By Ariel Rivers
AIARD’s Vice President
As I started to write this blog to check-in with our AIARD membership about the 2021 conference, I realized how disconnected I feel from our organization and all of you.
In having more ways to gather via virtual platforms, I am personally finding myself on more meetings. Yet, I am still somehow missing many opportunities to deeply engage with others, and especially, missing the “aha” moments of inspiration that we so often get when in the presence of our colleagues. I attended my first AIARD conference in 2012 as a Future Leader, and the half dozen conferences I’ve attended since have always provided me with so much joy and increased passion for the work we do.
So it saddens me that we will once again forego our in-person conference in 2021. And I am looking to you, our members, to help our Board plan a 2021 Virtual AIARD week that may provide the same energy we normally get each June in Washington, D.C.
Last year, we had a great team of people behind the 2020 Virtual AIARD Week, who were able to quickly pivot some of our programming so we could still provide opportunities to bring all of you together. If you weren’t able to participate last year, please look over the excellent speakers to learn more about their work related to food safety.
This year, we are planning the 2021 Virtual AIARD Week for June 7-10. Please mark your calendars, and plan to save at least an hour or two throughout the week to join us and AIARD’s partners.
However, we need your help. Now that we all have over a year of attending webinars, online events, zoom panels and team meetings, we want to know what type of programming would be the most valuable to you, our AIARD members. What type of events would you like to see during Virtual AIARD Week to make the most of your membership, while also helping you to have your “aha” moments?
Please take a few minutes and respond to this survey by March 10, and help us identify potential themes for the week, speakers/participants, and any activities you would like to see.
Any activities we plan will be free, but some may be limited to AIARD members only. Please feel free to share this survey and more information with any potential new AIARD members, and especially those who likely could not attend our meetings in person. We will also continue the Future Leaders Forum (FLF), albeit in a new way to allow for virtual meetings, so please keep your eye out for information to share with FLF candidates.
Please feel free to reach out to AIARD’s Vice President, Ariel Rivers, arielrivers [@] yahoo.com with any additional questions or if you are interested in joining the planning committee, and we look forward to seeing you soon!
The mission of the AIARD BLOG
The mission of the AIARD Blog is to highlight and share thoughts, ideas and work from people who have devoted their careers to global agricultural development and hunger alleviation.