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Global Food Security Symposium 2021

In advance of the UN Food Systems Summit, US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman, Impossible Foods’ Head of Impact Strategy Rebekah Moses, and other global leaders discuss innovations transforming food systems.
Event Date

About This Event

Changing the Game for Food Systems Innovation

Our world is changing—can we change with it? The pandemic has shown the fragility of food systems and how their breakdown impacts health, economies, and the environment. Rethinking food systems is a shared responsibility that requires bold cooperation, commitments, and action from the public and private sectors. Game-changing innovations and high-impact solutions have the potential to radically transform the food system into a more sustainable, inclusive, nutritious and resilient one. How can new research, technologies, and innovations be leveraged? What are the impacts for people, the planet, and prosperity?

Event Schedule

Time Agenda
10:00 - 10:15am CDT Welcome and Keynote Interview
10:15 - 10:20am Spotlight: Research & Innovation Strategy
10:20 - 10:25am Remarks: Tom Vilsack
10:25 - 11:25am Panel: Game Changing Innovations & Solutions for Food Systems Innovation
11:25 - 11:30am Closing Remarks
Welcome & Keynote Interview Speakers
CEO, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Headshot of Ivo H. Daalder
Ivo H. Daalder served as the US ambassador to NATO from 2009 to 2013. He joined the Council as president in 2013 and took on the new role of CEO in 2023. Previously, he was a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution and served as director for European affairs on President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council. He is the author or editor of 10 books.
Headshot of Ivo H. Daalder
Mark Suzman
CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Headshot for Mark Suzman
Mark Suzman leads the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in service of its vision—to help every person have the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. He began his career as a journalist for the Johannesburg Star and then the Financial Times. In 2000, Suzman joined the United Nations, where he was part of the effort to implement the Millennium Development Goals under the leadership of then Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Headshot for Mark Suzman
Spotlight: Research & Innovation Strategy Speaker
Claudia Sadoff
Executive Management Team Convener and Managing Director, Research Delivery and Impact, CGIAR
Claudia Sadoff headshot
Claudia Sadoff is a globally-recognized leader in water management for international development. She served as the Director General of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a CGIAR Center headquartered in Sri Lanka working globally to find water solutions for sustainable, climate-resilient development.
Claudia Sadoff headshot
Remarks Speaker
Tom Vilsack
Secretary, US Department of Agriculture
Headshot of Tom Vilsack
Tom Vilsack is the 32nd United States Secretary of Agriculture. He previously served in this role for eight years under President Barack Obama. Prior to returning to USDA, he served as president and CEO of the US Dairy Export Council.
Headshot of Tom Vilsack
Panel Speakers
Elliott Grant
General Manager of Mineral at X, The Moonshot Factory
Headshot for Elliott Grant
At X - Alphabet’s 'Moonshot Factory', Dr. Elliott Grant works on the development of breakthrough tools to catalyze global sustainable agriculture. He was the founder and CEO of HarvestMark, the pioneer in food traceability, and CEO of ShopWell, a personalized nutrition company. He is the author of 32 US patents on topics such as cryptography, traceability, satellite imaging, and plant phenotyping.
Headshot for Elliott Grant
Dan Harburg
Vice President of Global Head of Carbon Quantification, Indigo Agriculture
Headshot for Dan Harburg
Dan Harburg co-leads the innovation team at Indigo Agriculture, a Boston-based company dedicated to harnessing nature to help farmers sustainably feed the planet. Prior to Indigo, he was an investor at Anterra Capital, a specialist food- and ag-tech fund.
Headshot for Dan Harburg
Riana Lynn
Founder, Journey Foods
Headshot for Riana Lynn
Riana Lynn is the founder of Journey Foods, a food tech company that supports cutting-edge product management and data services for food businesses. She's developed high-growth, nationally-recognized technology and food businesses. Her accomplishments have been featured on MIT 35 under 35, CNBC, Forbes, USA Today, Wired, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur Magazine, Food Tank, and more.
Headshot for Riana Lynn
Rebekah Moses
Head of Impact Strategy, Impossible Foods
Headshot for Rebekah Moses
Rebekah Moses leads impact strategy at Impossible Foods, a company addressing climate change and sustainable food futures through plant-based meat. Her work focuses on how product innovation and consumer behavior can maximize environmental outcomes through business growth. She works with Impossible Foods teams to integrate environmental and social mission into core strategy.
Headshot for Rebekah Moses
Louisa Burwood-Taylor
Head of Media and Research, AgFunder
Headshot for Louisa Burwood-Taylor
Louisa Burwood-Taylor is Head of Media and Research for AgFunder and chief editor of its news site AFN. She has covered a range of financial products and markets during her career, including launching two publications: an institutional investment intelligence service for the Financial Times and the first-ever title focused on agriculture investment, Agri Investor.
Headshot for Louisa Burwood-Taylor
Closing Remarks Speaker
Peggy Tsai Yih
Former Managing Director, Center on Global Food and Agriculture
Headshot of Peggy Tsai Yih
Peggy Tsai Yih led the Council’s continued work on global food and nutrition security and in advancing a more sustainable and resilient food system. She has 20 years of experience in food, agriculture, and natural resource policy, with nearly 15 years at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, DC.
Headshot of Peggy Tsai Yih
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