Blogs

Kofi, the charmer

Kofi is Ghanaian, and studying Sustainable International Agriculture with a main focus on International Agribusiness and Rural Development Economics at the University of Göttingen. He first learnt about the Tropentag from his University’s newsletter. As a student reporter, he wants to use his skills in social media, and photography, while learning more about blogging, video and photo editing as well as interview techniques from a journalistic point of view. He was excited at the prospect to both learn and then practice his skills at this year’s Tropentag. On Sunday, he got onto the train expecting an insightful and challenging experience, and above all, to have fun.

kofi

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Pia, super swiss

Pia

Hello Pia, please introduce yourself to us. I am Pia from Switzerland, I am about to finish my Masters in Applied Agricultural Sciences at the Bern University of Applied Sciences with a focus on value chains and rural development. My core topics are rural livelihoods and innovation in agriculture as well as participatory approaches.

What are your tasks for the upcoming three days? I am part of the video team and therefore responsible for the production of video material, I will collect the voices and opinions of the participants.

What are your expectations for Tropentag 2017? Lots of lively discussions about the future of agriculture, both in the sessions as well as online. Obviously thanks to our incredible online coverage. Also, an enhanced mutual understanding of people from different backgrounds. Productive, useful conclusions and outputs by the participants.

How did you come here? I attended last year’s Tropentag, where I presented a poster, and was so inspired that I wanted to come back to see the conference from a different perspective. I am especially interested because I am in (science) communications and media.

Meg: Cheers, Prost, Vô

Megan

Dreams, visions and the will to take action brought Megan from the United States to the University of Helsinki and even further to Bonn, thanks to an a invitation from her Agroecology department. She hopes to contribute this year to the output of the Student Reporter Team through articles, pictures and film. Before coming to Bonn, Meg, how she prefers to be called, spent the last year generating scientific texts. At Tropentag, she is looking forward to reaching the general public by posts and pictures digestible for everyone, not just super scientists.

One advantage she sees in working in an international team like ours, is learning how to say cheers in new languages, meeting people in her discipline, and learning how to best communicate science. Meg's first impression of Germany were the cool and comfortable chairs at the airport in Munich. She had a five hour layover, and enjoyed good German coffee after years of dark tar, known as Finnish coffee. Strong and energetic, she is ready to further develop her journalistic skills. She hopes to enrich her understanding of sustainable food system transformation. And who knows? Maybe she will also have the chance to talk about her personal passions, collecting mushrooms and ice fishing.

Mathias Becker; Organizing Tropentag is routine for me

We interviewed Professor Mathias Becker from the University of Bonn. He is organizing this year’s conference. Learn more about his experiences and expectations in this video

Lydia, the bridge builder

"Soil science and pollinators. They're my main interests... they're both representative of our declining resources, posing a threat to our very existence. Oh my gosh I'm so dramatic," laughed Lydia from Germany, during a discussion on what she hopes to explore in her future studies.

Lydia

Lydia is one of the twelve young researchers invited to join the Tropentag 2017 Student Reporter team this year in Bonn, Germany. She arrived in Bonn on Monday by train, with a kebab in hand and a desire to bridge knowledge gaps between scientists and non-scientists in heart. "On Monday I was quite relaxed, but now... well, I'm getting excited, and nervous, and a bit anxious because there are expectations. Which I'm not sure we can meet... but I'm ready to give my best.

Lydia explains that a closed group of scientists work to find solutions to the challenges of our society, and "it would be nice if there is an understanding from the public about the work of scientists."

Follow Lydia's work on the Student Reporter Photography team on our Flickr.

Hana, social media guru

Hana is from Bắc Giang, Vietnam and studies International Development and Agricultural Economics at the Czech University of Life Sciences. She considers Tropentag 2017 as a learning opportunity, especially how to effectively use social media to enhance online content, like blog posts. She found the student reporter position on the Czech University of Life Sciences website, the location of Tropentag in 2014.

In Bonn, she hopes to meet new people with some common interests within the student reporter team, and learn more about herself as they work together. Of course, she also wants to drop in on some of the more interesting topics being discussed at the conference! In the end, she hopes to practice journalism in agriculture, even under time pressure so as to make a product she can be proud of.

Hanah

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Kristian, Harry Potter with a beard

This is Kristian from the USA, one of our editors this year. He is a masters student in Agricultural Science in the Tropics and Subtropics at the University of Hohenheim, where he heard about student reporters for the Tropentag 2017. When he saw the flier in the break room at Hohenheim, he thought it was an excellent chance to walk a mile in the shoes of a journalist, using social media to communicate to both experts and the public. And that is what led him here.

His ambition is to cover this conference like no one has before. He hopes to make new friends and avoid making any new enemies during the process, after all it is stressful to keep the deadlines. He also wants to know more about the topics presented at this conference and how an interdisciplinary team from all across the world can make an effective team.

Let's look forward to great blogs from Kristian

Kristian

Unfamous last words

The last session has ended, posters and flowers have quickly been taken away: Tropentag 2016 is finally over. It’s been three intense days filled with uncountable posters, lively discussions in public and private, fascinating and more or less mass compatible presentations, music, food and lots of coffee. Even dancing!

Many questions have been asked, but some important ones, I must say, have been left unanswered. “What are the next steps to take?” was one of my favourites, asked by Sara Kaweesa, at the end of the closing session, hoping to get a take home message, something to hold on to, so that this conference could actually help to take a step towards a more sustainable and fair world, and not just have been a gathering of many scientific people wanting to talk extensively about their researches and hoping to make a good impression on certain project funding ministries and donors. As Michael Hauser, who by the way together with Ms. Kaweesa has done an impressive job moderating during this conference, has stated, we’ll need to meet again next year, look back at our work and see if we have been true to our many nice, promising words about sustainability, solidarity, food security, fair distribution of resources etc etc.

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