Disruptive Innovations, Value Chains, and Rural Development

June 12-15, 2018

Washington, DC

Innovation Conference Sponsors-3
  • Multiple changes in the structure of the food system and agriculture raise new opportunities and challenges for the agricultural sector. In the developing world, these changes started in Asia and Latin America, and are rapidly emerging in Africa. Urbanization and increased urban demand for food, fiber, and fuel present new market opportunities for farmers, entrepreneurs, and agribusiness in the developing world. Growing concerns over climate change, pollution and food safety are reflected in increasing consumer demand for environmental services from agriculture, electricity and fuel from biomass, and improved food quality from the food and agricultural sector. Failure to adapt to these changes may cause the rural sector and smallholder farmers to fall further behind. 

    Rapid advances in the biological sciences and information technology are developing new technologies and services that facilitate response to changing food systems and provide new opportunities for increasing agricultural productivity and rural employment, and improving the efficiency of the agricultural value chain. But they can also disrupt traditional value chains. 

    Adapting to these changes requires a rapid transformation of all segments of the agricultural supply chain: the farms (upstream), the processing, storage and wholesaling (midstream) and retailing and delivery to consumers (downstream). Decision-makers who are not aware of these institutional changes and technological opportunities — and do not have the information systems that monitor them — will slow economic development. There is a need to understand and rethink governance, policies and regulations under this changing reality. Governments, donors, the private sector should target their interventions towards a more inclusive value chain approach to support smallholders and local enterprises to effectively participate in all segments of the value chain to ensure that farmers and rural economies can benefit — rather than be excluded—from this transformation through increased productivity, increased incomes, and improved nutrition. Understanding these changes is also crucial to designing interventions to reduce pollution and assist in adaption to climate change.

    Against this backdrop, there has still been limited research and few evidence-based development programs based on the new economics of value chains, especially in food and agriculture. The conference will focus on the impact of new value chains and technology on agribusiness and farmers and their capacity to implement innovation, and the policy and institutional implications of transforming value chain and the agri-food system.


  • The ICABR Conference on “Disruptive Innovations, Value Chains, and Rural Development” organized in partnership with the World Bank, will serve as a multidisciplinary forum of discussion to facilitate interactions between leading academics, World Bank staff, policymakers, government experts, civil society organizations, private-sector representatives, and representatives of other international organizations to showcase the present frontier knowledge on these issues.

    The conference will be organized with contributed papers, organized sessions, policy panels and round-table discussions with the private sector. Joachim von Braun (ZEF-University of Bonn) will be the speaker of the Santaniello Lecture. 

    We highly encourage the participation of the private sector to showcase their innovative products and to operationalize the development of the value chain.

    We invite the submission of paper abstracts, organized sessions and lightening talk proposals by February 15, 2018. Please use this link to submit a contribution before the deadline. We encourage submissions related to any aspect of the Disruptive Innovations, Value Chains and Rural Development such as:

    • The Bioeconomy and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
      • The contribution of the bioeconomy to the SDGs
      • Agriculture and rural development to meet the SDGs
    • Agricultural and economic transformation
      • Agricultural and Rural Development
      • Rural and Inclusive Transformation
    • Technological innovations: Big data and breakthroughs in the biological sciences
      • New farming Apps and geospatial technologies for precision agriculture
      • New gene-editing technologies in agriculture
      • The future of electricity and biofuel from biomass
      • Improving resource use efficiency: water and soils
      • Impacts on agriculture and agribusiness in developed and developing countries
      • Constraints to development and spread of technology
    • Institutional innovations and inclusive value chain development
      • Supermarkets, agricultural processing and logistics
      • Supply chain design, spread and adoption of innovation and their implications
      • Financing innovation in agricultural production and input/output value chains
      • Constraints to the development of input and food processing/retail value chains
    • Government interventions in the agriculture and agribusiness sector
      • Regulations on input industries and agricultural processing/retail
      • Public sector research by NARS and CGIAR
      • Public-Private partnerships in agriculture
      • Institutional and commercial constraints to agriculture development
      • Role of foreign aid and international cooperation
    • Other 

