Were there unmet expectations?

While sitting at parallel sessions on natural resource management, I find it really interesting to watch people come and go. I have observed people leave after one presentation and another group of people come in. I can’t help but wonder why? Were there any expectation that the presentations didn’t meet? Were the presenters boring? Out of curiosity, I tried to ask a number of participants, mostly students, about their opinion on the presentations. Each time someone left the lecture, I rushed out behind them with my questions. The first person I interviewed was Ph.D. student Krittiya Tongkoom from Thailand, studying at the University of Hohenheim, Germany. We chatted, and I threw out the question: “how did you like the presentation?” Not surprisingly, she responded that she liked it very much, considering that the first presentation was related to agroforestry systems and the information was useful for her Ph.D. research. I also asked Loyce Jepkorir, M.Sc. student from the World Agroforestry Center, Kenya. According to her, the talk was interesting because it was about Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) and her interests are related to carbon. Aside from that, “the topics were also very diverse,” she added. It ranged from agroforestry systems to forest degradation. Further, she mentioned that she will also present her work in Kenya, and is just getting some information on what other people are doing. But I was still not satisfied with the answers I had heard so I asked one student from India. Her name is Prema Dhanavel, studying in Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland. She attended the first four presentations and but the last one caught her attention. “The fourth presentation was really good because it was really to the core of research,” she told me, “the rest were really blurred”. The key messages were not clear to her but in general the expectations were met. I enjoyed hearing different views, from different backgrounds and from different countries. It turns out that each participant has his or her own interest in the conference. But I only saw a small part of the conference. Based on your own experience, reader, were your expectations met at Tropentag 2014?


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