Conference session: Tuesday 22 June 14:00 CEST. Join this session to learn how people and organisations can be the game-changing innovation that complex systems transformation calls for

This session has taken place. A recording will be shared on this website in due course.

Political and scientific debates on addressing flaws of food systems are increasingly focusing on game-changers. It is one of the key issues at the upcoming Food Systems Summit. In the scientific literature, the concept of game changer has been broadly conceptualized as “macro-trends that change the “rules of the game”, like climate change, famine and (geo)political instability.

In this session, we approach game changers from a different angle. Our question is how and when individuals and organisations can act as game changers, contributing to new understandings, institutions and social-political relationships to govern food systems and more specifically seed sector transformation.

For this purpose, we first share key insights from the case of ISSD Ethiopia in developing collaborative governance at the regional level in Ethiopia.

We use the concept of policy entrepreneurship to highlight the use of ideational power of ISSD to bring about systemic change in Ethiopia, also pointing at risks involved. This serves as a starter of a broader discussion on policy entrepreneurship as a game changer in agricultural and seed sector transformation under different regimes in different countries.

Session objectives:

  • To gain insights on why and how ISSD Ethiopia was able to contribute to systemic change of the governance of the seed sector in Ethiopia, but also faced risks of politization, co-optation and control by public authorities.
  • To identify properties and strategies of policy entrepreneurs to act as game changers in agricultural transformation processes


  • Gareth Borman, Advisor Agri-Sector Transformation, WCDI
  • Dr. Otto Hospes, Associate Professor Public Administration and Policy at WUR, and Adjunct Professor IPB University, Indonesia
  • Representative, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MoANR), Ethiopia
  • Representative, ISSD Ethiopia
  • Representative, ISSD Uganda / ISSD Myanmar