Tag Archives: Workshop 2016

Turning farm pests into food

By David Poulson

Some stories just tell themselves.

How can anyone resist listening to a project to turn grasshoppers and locusts into a protein source for livestock and people?

Still, regardless of how good the material is, you want to make the best use of your storytelling assets. Anticipate your audience’s question.

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Solar, biogas processing of cassava improves nutrition, fertilizes fields

This presentation by Anselm Moshi of the Tanzania Industrial Research and Development Organization was given at a recent workshop at Michigan State University’s Global Center for Food Systems Innovation.

Other presentations by recipients of Innovation Grants awarded by the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation are here.

Eating bugs, fencing elephants, engaging audiences

By David Poulson

This talk given at a recent workshop of the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation is notable for what it borrows.

The innovation is the use of cell phones in a way that enables African beekeepers to share data.  My favorite line comes early in the piece.

After showing an image of a western honey bee, researcher Maryann Frazier notes: “The true lifeline of this story, perhaps, especially in this initial intervention, is this fabulous little insect, one that you would not want to eat, John.”

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The fresh angle on anaerobic digestion

By David Poulson

It’s a struggle to balance context and new information, especially in a research story or presentation.

Scientists are used to writing up studies and reports that start by laying the groundwork of the research upon which they are building.  That makes sense – for a scientific publication.

But other audiences want the new angle to the old story. It’s what will engage them.  It’s not that they don’t need context. But unlike a research article, they don’t need an excessive amount right off the bat.

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Bringing Farmville to the tropics

By David Poulson

When you give a talk on science or research or just about anything, you want to establish an immediate relationship with your audience.

Find something you have in common before leading that audience into unfamiliar territory.

Here is a good example of doing just that in a  brief presentation at a recent workshop on fostering innovation at Michigan State University’s Global Center for Food Systems Innovation.

“Who here is on Facebook?” Emilia Tjernstrom immediately asks her audience. Chances are that everyone either is on Facebook or is inordinately proud of avoiding that cultural phenomenon.

Either way, Tjernstrom has us hooked as we wonder how she’ll ever link that opening to her research.

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