March 28, 2018

The Ag Salon

By Jennie Lefkowitz

Have you ever heard about Salons? The ones that were filled with exclusive members of a particular society, whether it be socialites, political activists, generally a group of people connected by something? Wikipedia describes it as “a meeting for learning or enjoyment”. I often think of the 18th century Parisian Salons during the Enlightenment. I attended my first one this week! – In the year 2018 in Washington, DC, not 18th century France. I probably didn’t need to clarify, but I’ve recently been hooked on Outlander, so my mind thought a time-travel joke would be funny. I digress…

A bit of a last-minute invite, it turned into my favorite night of this externship by far!

I met people in the Foreign Ag Service, Chicago Council on Global Affairs Government Relations, International Business Entrepreneurs, Agriculture Technology Investors, Program Manager for the General Mills Foundation, a Veterinary Consultant, and Policy Analyst to name a few. Of Note: Only one veterinarian was present.

In one little restaurant (food was amazing and the wine was on point) was a mixture of public and private sectors all working toward the end goal of sustainable development.

You’ll never know where the conversation can take you. At one point I debated Aristotle’s Ethics with an international business entrepreneur. At another, I discussed with a Foreign Service Officer the organization of programmes to produce maximum output of an agricultural-based economy. A Program Director of FFAR overheard the latter conversation and contributed her thoughts and shortly after person from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs joined us.

I am so grateful to Dr. Carrie La Jeunesse for inviting me to this invite. The Ag Salon brought together such a diverse group of people, and through being a part of those conversations, I was able to witness a resulting collaborative environment on an array of different subjects.

2 Responses to “The Ag Salon”

  1. The Ask vs. The Story | Externs On the Hill Says:
    April 1st, 2018 at 9:14 am

    […] Story”? I alluded to relationship building through collaborative efforts in my previous post, “The Ag Salon”. The day after the Ag Salon, I heard Rob Burnett, CEO of Well Told Story, speak at the Chicago […]

  2. Carrie La Jeunesse Says:
    June 24th, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Jennie, I’m so happy you could join us and contribute to the conversation on development, poverty alleviation, and creating opportunity and equity around the world. Thank you for sharing this story of collaboration, cooperation, and inclusion.

    Your article very nicely illustrates the diversity of expertise that underlies the passion for innovation and collective humanitarian effort that drives most of us working on these issues. Until next time!!