Agricultural innovation is a big topic today and many subtypes of innovation are debated and researched. Some of these include responsible innovation, mission-oriented innovation, and of particular interest to the Independent Science for Development Council (ISDC), inclusive innovation. Innovation for impact is essential but what does inclusive innovation mean, why is it critical for CGIAR and beyond, and how can it be implemented successfully in practice?

The promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to “leave no one behind” is a global development challenge with inclusivity at its core. The overarching theme of SDG 2 (zero hunger) also includes food and nutrition security (FNS), highlighting the interactions with most of the other SDGs; FNS is an indicator in 12 of the total 17 SDGs. While the goal of agrifood innovation is to benefit all, trade-offs are inevitable and must be made explicit to avoid its adverse impacts on equality.

Inclusivity in innovation matters, particularly in a development context. Hence, the ISDC developed a technical note that provided recommendations stemming from a literature review and expert consultations. This work led to the understanding that many frameworks for inclusivity exist. Harnessing this multirationality could lead to greater empowerment and ultimately to more impactful innovations.

To further this research, ISDC is sponsoring a special collection of articles in the prestigious journal Agricultural Systems (impact factor 6.765­). This call for manuscripts intends to attract proposals from a diverse range of researchers in innovation. Author teams are expected to be diverse in institution, gender, geography and origin, scientific discipline, and career stage. To enable a more inclusive approach to publishing, we particularly encourage early- to mid-career scientists, women, and scientists from developing regions to consider this opportunity. The supplement will be open-access at no cost to the authors.

The overarching goals of this article collection are to:

  • Build on earlier work on innovation in Agricultural Systems and the wider agrifood literature;
  • Review current practice and assess gaps in agrifood systems research to establish the rationale for inclusive innovation with particular attention toward future action;
  • Propose pathways for expanded testing and use of inclusive innovation modes, and to evolve institutional practices and mechanisms; and,
  • Draw upon evidence about inclusive innovation (e.g., empirical data; case studies) to the greatest extent possible (including evidence beyond agriculture and food systems).

This special collection of articles intends for practitioners and researchers to share evidence and insights about the scope and nature of inclusive practice and propose theories, methods, and pathways linking research to practice for more inclusive agrifood research and innovation systems. Collectively, manuscripts will enrich the evidence base for individuals, programs, networks, and institutions seeking to becoming more impactful by practicing inclusivity in agrifood systems innovation. Key arenas include understanding the need for further inclusivity, building capacity, setting boundaries, evolving institutional cultures, establishing enabling conditions and mechanisms, and measuring benefits from inclusive innovation.

For more proposal details, including the proposal template, please review the Call for Manuscript Proposals. The deadline for proposals is Tuesday, 28 March, 12:00 CET. All proposals should be emailed to