Dave Shephard  

Dave Shepherd

Expert in AgTech, Head of Digital Innovation Lab at Syngenta APAC 

Kopia Bez tytułu (24)
Speaking topics

Design Thinking Agile
Challenging environments
Driving Innovation and Transformation in One of The Most Traditional Industry AgTech


How new farming technologies will enhance efficiency and sustainable food production. How digital data and new technologies will transform the way that crops are managed in the future, and enable farmers and agronomists to make pro-active in-season decisions on their crop management, with greater confidence in the results. In this talk Dave Shepherd elaborates on it, describing the inspirational AgTech digital transformation journey from the viewpoint of the Smallholder Farmer in the Asia Pacific. He will tell the story of how true AgTech transformation happens, in the field, doing real experiments and not in an office suppressed by PowerPoints. Starting by putting colleagues at the heart of everything, then by walking every step of the way with Farmers, Growers & Retailers, Dave will showcase how the Syngenta Singapore Digital Innovation Lab is leading the way in APAC to digitally transform Agriculture and in the process becoming the most digitally savvy workforce in the world. At the end of this case study, you will understand how to build the most effective digital delivery lab within your organisation and (crucially), where other Corporates have gone wrong. 
• Hear how traditional app development is being superseded by “Going where the 
farmers are” 
• Understand the key principles of internal cultural change, and how to accelerate 
• Gain insight and understanding of how Singapore is unique in terms of Start Up 
support and Corporate partnerships, giving real life examples 
• See practical examples of rapid exponential growth gain through design thinking 
delivery and digital experimentation 
• Hear about the Failures and Successes in the life of Corporate Digital Innovation Lab 

A deep and provocative exploration of the human mind, its propensity for negativity and dissatisfaction as well as its potential for contentment and positive social impact.   Most of us experience a perpetual dissatisfaction with our lives. Some of us succumb to the overpowering sense of unhappiness, becoming depressed and essentially resigning from life, while some of us dedicate our lives to careers, relationships and everyday choices that fail to bring the fulfilment we long for. Unable to bare the discomfort of this deeply rooted unhappiness, we come-up with creative coping mechanisms that include dissociation, denial and distraction. We seek comfort in relationships, no matter how short-lived and dissatisfying they may be; ambitiously pursue ideals of success through careers, hoping to regain self-worth and a measure of happiness. We push, strive, and distract ourselves in order to avoid feeling the unbearable sense of unhappiness, which over time, becomes coupled with guilt and shame. A vicious cycle is created, affecting our relationships and limiting our ability to experience a moment of clarity, let alone happiness. In this talk, Anahita takes the audience through a rigorous cause and effect process that begins by taking an honest look at the human condition, fraught with unhappiness and dissatisfaction. From a systems perspective, she explores how inner disconnect, manifesting as a fundamental lack of awareness and a dysfunctional relationship to self and life, can be attributed to our interpersonal and global dysfunctions. As a student of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Anahita guides the audience through contemplative exercises to identify personal obstacles to happiness, along with their negative impact on the quality of life, relationships, work and everyday decision-making, before exploring the upside of human potential by drawing on contemplative wisdom and the power of imagination. The talk ends with a generous set of mind-training practices that aim to gradually reverse negative habits and empower pro-social behaviour as the basis for human flourishing. 

A deep and provocative exploration of the feminine principle, its propensity for disconnect and compromise, as well as its potential for happiness and social transformation. In this workshop, Anahita will take participants through a rigorous cause and effect process that begins with a realistic look at the experience of being a woman today, fraught with unhappiness and dissatisfaction at individual, interpersonal and global levels. Drawing on sociological and anthropological research, she examines contemporary stereotypes of femininity, primarily found in corporate/pop/consumer-culture, and examines their influences on our world views and self-image. She guides the audience to identify the consequences of low self-awareness, perpetual compromise, and the absence of self compassion, highlighting the immense toll this takes on the world at large.  Having identified the dysfunctional relationship with the feminine in ourselves and in the world, she examines various causes for the imbalance by drawing on contemporary neuropsychology and contemplative science. Anahita offers insights into the notion of authentic femininity found in the Eastern contemplative traditions, wherein the feminine is synonymous with wisdom and the natural clarity of the mind. She invites the audience to explore practices that gradually reveal the mind’s natural clarity, re-establishing the connection to embodiment and the domain of feeling, intuition and natural presence. The workshop culminates with a generous set of mind-training practices and takeaways that support the cultivation of the intelligent feminine principle in the areas of relationships, work and self. 


Much of our current organizational paradigm is defined by the early models of industrial capitalism, in which human beings were stripped of their complexity and utilized for their basic labour skills to meet rising consumer demands via increased factory output. Efficiency and productivity were the hallmarks of industrial capitalism, motivated by a fear of competition and an aggressive drive towards growth and market dominance. Since then, the predominant metaphor for an organization has been ‘the machine’. The organization-as-a-machine mentality has justified success at all costs, leading to economic prosperity for some, often at the cost of ethics, human happiness, and social and environmental awareness. This talk offers an alternative template for organizational success by drawing on Eastern philosophy and research in the field of contemplative science. In this talk, Anahita highlights the positive potential of organizations by first identifying the obstacles and dysfunctions that hinder organizational success at individual, interpersonal and organizational levels. Anahita examines the notion of an organization as a living system with a mind of its own; namely, its culture. She invites the audience to identify the attributes of an organization that is awakening to its positive potential, along with the impact it can have on its members and the world at large. With this talk, the audience will receive a provocative template for organizational success and practical instructions on how to foster bottom-up transformation by continuously shaping the mind of an organization. Anahita will offer a new definition of success, inspired by a world view that sees phenomena as interdependent, happiness as a key ingredient for sustainable success, and leadership as a responsibility towards increased awareness, ethics and social transformation. The audience will receive takeaways on how to harness the latent potential of organizations and leaders as forces for social and environmental transformation, while cultivating positive cultures internally and achieving bottom-line success.  

Bio note

Dave Shepherd is a head of Digital Innovation lab at Syngenta, the company which helps humanity face its toughest challenge: how to sustainably feed a rising population. Dave is responsible for digital delivery, innovation leadership, start up incubation and direction of experiments, new products, external collaborations and adjacent technologies across APAC region. For the last 10 years he has worked with radical innovation, lean start-up methods, programme management, IT, Digital and Strategic transformation with the UK and Singapore Government as well as large global corporations across the FinTech and AgTech industry. Strategic expert in design thinking, streamlining processes, increasing efficiency & providing technology base solutions. Thrives in challenging environments & adapts to ever-changing demand for digital Innovation. 

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