16th GLOBELICS International Conference on Innovation and “Development University” concept (24.10.2018-26.10.2018)
The 16th GLOBELICS International Conference 2018 was hosted by Science and Technology Policy Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR- STEPRI), Ghana, and was held from 24 to 26 October 2018. The conference theme was ‘Innovation, Economic Growth and Sustainable Development: Strengthening Institutions for Greater Relevance, Effectiveness and Inclusivity’. The conference deliberated on issues relating to innovation, economic growth and sustainable development and enhancing development strategies, especially in the developing nations, through innovation and competence building.
On the first day, I presented my paper ‘Rural Structural Transformation in India, with Special Reference to Agrarian Transformation in Nagaland: Empirical Analysis’, which is a part of my PhD thesis findings. The paper talks about rural transformation in the form of diversification from traditional farming to non-farming sector and towards high value crops within the farming sector. These changes have led to a multi-occupational livelihood strategy for the household and have brought about changes in the rural economy. The paper also emphasises how this transformation is peculiar to a communitised tribal society, like those found in rural Nagaland, and the economic and non-economic factors such as social network, village norms that play a role in the household decision to diversify. Social networking plays a vital role — along with other factors such as land holding, working members in the family, education, income, urban spillover effect — in a household’s decision to diversify.
The paper attracted good questions and queries from the audience. There were interesting questions pertaining to the linkages between farm and non-farm sector, how this linkage can be channelised through crop diversification, methodology building and policy recommendations arising from the findings of the study. It was a great experience discussing my ideas and thoughts with academicians and especially encouraging when the discussant asked a co-presenter from Ethiopia to refer to my work.
This was my first experience of participating in a conference that began with an invocation prayer to god for the success of the conference during the welcome message by Dr George Owusu Essegbey, Chairman of GLOBELICS 2018, Local Organising Committee. (Was this perhaps because the country is dominated by Christianity, and the people are strong believers?) The keynote address was delivered by Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Minister, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. The opening lecture was delivered by Prof Xiaobo Wu of the National Institute of Innovation Management, Zhejiang University.
My best experience in the conference, apart from my presentation, was meeting my PhD supervisor’s supervisor, Prof Peter Knorringa from International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Netherlands, and establishing an academic relationship like that of a grandfather and granddaughter. Though we had a good research discussion, he became nostalgic about my supervisor back then in the ISS. I also gave a short interview about my experience in the conference.
Ghana is a peaceful African country with friendly people, vibrant culture and good food. I ate more than was good for me, glutton that I am and a non-vegetarian, I had a little trouble with a stomach upset on the last day. But it was all together an amazing experience.
Senior Research Associate, Research Team, CLIx