Albert Payaro is the CEO and Co-Founder of UrbanOasis, a food-tech start-up that transforms empty and underused city spaces into hydroponic urban farms. Holder of a MSc in Materials Engineering and currently studying Energy Engineering in KTH Stockholm, Albert’s vision and mission is to create a more conscious society by innovating in what he believes are the world's three fundamental pillars: food, water and energy technologies.
Alexander loves designing and managing new experiences at the intersection of innovative technologies, hospitality and communities. He anticipates and designs how technology affect our social fabric, the relationships we form and the way it shapes the urban environment we live in. He has worked at Philips, Apple and IDEO, leading the design across tactical and strategic projects in retail, healthcare, telecoms, consumer electronics, domestic appliances and IoT.
Currently Alexander heads the Interaction Design team at Method Europe - An experience design studio that crafts products and services by re-imagining customer experiences and translating business opportunities through branded behaviours. His passion for immersive experiences combining food, hospitality, retail, music, technology and art, led him to create a range of innovative experience formats.
Digital Wellbeing Labs - The first Digital lifestyle retail showroom. Applounge a physical app store in a bar. NAA8 a multi-sensory DJ performance event. Preservastory, a culinary platform using preserved ingredients to investigate the relation between cooking techniques and global cultures.
As collaborator in the Crossmodalist movement Alexander promotes awareness and mindfulness around all aspects of our day to day mundane and ordinary interactions.
Alison Irvine is an organizer of the Biodesign Challenge, a university competition that pairs artists, designers, and scientists together to envision the future products made with biotechnology. She graduated from Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts with a degree in Theater and Interdisciplinary Science and studied political theater at The Freie Universität in Berlin, Germany. She received the Hunt Fellowship for her work as a theater artist creating performances that centered on the emergence of new biotechnologies and their implications in the context of social and economic inequities. She researches creative practices that engage the public with basic science and new technologies in ways that promote social reflection and ethical scientific conduct. Alison has also written articles on the intersection of art, science, and social justice for Imagine Science Films and The Center for Genetics and Society.
Alpha Sennon is a Tribagonian farmerpreneur, motivational speaker and agri-youth advocate. He is the founder of WHYFARM (We Help You-th Farm) a globally recognised and award-winning nonprofit organisation established to creatively promote agriculture among children by increasing their awareness of the world’s food problems and by doing so grow the future feeders of 2050.
Ana Poštek comes from Zagreb (Croatia), where she has lived for here whole life, almost 25 years. After finishing her bachelor study of Agroecology she started her master study of Organic Agriculture and Agrotourism on the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb.
Currently, she has a position of Vice President of Communication in IAAS – International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences and her role is to connect more than 10 000 IAAS members worldwide and share with them different global opportunities and ideas for their personal and professional development with the focus on the innovation, sustainability and diversity.
Anne Bruinsma is co-founder of FarmHack.NL, a catalyst for data and technology driven innovation in agrifood. FarmHack mobilizes a tech savy and creative community for open innovation in Food and Agriculture through events such as hackathons and tech safari's. FarmHack is also involved in farmer centric IT projects and in building new data driven partnerships. Anne has worked for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs as a policy advisor on open innovation in the domain of food and agriculture. In 2013 she was one of the initiators of Agri meets Design, a platform that mobilizes design-thinking to address wicked problems in food and agriculture. She is the owner of Hackwerk Advies, a consultancy that focuses on user research and app development for farmers.
Annelie Berner is an interaction designer, teacher and data artist. She is especially interested in bridging and connecting across disciplines, often working through the medium of interactive and playful data visualisation. She is currently a faculty member and researcher at CIID (Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design) where she teaches programming and data visualization. She leads projects that span from researching and designing tools for dialogue on sensitive topics to tools for ethical decision-making among IOT developers.
Annelie’s work has won notable honors in the Core77 Design Awards for Built Environments and Food Design, as well has having been exhibited at the World Health Organisation, Red Bull Studios NYC and the Georgia Museum of Art.
She is a founding member of NEWINC, the New Museum’s incubator for artists, technologists and designers. Previously, she taught at Rutger’s College of Art and Design and Columbia University’s School of Architecture. She has worked for the Spatial Information Design Lab, was a resident at IDEO’s Digital Lab and worked at the New York Times’ Research and Development Lab.
Annelie graduated from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) and studied Government and Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard.
Anton is an architect turned entrepreneur with a mission to transform the way we live and work. Over the past 10 years Anton has built and accelerated dozens of social and tech ventures and is the founder and CEO of Exponentials. Anton recently moved to Stockholm to work with Tech Farm (Swedish coliving) as Head of Product and is a co-founder of the Village 3.0 movement and a food tech startup called Urban Oasis. Anton's passion lies at the intersection of design, entrepreneurship, education, real-estate and sustainability.
Brittany Dahl is a geo-tech Consultant for Esri Australia, with experience in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), conservation biodiversity, and sustainable food system science. In her current role, she is responsible for delivering high quality geospatial technical support, system solutions, and local courses in spatial analysis. Brittany volunteers as a TFF Ambassador, an ACT Fair Food Forager, and for the Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute in Australia. She graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor in Sustainability (BSc/BA), and completed an honours thesis on food security modelling. Her passion lies in technological projects that connect community with sustainable choices.
Charles is a Franco-Colombian professional chef graduated from ‘Institut Paul Bocuse’ cookery school in Lyon, France in 2006. After a classical training in kitchens in France and Italy, his work as a cook took a turn to collaborative research. He is currently conducting research on food aesthetics as Chef-in-residence at the Crossmodal Research Laboratory, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford. His work focuses on understanding the role of the senses in modulating flavour perception.
