37th SOLVE webinar spotlights SEARCA Senior Fellows and their take on effective leadership

  • By Rosario B. Bantayan
  • 7 December 2021, Tuesday

“Change is inevitable, we have to live with it. Leaders should anticipate the change. Be more creative, innovative, and work toward overcoming the negative effect of that change…deal with it,” thus said, Dr. Emerlinda R. Roman, SEARCA Senior Fellow, Professor Emeritus, and former President of the University of the Philippines, and one of the Resource Speakers during the 37th SOLVE webinar on SOLVE Leadership Challenges: Redefining   Effective Leaders for Tomorrow. Held on 24 November 2021 via the SOLVE platform, the webinar formed part of SEARCA’s 55th Anniversary Celebration with the theme “Sowing Seeds of Innovation for Agricultural Transformation.”

(Clockwise, Top-R) Prof. Joselito G. Florendo (Moderator); Dr. Howarth Bouis, Emeritus Fellow, IFPRI and Founding Director, HarvestPlus; Dr. Tin Htut, Retired Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation (MOALI), Myanmar; and Dr. Emerlinda R. Roman, Professor Emeritus and Former President, University of the Philippines. (Clockwise, Top-R) Prof. Joselito G. Florendo (Moderator); Dr. Howarth Bouis, Emeritus Fellow, IFPRI and Founding Director, HarvestPlus; Dr. Tin Htut, Retired Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation (MOALI), Myanmar; and Dr. Emerlinda R. Roman, Professor Emeritus and Former President, University of the Philippines.

Dr. Roman discussed Leadership Challenges in Higher Education in her presentation. Noting that higher education institutions are durable institutions, she stressed that successful and effective leadership lies not so much in having higher education leaders offer a vision for the future of their institutions and the strategies to achieve that vision as in them being able to rally their members behind that vision.

Besides Dr. Roman, the webinar also featured eminent SEARCA Senior Fellows from the industry, the private sector, and the academe, who discussed how individuals can be effective future leaders in an environment that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.

Dr. Howarth Bouis, Emeritus Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, discussed the topic on Providing Leadership for the Implementation of the Innovation of Biofortification. Dr. Bouis provided some insights on intellectual leadership as well as the role of purpose and communication in organizational culture and stakeholder cooperation, which paved the way for the successful implementation of innovation of biofortification in HarvestPlus. He served as HarvestPlus’ Director, leading and coordinating an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional effort to develop, test, and disseminate micronutrient-rich staple food crops to reduce mineral and vitamin deficiencies among malnourished populations in developing countries.

Another SEARCA Senior Fellow, Dr. Tin Htut, a Retired Permanent Secretary of Myanmar's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation (MOALI), enumerated key characteristics or leadership traits and skills that could influence the culture of the organization, create positive impact, and drive change in his presentation on Scaling up Leadership for a Better Tomorrow.

Professor Joselito G. Florendo, SEARCA’s Deputy Director for Administration, served as host and moderator during the webinar. This SOLVE webinar was spearheaded by SEARCA’s Education and Collective Learning Department-Training for Development Unit (ECLD-T4DU), in partnership with the Management Information Systems Unit (MISU) led by Mr. Jaymark Warren T. Dia.