Ernesto Illy Colloquia for Sustainable Development

The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (UNESCO-TWAS) and Fondazione Ernesto Illy are organizing the first edition of the Ernesto Illy Colloquia from 27 to 29 September in Trieste, Italy, at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics. The event was designed to inspire science-based solutions for the future of coffee agriculture.

A first-of-its-kind and the firs of a series, the event, entitled Ernesto Illy Colloquia: Sustainability challenges in coffee-growing worldwide will feature internationally renowned scientists, economists, young researchers, as well as sustainability and coffee experts. The aim is to establish a network to develop scientific cooperation, identify research funds, adopt efficient solutions, and share useful practices with coffee producers so that they can tackle climate change and put in place or expand a sustainable coffee production. A much-needed objective indeed, since coffee is a significant commodity of the world economy, especially in the global South, where the large majority of coffee crops are grown.

Eleven speakers are slated for the event, including:

  • Andrea Illy, Chair of illycaffè, Co-founder of the Fondazione Ernesto Illy, and Co-chair of the Regenerative Society Foundation (participating in person)
  • Rattan Lal, a TWAS Fellow since 1991, Soil scientist and Director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at Ohio State University, United States (participating remotely)
  • Jeffrey Sachs, a world-renowned sustainability expert and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, United States (participating remotely)
  • Vittorio Venturi, Scientific Coordinator for the Trieste-based International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (participating remotely)

All the in-person participants are coffee experts, including 25 scientists in coffee research accurately selected by UNESCO-TWAS, and the 22 students attending the Fondazione Ernesto Illy’s Master’s Degree in Coffee Economics and Science.

The first day will be devoted to assessing the current situation of coffee-growing and to the relevant social, economic and environmental questions. Discussions on the second day will focus on possible solutions, based on state-of-the-art techniques and tools. The third day, attendees will be divided in break-out groups and participate in activities through which will envision the future and devise the way ahead.

Through this event, the Foundation wants to remember and fulfil Ernesto Illy’s legacy, pioneering sustainability ideas and practices,” said Furio Suggi Liverani, Director of the Fondazione Ernesto Illy. “The Fondazione Ernesto Illy has always been recognized in Trieste’s scientific landscape, also thanks to its cooperation with private and public institutions, including TWAS. The aim of the Colloquia is to create a network for scientific cooperation, support multidisciplinary research on the future of coffee-growing and regenerative agriculture practices, contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change and promote sustainable economic, social and environmental development.

This event represents a fantastic opportunity not only for the coffee business, but also for coffee-growing countries throughout the global South,” said TWAS Executive Director Romain Murenzi.We are most pleased to partner with the Ernesto Illy Foundation on these Colloquia. And we believe that the insights and research links that will emerge from this event will greatly help in our efforts to ensure sustainable coffee production and economic growth for developing countries.

The colloquia will be held in presence at the Budinich Lecture Hall of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste.  Online participation will be also possible. The whole event will be available on TWAS YouTube channel.

To consult the programme, click here.

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