Executive Training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture
Next Training: Spring / Summer 2024 (dates TBC)
The 2024 brochure will be posted in Fall 2023.
Applications for the 2024 training will open in Fall 2023. Check this page for details, and sign up for our newsletter to be notified when applications open.
CCSI’s Executive Training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture provides an interdisciplinary approach to addressing the challenges and opportunities of agricultural investments. The program is designed to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to address some of the key challenges posed by international investments in agriculture, and to encourage a rich dialogue about practices from around the globe.
Who should attend?
This interdisciplinary program is designed for mid-level public sector officials and civil society representatives from low- and middle-income countries, whose responsibilities relate to investments, agriculture, land, or rural development. Representatives of bilateral development agencies, foundations, intergovernmental organizations, UN agencies, and the private sector may also be admitted.
When and how will the training be delivered?
The next training will take place in Spring / Summer 2024. Dates will be confirmed in Fall 2023.
The entire 2024 program will be held online.
The virtual training will include asynchronous and synchronous learning and peer-to-peer sharing components:
- Short and interactive live training sessions will take place each business day of the training. These sessions will be dedicated to engagement with course lecturers and practitioners, and to peer-to-peer sharing. A detailed schedule of live sessions will be shared with participants.
- Background materials for each training topic, including video presentations and readings, will be shared with participants through a dedicated course platform and available for review by participants in advance of the live sessions.
What are the program fees?
Details regarding program fees will be posted here when applications open in Fall 2023.
CCSI adheres to the following cancellation and refund policies for all executive trainings:
- Cancellation with 30-days notice: for cancellations made within 30 days prior to the scheduled event, no refund will be allowed for any reason.
- Cancellation with 60-days notice: for cancellations made within 60 days prior to the scheduled event, the $500 fee will be refunded.
- Cancellation by CCSI: CCSI reserves the right to cancel any event at any time. Should this take place, a full refund will be offered.
How can I apply?
Applications for the 2024 training will open in Fall 2023.
The course draws primarily from among faculty and experts at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Outside experts also teach specific topics related to their expertise. Faculty from past trainings have included:
- Luiz Amaral, Director, Global Solutions for Commodities and Finance, World Resources Institute
- Ward Anseeuw, Senior Technical Specialist (Knowledge, Learning and Innovation), International Law Coalition; Research Fellow, CIRAD
- Walter Baethgan, Senior Research Scientist, Head of Regional and Sectoral Research, International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI)
- Joseph Bell, Of Counsel, Hogan Lovells US LLP
- Karol Boudreaux, Senior Land and Resource Governance Advisor, USAID
- Ben Bowie, Director, TMP Systems
- Ronald Chari, Counsel, World Bank Group
- Lorenzo Cotula, Principal Researcher, IIED
- Sonkita Conteh, Director, Sierra Leone Program, Namati
- Benjamin Cousin, Group Sustainability Manager, Illovo Sugar Africa
- Esther Delbourg, École Polytechnique
- Heather Eisenlord, Human Rights Director, ISLP
- Joshua Fisher, Director, Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict, and Complexity
- Laura German, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Center for Integrative Conservation and Research, University of Georgia
- Bruce Gilchrist, Partner, Hogan Lovells US LLP
- Michael Jarvis, Executive Director, Transparency & Accountability Initiative
- Kiersten Johnson, Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor, USAID Bureau for Food Security
- Jon Lindsay, Lead Counsel for Land and Natural Resources, Environmental and International Law Practice Group, World Bank
- Simon Mason, Senior Research Scientist, Climate, Disasters, International Outreach, International Research Institute for Climate and Society
- Tiernan Mennen, Vice President, Governance and Rights, Abt Associates
- Ángel G. Muñoz, Associate Research Scientist,Climate Variations and Predictability, International Research Institute for Climate and Society
- Mark Musumba, Associate Research Scientist, Agriculture and Food Security Center, Earth Institute, Columbia University
- Carolyn Mutter, International Program Manager, Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP)
- Katie Minderhoud, Learning Advisor, Solidaridad Europe
- Amanda Richardson, Co-Founder and Program Director, Resource Equity
- Beth Roberts, Director, Center for Women’s Land Rights, Landesa Rural Development Institute
- Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
- Delilah Rothenberg, Founder, Development Capital Strategies
- Alex Ruane, Research Coordinator and Climate Team Lead, Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP), NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
- Tess Russo, Portfolio Lead and Research Scientist, Global Good, Intellectual Ventures
- Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development, University Professor at Columbia University, and Senior UN Advisor
- Senior legal, economics, and technical staff of CCSI
What past participants have said about CCSI’s Executive Training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture:
Vivion Scully, Chief Executive Officer, Agro-Investment Corporation of Jamaica: "Collaborating with participants from different continents was an enriching experience. We had the chance to exchange ideas, share success stories, and learn from the unique perspectives of our peers…As I reflect on this course, I am filled with enthusiasm and motivation to apply the knowledge and skills gained to drive positive change in sustainable agriculture investments in Jamaica. I am excited to collaborate with fellow alumni and professionals worldwide to advance sustainable farming practices, promote food security, and preserve our natural resources."
