Tag Archives: agricultural research

Slow ideas, complex ideas

Some ideas spread fast. How do you speed the ones that don’t? asks the New Yorker. When anaesthesia was introduced in 1849, it soon swept across the world and was taken up as a worldwide innovation within seven years. When in 1867 Joseph Lister published a new method—the use of antiseptics—to eliminate germs and reduce […]

Systems Thinking in our work – a 7-minute presentation

I volunteered at work to give a 20×21 presentation. You get 21 slides and they advance automatically every 20 seconds, so you have precisely 7 minutes to say what you want to say. We have a 20×21 every month and it is a great opportunity for a kind of extended “elevator speech”. I decided this […]

the spaces between the fingers

Gregory Bateson challenged his audience to look at their hand and describe what they could see. They described the fingers, the thumb, palm, the back, hairs on knuckles. “But”, he said, “the most important thing is the spaces between them, the relationships between them which allows them to do all the things they do”. I […]

research, policy and change

I have been thinking a lot—since I work in a pro-development research organization—about how change happens. What brought this on? One thing was a rather unfortunate paper I read on gender and agricultural biodiversity. The author seemed convinced that the recent data (FAO 2011) suggesting that eliminating the gender gap would result in a huge […]