Bringing managers together within the i2connect Excellence Class

It is comforting to know that we are not different and we are facing the same challenges caused by global warming, lack of young people willing to work in the agriculture sector, and lack of proper communication and understanding of the common need.


5/17/20242 min read

i2connect Excellence Class: A Productive Gathering in Apšuciems, Latvia

From May 14rd to 16th, participants of the i2connect project Excellence class from nine countries gathered in the picturesque location of Apšuciems, Latvia, for an intensive and enriching two-and-a-half-day event.

During these days, Jos Verstegen from Wageningen University and Research, Ugo Denis from Chambres d'agriculture de Normandie, and Linda Šarķe-Fadjajeva from the Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre facilitated an environment that encouraged managers at various levels to exchange thoughts, share challenges, and learn useful tips and tricks. This collaborative atmosphere was complemented by training sessions on business model canvas, interactive innovation, change management, and other tools from the i2connect EU toolbox.

Key Topics Discussed

The event addressed several critical topics, including:

  • Skills for Innovation Brokers/Advisors: Identifying the essential skills required.

  • Motivating Change: Strategies to inspire advisors and farmers to embrace change.

  • Overcoming Fear of Change: Addressing and alleviating fears associated with new changes.

  • Identifying Bottlenecks: Recognizing obstacles hindering the interactive innovation process in organizations.

  • First Steps to Mitigate Bottlenecks: Practical steps to reduce the bottleneck effect.

  • Creating Customer Value: Understanding and enhancing the value provided to customers.

Shared Challenges, Diverse Solutions

Participants found solace in recognizing shared global challenges, such as the impacts of global warming, the scarcity of young people entering the agricultural sector, and the need for improved communication and mutual understanding. However, what truly set this gathering apart was the diverse approaches to addressing these common issues.

The Importance of Trust and Informal Time

A key takeaway from the event is the importance of trust in building effective teamwork. Informal time spent together—whether it’s doing nothing while watching a sunset or sharing personal stories—plays a crucial role in fostering closeness and promoting meaningful conversations.

Stay tuned for more updates and insights from our ongoing efforts to drive innovation and sustainability in agriculture.

By participating in such events, we continue to build a strong foundation for collaboration and innovation, ensuring a sustainable future for the agricultural sector.

Insights and Reflections

This week was profoundly insightful for everyone involved. As Rui Almeida, Chairman of EUFRAS and CEO of CONSULAI, reflected: "I got answers to questions I didn't even know I had!"

EUFRAS was also proudly represented by Anita Dzelme, Jussi Juhola, and Aleksander Bomberski.