The 81st Plenary Meeting: World Cafe Addresses 'Technological Innovations for Global Collaboration'


7 December 2023

Washington, DC — In 2012, when the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) held its first-ever World Café session in Interlaken, Switzerland, attendees found themselves as the stars of the show. Rather than the people on the stage sharing their thoughts with the people in the audience, it was the participants who were doing the talking.
That tradition continued on 4 December at the 81st Plenary Meeting in Mumbai, where group discussions were arranged on 11 topics of international significance to cotton and textiles. Attendees were invited to select a topic based on their experience or interest and then participated in an exchange of views with others in the group. After deliberating the subject matter for an hour, all participants reconvened and a representative from each of the tables took the stage to spend a few minutes providing the highlights of their conversations.
Crucially, the groups were asked to not have a purely academic discussion, but rather, to emerge with some type of outcome — specific steps that can be taken to improve the global cotton and textile industry.
The following day, there was a 30-minute question and answer session, and in January, the ICAC will send a report providing a detailed overview of each group’s recommendations.
The topics of the group discussions were:

  1. Battling the Pink Bollworm: Cutting-Edge Eradication Technologies
  2. Revolutionising Cotton Farming: Global High Density Planting Best Practices
  3. Cutting-Edge Technology in Farming: Robotics and Machineries for Smallholder Cotton Farms
  4. Sustainability through Carbon Sequestration
  5. Empowering Smallholder Farmers: The Digital Revolution in Education and Support
  6. Fostering Entrepreneurship: Support Services and Opportunities
  7. Setting Standards and Assurance: Traceability Technologies and Certifications
  8. Diversifying Cotton Economies: Innovations in By-products
  9. Greening the Textile Industry: Promoting Eco-friendly Factories
  10. Cotton Sustainability Driven by Fashion Design and Communication
  11. Cotton Prospects in Technical Textiles 
The Chair of the 2023 World Café was Ms Roop Rashi, Textile Commissioner, Ministry of Textiles, India, and the session was coordinated by ICAC Communications Director Mr Mike McCue.
The 81st Plenary Meeting of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) had the theme, 'Cotton Value Chain: Local Innovations for Global Prosperity'. Scheduled for 2-5 December at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, the conference was followed by a Technical Tour of India's cotton and textile industries from 6-8 December. For more information and to see the full agenda, please click here.
About the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC)
Formed in 1939, the ICAC is an association of cotton producing, consuming and trading countries. It acts as a catalyst for change by helping member countries maintain a healthy world cotton economy; provides transparency to the world cotton market by serving as a clearinghouse for technical information on cotton production; and serves as a forum for discussing cotton issues of international significance. In addition, members can take advantage of the ICAC’s global network of cotton researchers, whose expertise covers the supply chain from farm to textile manufacturing, and have free access to its cutting-edge technologies like the voice-based app and virtual technology cotton training programme. Committed to ensuring cotton’s continued sustainability, the ICAC is the only intergovernmental commodity body covering cotton that is recognised by the United Nations. For more information, please visit www.icac.orgTwitter or LinkedIn