Jeremy Agyemang, Head of Agribusiness Unit, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana: “The training at CCSI was phenomenal. It equipped me with knowledge that has enhanced my understanding of the investor-state relationship. Those delivering the training were experts in their field, and more than willing to provide participants with assistance to make the learning experience fruitful. Great technical resources were also provided to participants. I highly recommend the training to anyone working in the agricultural investment space.”
Shyamal Chandradathsingh, Vice President, Investor Sourcing, Invest in Trinidad & Tobago: “The quality of the presenters was top notch … I highly recommend it.”
Mohamed Coulibaly, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Mali; Consultant, Institute of Research and the Promotion of Development Alternatives (IRPAD): “The training offered me the opportunity to meet and share experience with people from different countries, continents and different backgrounds for a mutually reinforcing experience.”
Mamadou Diarrah, Senior Development Officer, African Union Commission: “I want to express my sincere appreciation to the organizers for such a wonderful training workshop. … [T]he expertise of the presenters and organizers substantially raised my knowledge bar. Additionally, the discussion with the other participants opened my mind to new and exciting ideas from other parts of the world that could be tested in my region of interest in order to bolster investments into agriculture for the benefit of the populations.”
Sigrid Stensrud Ekman, Private Sector Advisor, NIRAS / Agricultural Sector Development Support Programme (ASDSP), Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Kenya: “I would recommend this course for everyone working on land issues and agro-investments. The lecturers were highly knowledgeable, and the diverse group of participants (coming from various geographic regions and backgrounds, ranging from civil society to the private and public sectors) made for insightful discussion. I particularly enjoyed putting theory into practice using case studies each day. The training also provided a great opportunity for networking.”
Syl-Brians Kamara, Deputy Director, Environment Protection Agency, Sierra Leone: “The training course is fantastic, and certainly fulfilled my expectations. Since returning to Sierra Leone, I have already engaged with my colleagues and other institutions to implement solutions proposed and discussed during the course.”
Mary Ndaro, Coordinator, Land Rights Program, CARE International: “I greatly enjoyed the culture and atmosphere at the training, which allowed me to interact with a range of experts and participants with different perspectives. The ideas we exchanged enhanced my understanding of the many factors that affect the governance of agricultural investments, including the impact of international investment treaties and what these agreements mean for efforts to reduce poverty and address inequality in countries like my own. I also appreciated how gender was addressed in several training modules; it was great to be part of a training with a strong dedication to discussing gender issues.”
Naa Oyoe Quartey, Senior Agricultural Officer, Women in Agricultural Development Directorate, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana: “The training was very insightful. I would recommend this course to anyone dealing with agricultural investments in their work, particularly given the holistic approach and range of topics covered. Big thanks to the team and excellent faculty!”
Christian Schulze, Officer, Climate, Energy and Tenure Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): “I can highly recommend the training course …. I gained new knowledge and practical skills to address some of the key challenges posed by international investments in agriculture, which will be valuable for my future work.”
The Honorable George Wisner, Executive Director, National Investment Commission, Liberia on behalf of Ms. Monen Jacquelynn Duoe (Special Assistant to Hon. Wisner): “I am pleased to present my compliments and to extend, on behalf of the National Investment Commission of Liberia, thanks and appreciation …. Ms. Monen Jacquelynn Duoe has since returned and is imbued with a lot of confidence to help us move our development agenda forward.”
Partial support for the 2024 training is provided by ALIGN. ALIGN supports governments, civil society, communities and peoples, and other relevant actors in strengthening the governance of land-based investments. The project is implemented by a consortium led by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) and Namati, and is funded with UK aid from the UK government. However, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of ALIGN partners or the UK Government.
If you have any questions about the program or if you would be interested in sponsoring participants for the 2024 program, please contact us at [email protected].