October 15, 2019
We will be gathering next week from October 22 to October 24 for our 2019 K-State Research and Extension Annual Conference. Our conference theme is “Innovate!,” and I promise you the look and feel of the conference will be very different from our past conferences. I look forward to seeing all of you there for this very different conference experience.
How will it be different?
The vast majority of conference participants responding to last year’s conference survey and even a subsequent survey indicated that our annual conference needed an update. The committee planning annual conference, adeptly led by Drs. Marty Draper and Jason Ellis, were told to feel free to “…blow it up and start over again,” and “blow it up” they did.
The surveys indicated a need for us to commune and network as the K-State Research and Extension family. They wanted to see research, extension, agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, 4-H and youth development, and community development come together as one and get to know each other better. The planning committee came up with KSRE Fun Night, where we will gather together at the nearby Liquid Art Winery for lively conversation and activities.
Many felt that our annual conference wasn’t the only thing that needed refreshing. They indicated that we need to be more innovative, entrepreneurial, and creative in how we conduct programming and work together as a system. In response, the planning committee is bringing in Paul Hill, a Utah State University extension agent and coauthor of The Innovation Imperative, on Wednesday morning to inform us on the importance of innovation in research and extension, how we can enable ourselves to be more innovative research and extension professionals, and how we can become a more innovative research and extension system. We will then put Mr. Hill’s words to action during Wednesday afternoon by gathering together to discuss how we, both as individual research and extension professionals and as a system, can become more innovative.
Finally, many suggested that one area where we needed to be more innovative was with regard to interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary programming. Thus, we will once again gather together on Thursday morning to discuss how we will empower ourselves to engage in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and extension programming.
All in all, we will be discussing how our K-State Research and Extension needs to evolve to address society’s 21st century challenges. If you want to be a part of determining K-State Research and Extension’s future, you do not want to miss a single minute of “Innovate!,” our 2019 K-State Research and Extension Annual Conference.