Publishing As Problem Solving

Andrea PowellFrom understanding the impact of climate change on agriculture in developing countries to promoting equality for women farmers through training in livestock management as well as marketing, the global mission at CABI is “to improve people’s lives by providing information and applying expertise to solve problems.”

The organization’s Chief Information Officer says CABI is in the Knowledge Business whether the work is publishing traditional reports for governments and funders, or developing mobile technology that reaches millions.

Plant Doctor simulator is a fun way for plant health advisors-also known as plant doctors- to examine virtual 3D plants using smartphones or tablets. The rich realistic gameplay allows plant doctors to investigate the symptoms of plant health issues, and make decisions on what are causing problems.

Plant Doctor simulator is a fun way for plant health advisors-also known as plant doctors- to examine virtual 3D plants using smartphones or tablets. The rich realistic gameplay allows plant doctors to investigate the symptoms of plant health issues, and make decisions on what are causing problems.

“We see our role here at CABI as bridging the gap between research and the practical application of scientific knowledge,” Andrea Powell tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “So we’re really very much about problem-solving, understanding what works and what doesn’t work, and helping farmers mainly in the developing countries… We’re not a heavy-duty research organization, nor are we just a publisher. We’re a problem-solving, science-based organization that uses its information skills to serve our mission.”

Andrea Powell joined CABI in the Marketing Department in 1991 and has worked there ever since. In her current role as Chief Information Office, she leads CABI’s Publishing business unit and is responsible for strategic development. Founded just before the First World War, the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International manages research and assistance projects around the world, including in South America, Africa and Asia.

As Andrea Powell recently told the Scholarly Kitchen blog, “access to knowledge and technology is no longer seen as a development outcome in itself, but as a catalyst for development.”

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