City to farm project: Right values go beyond any tool

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Bringing people from different sectors and disciplines is one of my favorite parts in the events that we are organizing and participating. Especially when such events include people that have real problems and great experience in the agro-food sector this becomes an opportunity. This was the case with the first event of the City to Farm (Apo tin poli ston agro) project. The City to Farm was conceived as a project that can help people to set up a sustainable agricultural activity/business. The project was launched with an event that took place in a rural area, namely the Platystomo which is located in the central Greece, 270 kms north of Athens. The main idea was to organize an innovative event on the field that will go beyond the typical indoor conference activities.

During the design phase we were thinking a real persona which is a typical person that would like to move form city to a rural area. This is not the only scenario but reflects most of the problems and needs of such a person.

The event started creatively. During the coffee time, the Stevia team started a quick experiment and in some minutes presented the idea of the Stevia tea, a tasty hot drink that was very close to a very good cap of tea. Could this be the first product inspired by citytofarm?IMG_2635

The first session was focused on sharing knowledge about new cultivations and projects such as Stevia, Hippophaes and Agroenergy.

The second session was devoted to the tools that can help in setting up a sustainable agricultural business. It was really great seeing that due to the inspired talks this session was finally transformed to a culture and values session. As the speakers of the session emphasised having the right values goes beyond any of the tools that one can use in setting up a sustainable agricultural business. You need to have the right values and a vision that goes beyond the stereotypes. This will make you working happy. Getting funding is going behind the great ideas and not vice versa.
The last session of the day was conducted on the experimental field that was set up specifically for the event. Local growers shared some experiences regarding new cultivations and the agricultural life
 The day closed with a nice walk on the area, some historical and cultural notes from the local people.

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After sleeping on the great ideas the participants met in the morning to have a open space session in which all the people had the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas about citytofarm project. A number of projects and synergies were establish among the participants and a roadmap of the project was defined. All the participants agree to try to bootstrap this event to other areas of the Greece.
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Throughout the event it was obvious that we need to transform the  information to knowledge. AK team can help into this by providing its data products and experience from international activities. AK could also contribute in the creation of an agro-food business ecosystem by helping technology start ups to get closer to the real context.
Really hope that this first event will inspire many people that are trying to set up a business and to build solutions for the agro-food sector.

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