G-8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture

April 29-30, 2013  |  International Finance Corporation  |  Washington, D.C.


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Conference sessions will take place in the IFC Auditorium unless otherwise noted.

29 April 2013 (Monday)

Time (EDT)


Exhibit Hall

All Day

World Bank                                African Open Data

IFPRI  / CGIAR                          Scientists Without Borders  

Digital Green                              GEO-GLAM                            

Mars, Inc.                                   Farm Defenders/ INSEAD / ICON Group



Chris Vein, World Bank, Conference Emcee

Secretary Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Bill Gates, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation  (by video)

Dr. Rachel Kyte, Vice President, World Bank

Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer, White House


Lightning Presentations

Kevin Gandhi, Digital Green Videos

Dr. Philip Parker, INSEAD Chair Professor

Paul Parker, Columbia University

Sean Obetz, ICON Group International


Shaifali Puri, Scientists Without Borders


Networking Break-Out                                                                  eXtension  ||

Dan Cotton,  eXtension


Lightning Presentations

Dr. Howard Shapiro, Mars Inc.

Vladimir Eskin, AfDB

Dr. Christopher Justice, GEO-GLAM

Dr. Patricio Grassini, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Charles Iceland, World Resource Institute

Dr. Tad Sonstegard, USDA


Lunch                                       Chicago Council on Global Affairs  ||

Information is Power: How science, innovation, and open source data can transform global fight against hunger and poverty


Dr. Marshall Bouton, President, Chicago Council on Global Affairs


Margaret M. Zeigler, Ph.D., Executive Director, Global Harvest Initiative

Dr. Derek Yach, Executive Director, The Vitality Institute

Dr. Jason Clay, Senior Vice President, Markets, World Wildlife Fund


Room:  L-106

Heads of G-8 Delegation Meeting  (Closed to Press)


Introduction to Open Data – The Technical Details

What makes data open and why are governments interested in sharing it? From creating economic value to improving services to citizens, the ability for governments to publish open data is essential in today’s environment. Learn the basics of how this is happening around the world today, and what benefits governments are seeing in opening agricultural data to entrepreneurs, researchers, farmers, citizens, businesses, and other governments.

Moderator: Chris Vein, The World Bank


Nick Sinai, Deputy Chief Technology Officer, The White House

Dr. Steven Walker, CIO, Treasury Board, Canada

Dr. Ian Opperman, CSIRO, Australia

Dan Brickley,, Google

Andy Isaacson, Palantir

Dr. Aboubacar Diaby, AGRA


Networking Break-Out                                                                    Sense-T ||

An Australian Open Data Platform Bringing the Power of Big Data to Communities

Ros Harvey, Founding Director Sense-T


Agricultural Open Data:  Implications for Developing Countries

Governments in developed countries are working hard to make agriculture data open for others and accessible to farmers.  This panel will focus on the implications of open data,  potentially a significant resource for developing countries working to help poor farmers increase their productivity.

Moderator:  Julie Howard, Chief Scientist, USAID


Antonio Limbau, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Mozambique

Hirano Katsumi, Area Studies Center, Japan

Stanley Wood, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Sean Krepp, Grameen AppLab, Uganda


Good Practice, Access Barriers and Existing Gaps – Deriving needs from an African Perspective

This session combines past experiences on existing information systems in Africa with an outline for data needs from the perspective of different African target groups. Data acquisition, analysis and interpretation and feedbacks between providers and users of the planned database is not only an administrative but also a scientific task. Together with colleagues from Africa the session addresses the availability, accessibility and usability of relevant data on production, resources, conditions (weather, environmental, water availability, soil quality, etc.), markets, prices and food security of different types of households.

Moderator: Martin Banse, Director and Professor, Thünen Institute, Germany


Martin Köhler, Director, Ministry of Agriculture, Germany

Emmanuel Tambi, FARA, Ghana

Dorcas Mwakoi, Agricultural Sector Coordination Unit, Kenya

Jörg Lohmann, GIZ, Germany


How recent G8/G20 research initiatives can contribute to the Open Data for Agriculture system

Following a short presentation of relevant G8/G20 initiatives, each speaker will analyze the ways this initiative will/could contribute to Open Data for Agriculture. Furthermore, the conditions for this initiative to benefit from Open Data for Agriculture should be discussed. A wrap-up round table discussion at the end of the session should highlight key messages.

Moderator: Marion Guillou, Chair or Agreenium, Agriculture Chief Scientist, France


Sarah Lawan, On behalf of Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO, NEPAD

Barbara Ryan, Secretariat Director, Intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations

Hèlène Lucas, International Scientific Coordinator, The Wheat Initiative

Joseph Glauber, President, Agricultural Market Information System

Christian Hoste, Chair of interim Steering Committee, Tropical Agriculture Platform




Presentation:  Auditorium

Reception:  Atrium

Reception                                   CropLife International ||                                                                                                  

Research Partnerships for Agricultural Development & Innovation


Dr. Robert Thompson, Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

MONDAY, 29 April 2013
30 April 2013 (Tuesday)



Exhibit Hall

All Day

World Bank                                          United Nations Food and Agricultural Org

Amazon Web Services                           CABI Plantwise

Battelle /Ag3S                                       CSPI, Foodborne Illness Outbreak Data for Africa      

eXtension                                              University of Texas at Austin



Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting NOAA Administrator


What does Open Data Look Like?