    Organizing Committee
    Advisory Committee
    Julian Alston
    UC Davis
    Gero Carletto
    World Bank
    Regina Birner
    University of Hohenheim
    Luc Christiaensen
    World Bank
    Erwin Bulte
    Wageningen University
    Klaus Deininger
    World Bank
    Sarah Evanega 
    Cornell University
    Shanta Devarajan
    World Bank
    Prabhu Pingali
    Cornell University
    Alain de Janvry
    UC Berkeley
    Carl Pray
    Rutgers University
    Simeon Ehui
    World Bank
    Sara Savastano
    World Bank & University of Rome Tor Vergata  
    Madhur Gautam
    World Bank
    Pasquale L. Scandizzo
    University of Rome Tor Vergata
    Geremie Sawadogo
    World Bank
    Stuart Smyth
    University of Saskatchewan
    Sarah Iqbal
    World Bank
    Jennifer Thomson
    University of Cape Town
    Shiva Makki
    World Bank
    Justus Wesseler
    Wageningen University
    Rita Ramalho
    World Bank

    Jose’ Falck-Zepeda

    Thomas Reardon
    Michigan State University
    David Zilberman
    UC Berkeley
    Carlo Segni
    World Bank
     Jo Swinnen
    KU Leuven

    Maximo Torero
    World Bank Board

     Juergen Voegele
    World Bank
     Joachim von Braun
    ZEF - University of Bonn
     Albert G. Zeufack
    World Bank


    Gero Carletto, World Bank








    Thomas Reardon, Michigan State University

    Pasquale L. Scandizzo
    ICABR & University of Rome Tor Vergata


    The idea of the event is to link professors of the ICABR consortium with PhD and Master students who will attend the conference and receive feedback on their thesis.

    At the same time, managers of the World Bank will make a short 8 mn interview to post doc, PhD and master students for future internships or short term collaboration.

    Speed Mentorship

    If you are pursuing a PhD/Master program and you have already an advanced draft of your thesis, here is your chance to get valuable feedback from academically renowned professors .

    During the Speed Mentorship Event, you will be able to present in 8 minutes, your thesis (or your job-market paper) to experts in Development Economics and receive feedback

    Job Dating

    If you are pursuing a Master’s degree and are about to finalize your thesis, a PhD candidate or a Post-doctoral student, here is a chance to extend your professional networks and experience a screening job market interview with the World Bank Group.
    During the Job Dating Event organized jointly by the ICABR and the World Bank, you will be able to present your CV in 8 minutes to several World Bank Managers.

    In the context of the event, HRD Talent Acquisition Unit of the World Bank will provide a one-hour presentation, led by a recruiter, as an opportunity to introduce the World Bank Group recruitment initiatives together with some concrete ideas and tips on how to successfully connect with the Bank and other international development institutions.

    Online Application

    Please apply online using this link. After filling your personal information and your research areas, you will be requested to uplaod:

    1. A cover letter
    2. Detailed CV
    3. A file with 3 pages summary of your thesis or description of your contribution to the projects in which you are involved. 

    Notification of acceptance is expected by March 15, 2018. 

    For further information please contact:
    Sara Savastano
    Senior Economist DECSI
    World Bank

  • We invite the submission of paper abstracts, organized sessions and lightening talk proposals by February 15, 2018.

    Please use this link to submit a contribution online

    Guidelines for submitting a contribution

    Individual Paper

    Authors interested in presenting at ICABR conference are requested to submit an initial 250-word abstract by February 15, 2018.

    If accepted, the final paper should be between 6000 and 8000 words including diagrams, figures, and tables. In addition, each paper should contain an abstract and a key word list.

    An auto-generated email from ConfTool indicating the abstract has been received will confirm a successful submission

    Session Proposal

    Authors interested in proposing a session are requested to fill the online form by February 15, 2018.

    Proposals should include: session title, session rationale, names and contact information for the organizer and planned participants, as well as a description of the workshop format that includes plans for discussion.

    An auto-generated email from ConfTool indicating the abstract has been received will confirm a successful submission

    Lightening Talk

    Authors interested in proposing a Lightening Talk Session are requested to fill the online form by February 15, 2018.

    Lightening Talk are sessions of 90 mn and consist of a series of short-form talks where speakers get up to five/seven minutes of presentation. The main goal is to stimulate new conversations and collaborations across disciplines with fast-paced presentations.

    Please note that the mandatory fields include a short 200-word abstract that will be published on the conference book should the session be accepted for presentation.

    Complete all fields marked with an asterisk (*). An auto-generated email from ConfTool indicating the abstract has been received will confirm a successful submission.

  • Please submit your abstract for oral presentation or session proposal using the online system Conftool.

    Registration fees:

    Early Bird: (by April 15, 2018)

    • Full: $500
    • Student: $350

    Late Registration fee after April 15, 2018)

    • Full: $550
    • Student: $400

    Because the World Bank is supporting the conference, WB staff will have a special registration fee.

    Please note that we cannot offer travel grants, and that The World Bank Group does not provide insurance to visitors, conference participants, or presenters. 

