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Winrock Experts Share Knowledge and Insights at Concordia 2020

Event marks the debut of new Innovate Arkansas video

Once again, experts from Winrock International were a significant presence at the Concordia Summit, an annual gathering held during U.N. General Assembly week that brings together decision-makers and opinion-leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Although the event was virtual this year, it continued to draw ambassadors, CEOs and other headliners, including USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa and journalist Bob Woodward.

William Sparks, Senior Advisor, Ventures, Innovations and Partnerships, represented Winrock at a main stage panel discussion on how climate and consumption trends are pushing food production systems to develop more sustainable farming techniques. And David Sanders, Director of Winrock’s Innovate Arkansas, appeared on the main stage to offer opening remarks before the screening of a new video highlighting Innovator Health, an Innovate Arkansas client that seeks to improve access to high-quality medical care for rural and underserved populations. This session was part of the newly formed Concordia Action Alliance, which has been created to support partnerships addressing natural disaster and pandemic preparedness, response, recovery and resiliency on a year-round basis.

The challenges posed by #COVID19 have exposed weaknesses, gaps in our economy and society. For entrepreneurs and innovators, when a crisis is met with thoughtful preparation – gaps, weaknesses, challenges are opportunities to do good. – Winrock’s David Sanders #Concordia20

— Winrock International (@WinrockIntl) September 21, 2020

“The challenges posed by Covid-19 have exposed weaknesses and gaps in our economy and society,” Sanders said, explaining that Innovate Arkansas supports heartland solutions to global challenges. “The need to be seen, heard and understood not only fulfills us but is core to our humanity.” Innovator Health is supplying that through its telemedicine technology, which provides patients with specialized medical care while preserving distance during the pandemic.

At Winrock we have a big focus on smallholder farmers. #Climate impacts hit smallholder farmers and their communities the hardest. Winrock is working to strengthen their climate #resilience@William_Sparks in conversation with @DaniNierenberg at #Concordia20. #FoodSecurity

— Winrock International (@WinrockIntl) September 24, 2020

In his panel discussion with industry and agriculture experts, Sparks described Winrock’s focus on smallholder farmers. The best way to assure they benefit from agricultural technologies that can help mitigate the impacts of climate change, he said, is to work with universities and partner organizations that have access to fields and farmers and can bring back data to inform innovation. “We are bringing cohorts of farmers together in Nigeria, and will use a lean manufacturing approach to eliminate waste and make the supply chains more resilient and sustainable,” said Sparks, who also spoke at a roundtable discussion on overcoming political roadblocks to innovation.

During the #Concordia20 Strategic Dialogue, #SupplyChains, #HumanRights & Businesses, Steve Brunn shared Winrock’s work to empower #migrants and increase transparency by helping stakeholders better monitor supply chains. #SafeMigration #LaborTrafficking #HumanTrafficking #SDG8

— Winrock International (@WinrockIntl) September 24, 2020

Additional Winrock staff participated in private sessions at Concordia 2020. American Carbon Registry Director Emeritus John Kadyszewski joined a roundtable called “Pathways and Potholes for Business on the Road to Decarbonization.” Senior Director of Private Sector Partnerships Steven Brunn shared Winrock’s work protecting migrants and helping stakeholders monitor supply chains as part of a strategic dialogue on supply chains, human rights and business. Julie Barton was part of a roundtable titled “Saving Childhood in Agricultural Value Chains.” And Asia CTIP Chief of Party Sara Piazzano facilitated a roundtable discussion on protecting migrant workers during COVID-19.

For Winrock’s involvement in Concordia summits from previous years, see here, here, here and here.  

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