This session will provide some case studies of the  use of open data to illustrate some of the issues associated with presentation of the data in a way which optimises its usefulness for end-users. It will consider different types of data, guiding principles,  and different uses of data, including both research data and national agricultural data-sets.


Tim Benton, Champion, UK Global Food Security Programme, UK


Johannes Keizer, Team Leader, FAO United Nations, Italy

Dr. Sander Janssen, Wageningen, Netherlands

Dr. Rajeev Varshney, Director, Center of Excellence in Genomics (CEG), ICRISAT, Hyderabad, India

Mr. Marc Bernard, Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food, Bonn, Germany


Networking Break-Out            Global Harvest Initiative ||   

Open Data Productivity Growth

Margaret M. Zeigler, Ph.D., Executive Director, Global Harvest Initiative

Richard Kottmeyer, Global Ag and Food Production Leader, Accenture


Making Agricultural Open Data Useful: Interoperability and Accessibility

Providing open data is the first step to using open data, but it also needs to be clear, well structured, and accessible to developers, researchers, and analysts to create meaningful value. This session helps to clearly explain the importance and approach to making data accessible and interoperable.  This sets in place the capabilities for looking at international, cross-border analysis and intelligence to support food security issues from climate change to crop viability.

Moderator: Jeanne Holm,, USA


Danielle Gould, Food + Tech, USA

Jimmy Wambua, MFarm, Kenya

Professor Jim Hendler, RPI, USA

Edwin Opare, Technical Lead and Open Data Evangelist, Ghana Open Data Initiative, Ghana  

Chris Greer, Associate Director, IT Lab, NIST, USA


Lunch                                                                                      Syngenta  ||

The Rice Bowl Index: Open Data, Open Dialogue

Andrew McConville, Head of Corporate Affairs, Syngenta Asia Pacific, Singapore

Richard Leggett, CEO, Frontier Strategy Group, USA


Room:  L-106

G-8 Heads of Delegation Meeting  (Closed to Press)


Platforms and Technology for Releasing Open Data

This session will consider some of the technical aspects of sharing different types of data. Examples will be given of challenges encountered and overcome in relation to improving the interoperability of existing datasets and platforms. Data infrastructure solutions and services that facilitate integrated access to existing data sources by wide user communities will be presented.

Moderator: James Macklin, Research Scientist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canada


Paul Kersey, Coordinator, Trans-national Infrastructure for Plant Genomic Science (transPLANT), Framework 7 Program, European Union; Lead, Ensembl Genomes, European Bioinformatics Institute, Cambridge, UK

Pankaj Jaiswal, Oregon State University

Dr Josef Schmidhuber, Deputy Director of FAO Statistics Division Group, Italy

Miguel Angel Sicilia, University of Alcalá, Spain

Jacques Delince, Unit Head, JRC, EC, Spain

Jawoo Koo, Research Fellow, IFPRI


Networking Break (no presentation)


What is the demand for data for science and for policy in Africa?

We need to fully understand the demand for data from Africa if we are to design and implement effective ways of sharing information.  The session will hear from a number of prominent and innovative thinkers, who will explore the challenges facing African agriculture and how we can understand and meet the demand for the right information that addresses them.  

Moderator:  Prof. Tim Wheeler, Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser, DFID, UK


Prof. Maggie Gill, Senior Research Fellow at DFID, UK

Aaron Clapp, Hubbard Decision Research, USA

Prof. Tim Benton,Head of Global Food Security Programme, UK

Trevor Nicholls, the CEO of CABI, UK


World Bank:  Open Data and Global Agricultural Statistics for Use by African Policy Makers

A panel will discuss constraints and political realities of data sharing and implementation of the Global Strategy to Improve Agriculture and Rural Statistics.  Panelists will also address how governments and other policy makers may analyze, use, and deploy knowledge gained from open data and what the anticipated benefits may be for African countries.


Delivering on the Value of Ag Open Data Globally

- leveraging the value of scientific open data from the research laboratory to the field

This session demonstrates the impact of genomic and genetics open data on food security and showcases applications of open data.  The session starts with the use of open data to strengthen corn and cassava improvement in Africa and moves to promising new international alliances to expand accessibility to open data to protect crops from disease and climate change.  The session ends with future ideas on delivery of open data to scientists and farmers via both computer and cell phone.


Kay Simmons, Deputy Administrator, USDA


Edward Buckler, Research Geneticist, USDA

Katherine Kahn, Senior Program Officer, Agricultural Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA

Chiedozie Egesi, National Root Crops Research Institute, Nigeria

Dan Stanzione, Deputy Director, Industrial Programs Group, Texas Advanced Computing Center; Principal Investigator, iPLANT Collaborative, USA


Open Data: Challenges for the Future

Leveraging Open Data to Accelerate the Development and Delivery of Farmer-preferred Product and Services in Africa

David Bergvinson, Deputy Director, Digital Design for Agriculture, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA


Concluding Remarks

Shaida Badiee, Director, Development Economics Data Group, World Bank