  • Participants are responsible to make their own accommodation.

    We have agreed special rates for conference participants with some hotels located walking distance to the World Bank.

    The table below summarize the main information. The courtesy rate are valid until the cut-off date indicated.

    Rates are in US$ and do not include taxes. You will need a credit card to make a reservation

    • Hotel Lombardy
      Group Rate:  US$ 239
      Cut-off Date:  May 10, 2018
      Group Code:  #3781 - World Bank
      Link to reservation: LINK
      Internet in rooms: Wifi
      Breakfast included:  No

      Walking Distance to Conference venue 7 mn (0.3 miles)
      ReShell L. Smith | Director of Sales and Marketing
      Hotel Lombardy
      2019 Pennsylvania Avenue NW  Washington, DC  20006
      D (202) 857-3910
    • Hotel Concordia
      Group Rate: US$ 174
      Cut-off Date: June 1, 2018
      Group Code: 1806ICABR
      Internet in rooms: included
      Breakfast included: NO
      Walking Distance to Conference venue: 15 mn (0.8 miles)

      Esther Guevara| Aramark | Reservation Specialist
      1250 New Hampshire Ave. NW Washington, DC 20036
      D: +1 (202) 557 2203
    • Joud Residence
      Group Rate: US$ 145 (with taxes: US$166.46)
      Cut-off Date: June 9, 2018
      Group Code:  World Bank
      Internet in rooms: YES 
      Breakfast included: NO (It is additional fee $10)
      Walking Distance to Conference venue: 18 mn (0.9 miles)

      Huda Almaghour
      Joud Residence
      1005 26th Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
      Tel: +1 202 333 3869
    • State Plaza Hotel
      Group Rate: US$ 239 
      Cut-off Date: May 18, 2018
      Group Code:  66Z00F
      Link to reservation: World Bank – ICABR 2018 Web Link 
      Internet in rooms: YES
      Breakfast included: YES
      Walking Distance to Conference venue: 10 mn (0.5 miles)

      David Manalang
      Director of Sales and Marketing - State Plaza Hotel
      2117 E Street, NW - Washington D.C., 20037
      Direct Line (202) 833-6965     Fax (202) 587-1354
      Reservations (800) 424-2859     Email:
    • Georgetown Suites
      Group Rate:
      $205 per night for studio suite (one king bed)
      $235 for one bedroom suite (separate bedroom and living room)
      Cut-off Date: May 12, 2018
      Link to reservationGeorgetown Suites booking link
      Internet in rooms: included
      Breakfast included: YES
      Walking Distance to Conference venue: 24 mn (1.1 miles)
      Bus Transportation: 30N 30S 33 or 38B (M St NW & 30th St NW)
      Pam Welliver
      Director of Sales
      Georgetown Suites
      1111 30th St & 1000 29th St NW
      Washington, DC 20007
      202/298-1688 direct
      800/348-7203 reservations
      202/333-0143 fax  
  • The nearest station on the Orange Line is Farragut West (about 2 blocks from the main World Bank building). The nearest station on the Red Line is Farragut North (about 3 – 4 blocks from the main building). For more information about the Washington, DC metro, see Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

    Please note that most Amtrak trains traveling to Washington, DC arrive at Union Station. To get to the World Bank from Union Station, either take a taxi or take the Red Line Metro from Union Station to Farragut North. From there, it is about 3 – 4 blocks to the main World Bank building. For more train information, see Amtrak.

    Airport Driving Directions

    (Directions provided by MapQuest)

    Ground Transportation Information from the Airports

    Washington Flyer Super Shuttle

    SuperShuttle's door-to-door shared ride van service is available to and from those airports. Shuttles operate on an on-demand basis. No reservations are needed for outbound service from the airports. For information on rates or reservations, call 1-800-BLUEVAN or go to

    Taxi service

    Taxicab stands are conveniently located near the Arrivals (baggage claim) exits of each terminal. Dispatchers at each stand will help you select a taxicab based on your destination in Washington DC, Virginia, or Maryland. No advance reservations are required — service is on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Washington Flyer Taxi

    Washington Flyer Taxicabs serve Dulles International Airport exclusively with 24-hour service to and from the airport. Taxicabs accept American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Discover Card, and Visa, and provide transportation at metered rates to any destination within Metropolitan Washington area. No reservations are needed for outbound service from the airports. Please call 703-572-TAXI (8294) to place a reservation.

Conference Details

  • Date: June 12—15, 2018
  • Venue: The World Bank, 1818 H Street, NW Washington, DC 20433
  • Contact World Bank:
  • Contact ICABR:
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