the notion that using ICTs in socially engaging ways is better suited to certain kinds of rural challenges – those requiring collective, social involvement from many people. The session will use active participation and engagement to explore the current agricultural "social scene" in terms of approaches like participatory video and GIS, community radio, and innovation platforms that catalyse a dynamic interactive and collective creation, documentation, exchange and application of agricultural knowledge.
I am organizing 2 sessions and represent ILRI on the steering committee. I expect to catch up with latest thinking and experience and meet people I can learn from.