DESIGN FOR agribusiness MANAGEMENT 2050

There’s a way to do it better — find it.
— Thomas Edison

Agribusiness is facing transformational challenges to double food production to nourish a population shifting from 7 billion people today to an estimated 9 billion people in 2050, all while meeting consumer demands for access to quality food, responding to climate changes and more .  Therefore, agribusiness managers face a daunting task to design sustainability strategies that tackle agriculture's transformative challenges.

If the global agribusiness stakeholders’ real aim is towards sustainable development, then agribusiness management fundamentals must be revitalized, assumptions challenged and the multi-stakeholder value chain reimagined.

Peter B. Lewis Building, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio US

Peter B. Lewis Building, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio US

Robinson named weatherhead DM Fellow

Pamela Robinson holds the distinction of being a Doctor of Management (DM) Management Design and Innovation Fellow, Fowler Center Sustainability Fellow and Non-Profit Management Fellow.

Robinson examines problems of design and the innovative practice of creating and imagining alternative futures in the context of managerial action; related to the management of sustainable enterprises and the development of non-profit and public sector.




Problem-focused/deficit gap approaches are insufficient to tackle the agribusiness transformational challenges. Alternative approaches to local agribusiness may provide valuable insights overlooked given their invisibility in the larger agribusiness value chain. Sustainability with positive organizational scholarship (POS) (abundance gap approach) offers an alternative perspective to examine the best of what is along the agribusiness value chain.

Therefore, this qualitative research aims to shed light on what gives life to sustainable agribusiness. Pamela is interested in lifting the strengths across the agribusiness value chain through the lived experiences of actors closest to the ground activities, particularly in developing countries.


28 May 2018 Humanistic Management PhD Network, Sustainable Agribusiness Research Presentation

10-14 Aug 2018    Academy of Management (AOM) Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL USA                                                                                 Theme: Improving Lives

05-09 Sep 2018 Poster Paper Presentation, The Role of Positive Deviance in Sustainable Agribusiness, Engaged Management Scholarship Conference, Philadelphia, PA USA

15-16 Sep 2018 AIM2Flourish Positive Change Story - The Biophilia Effect in Sustainable Communities: Serenbe

20 Sep 2018          Center for Positive Organizations, Adderley Positive Research Incubator, University of Michigan, USA (This event is for invited researchers only).

21 Sep 2018 Appreciative Inquiry Co-facilitator for Sustainable Cleveland Summit

24-26 Sep 2018     Advanced Workshop in Appreciative Inquiry (Certification Capstone), Case Western Reserve University

06 Oct 2018 Green Market — Connecting sustainable communities to local farmers. Farm-to-Park. Piedmont Park. Hands on Atlanta Day Volunteer Video

13 Oct 2018 Rivers Alive: Georgia’s Annual Waterway Cleanup. Etowah & Chestatee River Volunteer Project

31 Oct 2018 Greater Cleveland Food Bank — Sorting Project — 4,951 lbs. of produce.

02 Nov 2018 Poster Presentation, The Hidden Nature of Sustainable Agribusiness, DM Alumni Reception, Case Western Reserve University

14 Nov 2018 Guest Speaker to Early Advantage MBA Program, International Business and Social Entrepreneurship - Rollins College, FL

5-6 Jun 2019 Positive Organization Scholarship Research Conference, Organization and Sustainability Presenter: The Hidden Nature of Sustainable Agribusiness: An appreciative approach across the value chain

The Biophilia Effect in Sustainable Agribusiness. More to come…

The Biophilia Effect in Sustainable Agribusiness. More to come…


sustainable agribusiness development

Stories worth sharing--Partnered with the Farmer-to Farmer program (F2F), Robinson helped 68 members of an agri-coop in Senegal. Within 15 months this Senegal village doubled their revenue, increased member businesses from 68 to 120 due paying businesses. The agri-coop became profitable with cash in the bank; used profits to buy sheep and add two additional revenue generating activities to their offerings, built a permanent storage building to store products due to their growth. They now have financial books and internal controls in place. In addition, the leaders in the agri-coop set up accounts to address social issues in the community. Finally, the collective agri-coop is protecting the environment by using only organic materials for planting and natural ingredients in their soap making activities.

TTT Senegal

Agribusiness train-the-trainer program

Following positive impact success in agribusiness financial management training, Robinson designed agribusiness train-the-trainer programs which are impacting over 90 villages and thousands of people’s livelihoods.

I come as one, but stand as 10,000
— Maya Angelou