Ernesto Illy Colloquia for sustainable development

The World Academy of Sciences for Scientific Progress in Developing Countries (Unesco-Twas) and the Ernesto Illy Foundation are organizing, from September 27 to 29, in Trieste, at the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics, the first edition of Ernesto Illy Colloquia with the aim of identifying scientific and innovative solutions for growing the coffee of the future.

The agreement, ratified by Unesco, was signed in September 2019 between Twas and the Ernesto Illy Foundation.

The event is the first in a series and the only one of its kind, and will focus on the challenges of sustainability in coffee crops around the world. The protagonists are researchers at an international level, economists and young researchers who are experts in the coffee supply chain and sustainability from around thirty countries. The goal is to “network” to develop scientific collaborations, identify research funding, adopt efficient procedures and share practices useful for global coffee producers to tackle climate change and initiate or expand sustainable global production.

This goal is all the more necessary because coffee is an important commodity and therefore plays an important role in the world economy – especially in the southern hemisphere, where almost all coffee produced globally is grown.

The program foresees the participation of 11 speakers including Andrea Illy, president of illycaffè, co-founder of the Ernesto Illy Foundation, co-president of the Regenerative Society Foundation (present); Rattan Lal, member of TWAS since 1991, pedologist and director of the Carbon Management and Sequestration Center at Ohio State University, USA (remote); Jeffrey Sachs, world-renowned sustainability expert and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, USA (remotely); Vittorio Venturi, Scientific Coordinator of the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Trieste (remote).

All participants will be “experts”: among them, 25 scientists researching coffee, carefully selected by Unesco-Twas, and 22 students of the university’s master’s degree in coffee economics and science – Ernesto Illy.

The first day will be devoted to an analysis of the situation of coffee crops and related social, economic and environmental issues. The second day will focus on possible technical solutions and cutting-edge tools for production. On the third day, participants will be divided into groups and involved in different activities with the aim of imagining and shaping the future of the sector.

“With this event, the Foundation intends to remember and honor Ernesto Illy’s spiritual legacy and to give its support to pioneering ideas and practices in the field of sustainability,” said Furio Suggi Liverani, Director of the Ernesto Illy Foundation. noticed in the scientific panorama of Trieste also by virtue of the collaboration with private and public institutes, including TWAS. The purpose of the Colloquia is to create a network of scientific collaborations to support multidisciplinary research on the future of coffee cultivation and regenerative agricultural practices, mitigate the effects of climate change and promote sustainable economic, social and environmental development”.

In the words of Romain Murenzi, Executive Director of Unesco-Twas, “the event represents a magnificent opportunity not only for the coffee industry but for all producing countries in the Southern Hemisphere. We are delighted with this collaboration with the Ernesto Illy Foundation, and we are convinced that the insights and connections that will arise from the Colloquia will greatly boost our goal of supporting sustainable coffee production as well as economic growth in developing countries.

The Colloquia will be held in person in the Budinich Lecture Hall at the International Center for Theoretical Physics Abdus Salam (ICTP) in Trieste, and will also be available online for remote participation. The following content will be made fully available on Twa’s Youtube channel.

For the full program, click here.

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