KIT Sustainable Economic Development – Anna Laven

I’ve been working at KIT now for four years. And yes, I’ve found my niche. Initially I had an appointment for two days a week while I worked on my thesis. I’ve now been promoted and work here four days a week as a senior adviser on sustainable economic development.

This position fits well with the knowledge I gained during my PhD research in Ghana, where I immersed myself in the international cocoa supply chain. I examined all actors in the chain and their interactions, from the small-scale cocoa farmers to the chocolate manufacturers.

In my current role as a consultant, I still favour using the chain perspective as a starting point. By working together to identify chain actors and interactions, we can bring to light the opportunities for local economic development that are created by the chain, as well as its limitations.

I also like to help people working in the field to write down their experiences. Documenting knowledge is a powerful tool. It helps the person with experience to get his or her knowledge across. At the same time, by systematizing knowledge, it makes it easier for others to learn from another’s experience. And the beauty of it is that we as facilitators also continue to learn!

Anna Laven