Looking ahead to H-Farm Summer School

7 June 2024

Each year MAGICA brings together innovation-minded students to explore climate adaptation opportunities in their chosen field at our H-FARM Summer School.

The H-FARM campus is just outside Venice where the Summer School will be held from July 1st-5th. This year’s theme is: 'AgriTech, Climate Transition and Sustainability. How the application of technology and digital tools to farming is key'.

The focus is on Agri-Tech as a new frontier to face climate transition and as a key to new entrepreneurial opportunities. The 20 selected participants will delve into how agriculture is influenced by climate change and explore how technologies such as Artificial Intelligence can play a constructive role in its global development. With a focus on fostering an entrepreneurial mindset, participants will engage in hands-on activities, including an Acceleration Lab with professional start-uppers and a session dedicated to an innovative Hydroponic Lab, where participants will apply design thinking techniques and will experiment innovative approaches. H-FARM was founded in 2005 with a commitment that all businesses should be socially responsible and with an aim to build an innovation ecosystem.

MAGICA spoke to two Masters students who have been selected for the 2024 Summer School, Josh Finkelstein, from Canada, and Joel Mukisa, from Uganda, who are both currently studying at the University of Reading in the UK. They told us about their motivation for applying to join the MAGICA H-FARM Summer School and the impact they hope it will have on their futures.

I hope to contribute to a lower carbon and climate-resilient system”

I am Josh Finkelstein, an MSc student in Agricultural Economics from Canada. I previously worked for a tech company in Toronto, before beginning my Masters at University of Reading. After graduating, I’m excited to continue my career in agrifood, and hope to contribute to a lower carbon and climate-resilient system.

The MAGICA Summer School at H-FARM is an amazing opportunity to learn more about climate change and agriculture, and how best to develop and roll out new technologies to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts. The projects and speakers in the programme will layer an applied perspective on the economic theory and statistical techniques that I have learned throughout my degree.

It will also be a great opportunity to interact with other motivated students from around the world. I know the Summer School will be a forum to share ideas, and to also understand the wide range of approaches people take to understand and solve problems. These are connections I hope to maintain well into the future, to continue to exchange ideas and ambitions throughout all of our careers.

I expect a collaborative and innovative environment where I can exchange ideas”

My name is Joel Mukisa. I am pursuing a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics at the University of Reading, UK. I am from Kampala, Uganda, where my journey in agricultural sciences began. I am passionate about rural development, climate change vulnerability, food security, policy, and governance.

I have worked with farmers, private companies, and government entities to ensure food security and combat climate change.

One of my key experiences was with the Coffee Innovation Hub of CURAD, where we launched East Africa’s first coffee wine (2017-2018). I have also worked in the agricultural inputs supply market with leading importers of fertilisers and machinery in Uganda.

I applied to the MAGICA Summer School on a friend’s recommendation. I looked through their website and the programmes offered perfectly aligned with my professional aspirations and personal commitment to contributing to sustainable agricultural practices and innovative technological solutions. In the face of global climate change, Agri Tech and Artificial Intelligence are crucial for mitigation.

I expect a collaborative and innovative environment at the summer school, where I can exchange ideas with colleagues from diverse backgrounds. I am eager to meet like-minded individuals and climate enthusiasts, and to gain new perspectives.

We will be checking back in with Josh and Joel after their Summer School experience.