The difference between clever and smart people is mainly that clever people can get in and out of problems which smart people would not have gotten into in the first place. In the same light, faced with multifaceted challenges related to climate change, smartness would entail adapting our agricultural systems to avoid experiencing the negative impacts of climate change. In other words, climate smart agriculture (CSA) involves changing our agricultural systems to simultaneously address climate change challenges such as low food production, accelerated land degradation and increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. To achieve these objectives, agricultural systems should (1) sustainably increase productivity; (2) adapt and build resilience to climate change; and (3) reduce and/or avoid the emission of greenhouse gases. As will be discussed in this presentation, there is definitely no single agricultural technology or practice that can be universally applied to achieve these objectives. Nonetheless, site-specific assessments should be pursued to identify suitable agricultural practices, technologies, polices, financing and institutional arrangements that enhance smartness within a given situation. It will be noted that CSA is not necessarily based on new practices, technologies, polices and institutions. However, it involves holistically and simultaneously addressing challenges related to climate change by using a combination of familiar practices, technologies, polices and institutions in strategic but unfamiliar ways; that are not counterproductive. Moreover, the presentation aims to start a conversation on part of the work that has been done, is being done and can be done, through CIAT, to accelerate the transition towards smarter agriculture systems to ensure that, similar to smart people, we can avoid problems that complicate ours and the lives of generations to come.