MARKET SYSTEMS SYMPOSIUM
DYNAMIC FORUM EXPLORING LATEST PRACTICE & RESEARCH IN MARKET SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT
WHAT IS THE ANNUAL MARKET SYSTEMS SYMPOSIUM?
The purpose of the Market Systems Symposium is to provide the inspiration, capacity building, and connections you need to strengthen and transform your market systems development practice. Join leading experts, practitioners, and donors from around the globe to advance conversations exploring innovations in research and the application of market systems development strategies, through inspiring dialogues, capacity building breakouts, hands-on tool workshops, and abundant networking.
WHAT WILL YOU TAKE AWAY?
INNOVATIVE STRATEGIES TO LEVERAGE DEVELOPMENT PRACTICE TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Explore the practical application of systems thinking to economic and private sector development strategies.
DIVERSE GROUP OF PRACTITIONER AND DONOR STAFF
Interact with practitioners and donors from around the world who are designing and testing the latest field-based analytical tools and development approaches.
WHO IS INVOLVED?
JOIN THE ONLINE MARKET SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
Check out the MSS-affiliated blog series, hosted on one of our partner sites.
WHAT MATTERS MOST
OUR CORE PRINCIPLES
Important social and market challenges are complex. The complexity comes from the multiple interests and the dynamic nature of the circumstances at play, and not from a lack of specific expertise. The Symposium focuses on these challenges that require different tools and tactics to gain insights and identify where change might be possible.
Genuine and authentic dialogue
At the heart of the Symposium is the belief that complex social and market challenges require honest, open, and frank conversations. The Symposium uses a range of creative methods and processes to move beyond superficial platitudes, and into deeper discussions about the various forces and interests affecting systems.
Learning driven by peer exchanges
The Symposium intentionally engages methods to increase the flow of information via peer-to-peer exchanges that can explore the many perspectives of complex challenges. Diversity is essential to deeper learning.
The Symposium is committed to ongoing learning that has to lean into difficult frontier discussions/issues.
Integrating thinking and doing
Often called praxis, the Symposium intentionally blurs the boundaries between research and implementation, focusing more on the process of quick learning through interactive thinking and doing processes.
Quality guided by clarity of evidence and effective inquiry
Complexity requires engaging many perspectives, but effective learning also requires quality controls be put in place to ensure information is grounded in valid and robust evidence. Applying a level of rigor via participatory validation processes is essential to building a foundation of learning that can evolve and improve over time.
Topical and responsive
Development is a dynamic process and there will be emergent challenges. The Symposium is committed to ongoing engagement with practitioners and experts to prioritize their threats, opportunities, and questions.
Commitment to systems thinking and perspectives
Practitioners working on complex challenges need to clarify/understand how real change can happen and systems lenses have proven effective at illuminating pathways in unique local contexts.
The MSS Fellowship is designed for the staff of local development organizations, local consulting firms, local consultants, and students. This Fellowship is not open to staff of international development organizations and consulting firms. Applications will open for MSS2023 at a later date.
WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY
The formal international development community will soon have been active for 60 years. Throughout that period - and even today - practitioners have asked how the positive effects of their projects can be continued after their Official Development Assistance funding runs out. This has been nothing less than the key question facing our industry for six decades, and I personally have heard it asked repeatedly since 1978.
The advent of the Market Systems approach to international development offers a viable answer to that question. Addressing issues of economic prosperity and social inclusion through market participants is starting to be recognized as the best way to ensure the durability of our solutions. Attempting to address those problems by working around markets through direct interventions has simply not worked. The international development community is accepting the dramatic advantages offered by working through markets. The Market Systems Symposium is the key event on the international development calendar where these ideas can be exchanged robustly, and ACDI/VOCA, as a leading Market Systems practitioner, will continue to support the MSS as it performs that important role.
Charles J. Hall
President & CEO / ACDI/VOCA