Youth Agricultural Summit 2017 - Brussels

Food security summit for 100 global young leaders kicks off in Brussels

About the Youth Ag Summit

Every day the world’s population increases by 233,000 people. Add water shortages, a lack of arable land and increased agricultural pests, weeds and diseases – and we’ve got a global food supply that’s under incredible pressure. 

To meet this challenging future head-on, we need to inspire the next generation of agricultural visionaries: Our young people. Only by inspiring our youth to pursue careers in science and agriculture can we continue to advance sustainable and modern agriculture and ensure the security of our food future.

A better platform for change

The Youth Ag-Summit is a week-long event that serves as a forum for young leaders to discuss opportunities, collaborate and find answers and solutions to the question “How do we feed a hungry planet?”

We provide young and hungry minds from around the world with the opportunity to attend the bi-annual Summit, expenses paid, through an essay contest. The long-term goal is to inspire these delegates to not just think, but to act – becoming global instruments of change.

Two Summits have taken place to date. The first YAS was launched in Calgary, Canada in 2013. After this successful event, the movement continued in the Southern hemisphere, in Canberra, Australia in 2015.

A better plan for the future

From October 9–13, 2017, we are taking the Summit to the old continent and into the European centre: Brussels in Belgium. Young people aged 18–25 who care about our planet’s future join the table to share their ideas with 100 other bright young minds and leaders.

Outcomes

During the Summit, delegates share their diverse experiences and work together to generate innovative, sustainable and actionable solutions to global food security challenges. Across five days, they undertake group projects and participate in industry tours, as well as learning from expert guest speakers. Their mission is to come up with concrete new ideas which can drive agricultural progress across the globe and be put into practice back home.

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Youth Ag Summit comes to Parliament

Three young delegates, who represented the UK at the recent Youth Ag-Summit in Brussels, presented the outcomes of the Summit in Parliament to an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Science and Technology in Agriculture meeting.

Emily Davis, Luke Blomfield and Luca Steel, along with Alice Turnbull from the Youth Ag-Summit sponsors Bayer Crop Science, shared with the APPG and diverse industry audience their experiences from the Summit, which challenged 100 young people from across the world to consider tangible solutions to feeding a hungry planet, framed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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Meet the delegates

YAG Day 1

Sophie Healy Thow

Sophie is a UN Youth Ambassador for mobilising zero hunger and on the advisory board for ActionAid UK. She is a passionate ambassador for food security and gender equality at local, national and global levels. She was also part of the winning team AgriKUA who received 10,000 euros to kick-start their project with the help of Bayer with University students in Kenya.

Youth Ag Summit Day 1

The 2017 Youth Ag-Summit got off to a flying start today, with 100 delegates from all corners of the globe converging in Brussels to create solutions to feeding a hungry planet. The energy in the room was palpable as moderator and ‘professional nerd’ Simon Pampena took to the stage to kick-off the Summit and remind delegates that the future is in their hands. His advice? Think of the Youth Ag-Summit as an ‘Olympics of Change.’

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YAG Day 1

Youth Ag Summit Day 2

Sustainability was the watchword for Day 2 of the Youth Ag-Summit. After mingling at Monday's cultural dinner, delegates were straight back to work. The morning's plenary speakers had them quite literally singing and dancing about changing perceptions on agriculture – some food for thought as delegates headed into the day's breakout sessions to shape their project ideas.

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YAG Day 2

Youth Ag Summit Day 3

Day 3 of the Youth Ag-Summit was all about innovation. The previous evening’s festivities inspired our delegates to turn the plenary room into a dance floor, for a wake-up flash mob. A welcome reminder that just one person can start a movement!

The rest of the day was just as invigorating. From food computers capable of replicating climates, to text messages telling smallholder farmers when to avoid planting, talks from speakers Caleb Harper, Adam Anders, and Bayer's own Adrian Percy were packed full of examples of how one great idea can change the world.

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YAG Day 3

Youth Ag Summit Day 4

The fourth and final day of the 2017 Youth Ag-Summit was all about Leadership. In the morning, the last of our incredible plenary speakers focused on equipping delegates with skills to thrive long after this week concludes. Every single delegate then pledged to do "Three Little Things" to impact food security in a positive way. And in the afternoon they took to the stage to pitch their Thrive for Change project ideas. The creativity, intelligence and teamwork on show were impressive, and every single delegate had clearly put their heart and soul into the process. At that evening's closing party, results were revealed - with three amazing project teams taking home future funding.

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