Business in Brussels my social media reporting experience
After my recent trip to Cameroon I was off again this time to Brussels. My Liat flight to Barbados had been delayed, will they ever surprise me? First stop was to Grenada then onto Barbados. Cutting it close because of the delay this has become a trend in recent trips.
While waiting in the immigration line I met someone who knew me. Apparently he knew my work so we networked and had a discussion about environmental issues.
8 hours later I arrived at Gatwick airport where I took the coach to Heathrow. My inner nerd made me stop and take a picture of a BB-8 unit that was on display at the airport. (yes I enjoy Star Wars.
Finally after boarding my British Airways flight to Brussels guess what I had a wing seat for the multiple time. I arrived at Brussels airport at long last. After clearing immigration and without any prior knowledge proceeded outside to a bus stop,where I spent some time trying to figure out how to get a ticket from the machine. A bus came, I jump on with faith that it was the one needed to get to my hotel. Still a little apprehensive I pulled out my phone and used google maps to guide me to the hotel.
Success! I arrived at my hotel and checked in. By this time it was 2pm in the afternoon Brussels time. I went to my room to get some much needed rest but after an hour decided to explore the city, typical behaviour of an explorer.
Now in much warmer clothing I walked through a beautiful park and went to see some official buildings in Brussels City. The evening grew colder and that signalled time for me to head back to the hotel. That night I got very little sleep as my body was still adjusting to the new time zone.
My entire Sunday was dedicated to social media training. I meet some amazing young champions in their own right. We started to interact with each other and bonded really quickly.
After the morning session the team went out for pizza, then it was back to work where we learnt more of each other’s culture, practiced using our social media tools, some branding and writing tips. For dinner we had fries and different meats.
Day 1 Blending4ag innovating Agriculture finance began, after registration and the opening remarks the sessions for the day were intense and sometimes technical.
I took part in a working group discussion on climate bonds which was new to me. Amazingly enough the hashtag blending4ag was the third top trending hashtag in Brussels that day. At the end of day one a lot of information was left to be digested.
Day two, the final day of the conference began where day one ended. This time I took part in the working group discussion on weather and risk management.
At lunch the team took time to take some photos. It was extremely cold on that day thank you Salina for sharing your gloves with me.( by the way she’s a superstar.)
So let me break down the basics of the conference. The public sector and NGOs alone cannot finance agriculture transformation and development.The fact that investors see agriculture as risky also is a problem. The big question was how then do we find innovative ways to leverage finance in agriculture?
On the plane back to Heathrow from Brussels the news broke that Trump won the election. A lady sitting in the back of me was noticeably distraughted. At Heathrow I got stuck in the immigration line for what felt like forever because my passport refused to scan. Because of this I missed the bus from Heathrow to Gatwick. Strapped for time I took a taxi which cost 110 pounds. Luckily my two friends were willing to split the taxi and the cost.
After all of that was sorted, I speed walked through Gatwick and made my flight to Barbados just in time.When I arrived in Barbados almost like deja vu my Liat flight was delayed for 3 hours.
In all this trip was a learning experience in many ways. My major take away from the conference was that we cannot always depend on governments and NGOs to transform the agriculture sector.