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Picture by ICCO
How to engage 1500 cocoa stakeholders from over 60 countries all with different viewpoints and interests and still create a common vision and agenda that accelerates action? This was the challenge we were faced with in supporting the facilitation of the 4th World Cocoa Conference.
It should come as no surprise for you that the cocoa sector is facing a number of severe sustainability challenges. Already for more than 15 years, the sectors largest stakeholders are struggling to turn this around. The challenges in cocoa are systemic in nature and therefore require a sector-broad and world-wide coordinated approach that understands the root causes of unsustainable outcomes. One organization dedicated to achieve better outcomes is the International Cocoa Organization, (ICCO); a global organization that represents governments of cocoa producing and consuming countries and, among other things, coordinates countries’ production policies and programs.
The ICCO organizes bi-annual World Cocoa Conferences attended by all stakeholder groups (government, industry, civil society, academia, financial institutions and farmers) from as many as 65 countries. This conference is a major event that convenes the sector to set the agenda, discuss challenging topics and indicate next steps on the road towards sustainability. A great opportunity to trigger collaboration in the sector and to collectively set measurable goals. NewForesight was given the assignment to co-organize and facilitate the fourth World Cocoa Conference on 23-25 April 2018 in Berlin with a new, interactive and actionable format.
What does the World Cocoa Conference need, in order to accelerate sector change? At NewForesight we support our clients to develop approaches to tackle complex sustainability challenges: such strategies often including defining a vision, setting clear roles & responsibilities and monitoring and evaluating progress (see also our blog on the Six Key Elements of Sustainable Transformation). Therefore, NewForesight was delighted to accept the invitation by ICCO to make the 2018 World Cocoa Conference more high-energy, interactive and action-oriented, leveraging the input of the audience on the critical issues the sector is faced with.
How did we include the audience of the conference in decision making and agenda setting? With Lucas’ moderation, the use of polling technology and through interactive and engaging breakout formats, it was ensured that each participant could contribute. Such participant engagement enabled ICCO to directly integrate input from the audience into the Berlin Declaration; the policy document presented at the end of the conference.
Our team looks back to a successful conference where cocoa stakeholders added their critical perspectives and together formed an energized crowd dedicated towards action, and so did our client. We are looking forward to seeing the bi-annual World Cocoa Conferences becoming increasingly central and actionable towards guiding the progress needed within the sector.
Do you have similar ambitions in organizing a high-energy and engaging event? We are happy to support. Amongst the possibilities are general facilitation at the event, the delivery of (multiple) facilitators of parallel sessions, development of interactive formats and social media management. Feel free to contact us for discussing the options.
— World Cocoa Conference (@WorldCocoaConf) April 23, 2018
This years #WCC4Berlin we designed a more interactive and participating format. All participants have the opportunity to discuss what they heard and give us their thoughts. #sharedoutcomes pic.twitter.com/O4xWqMIBNf
— Lucas Simons (@Lucas_Simons) April 24, 2018