Christina Agapakis is creative director of Ginkgo Bioworks, a biological design company growing cultured products for partners across many industries. Her work brings together biologists, engineers, designers, artists, and social scientists to explore the future of biotechnology. During her PhD at Harvard, she worked on producing hydrogen fuel in bacteria and making photosynthetic animals. She has taught designers at the Art Center College of Design and biomolecular engineers at UCLA, and she once made cheese using bacteria from the human body.
Christine Gould is the Founder & CEO of the Thought for Food (TFF) Foundation, the world's leading next-generation innovation and collaboration platform for food & nutrition security. Her vision is to incentivize and share tech and business model breakthroughs developed by young people around the world in emerging areas such as synthetic biology, controlled indoor growing, precision agriculture, logistics and appropriate solutions for smallholders.
Cristian is the Co-Founder and CEO of Greengame, a startup that wants to make sustainable living the norm - where works with cities and brands to incentivise people to live sustainably by combining behaviour change and gamification expertise, with automated data collection technology. Cristian has been based in the UK since 2003, when he moved from the US to help British Telecom set up its startup accelerator. More recently, he led Canonical’s mobile program for Ubuntu, the Linux Operating System, launching the first Ubuntu Phone and breaking crowdfunding records with the Ubuntu Edge.
Daniel Grushkin is co-founder and Executive Director of Genspace. He is also the founder of the Biodesign Challenge. Daniel is a Fellow at Data & Society. From 2013-2014, he was a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars where he researched synthetic biology. He was an Emerging Leader in Biosecurity at the UPMC Center of Health Security in 2014. As a journalist, he has reported on the intersection of biotechnology, culture, and business for publications including Bloomberg Businessweek, Fast Company, Scientific American and Popular Science.
Daniel is a tech savvy, go-getter environmental engineering student with great passion for entrepreneurship and innovation. He started working at 14, and over the last 10 years has worked as cotton-candy street seller, interned at a geotechnical engineering company, founded a urban rooftop farming company that was selected as a finalist on the prestigious TFF 2014 challenge, and founded an educational startup (that pioneered the use of chatbots user interface back in early 2015) while simultaneously studying at University of São Paulo and interning at Qualcomm Brazil subsidiary in the ventures+newbusiness team.
Danielle Gould is the founder of Food+Tech Connect, the site of record and world’s largest community for food tech and innovation. Since 2010, Danielle has been the leading voice for leveraging new technology, investment and business models to create a better food future. She is also a founding member of the Culinary Institute of America's Business Leadership Council, a member of the Google Innovation Lab For Food Experiences and mentor for AccelFoods and Food-X. Danielle was named one of Fortune Magazine's 'Most Creative People in Business' and one of Fortune and Food & Wine Magazines 'Most Innovative Women in Food.'
David is a PhD Candidate at Rutgers University focusing on genetic improvement of under-developed crops for emerging markets. As a project manager for a USAID initiative, David oversees demonstration farms in Zambia, Kenya, and Tanzania, where research is conducted and best-practices are shared with farmers. David is a Kirchner Food Fellow alumnus and serves as a consultant to investors and businesses from incubation-stage through private equity rounds of funding.
Diderik is developing digital products for a better world. Initiator of Totem Open Health, the world's first Open Source, small and robust Wearable Health Sensor. Public speaker and author on Open Source Hardware and Business Models. Adept of Lean Start-up and Business Model Canvas: do more faster, together. Pragmatic Idealist, Facilitative Leader, Product Architect: always integrating technology, user experience and business into the optimal solution. Cum laude graduate in Computer Science and Economics, winner of the Medical Delta Proof-It Innovation Award, finalist of Unicef Wearables for Good. Asks why.
Eamonn graduated from the University of Guelph, Canada’s food university, where he focused his studies and extra-curricular involvements entirely on food, agriculture, innovation and leadership. He recently worked with small-farmers in Nepal scaling-up low-cost innovations and utilizing the power of digital to improve access to markets and improve overall quality of life. Eamonn is heavily involved with his 9 Billion Lives project in Canada, an impact investing platform, as well as being an associate at a newly created food and agriculture investment firm. Eamonn is also Kirchner Food Fellow alumnus.
Eleftheria Karyoti is the founder of Indiecomms. She helps growing technology companies and larger organizations to start new products & bring them to market. She has a soft spot for initiatives that help increase accessibility and empower people. Since March, Eleftheria has been helping the TFF team with Dutch and international media relations for the 2017 Amsterdam Summit.
Ellen Anthoni is a trend researcher and future fantasizer at Trendwolves, a youth trend agency. Her approach is shaped by her background in sociology and design: analytical with a creative edge. Through lectures and workshops she helps businesses sync with the next generation. As author of the Youth Trend Report she is in touch with young people internationally and supports them in their journey to fulfill their dreams.
Ellen has worked in a variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, health/nutrition, coatings and life sciences. In 2014, she joined PepsiCo where she is leading the R&D for nutrition category, which includes the fruit and vegetables, dairy, grains and sports nutrition platforms.She is also the interim CEO of EIT Food, the unique European innovation consortium with 50 leading partners targeting the transformation of the food sector.
Elliot Roth is the founder of Spira, a company that grows microalgae locally as a nutritional product. Elliot holds a degree in Biomedical Engineering and was trained at the Stanford d.School in catalyzing entrepreneurial communities through the University Innovation Fellows Program. He is a Kairos Fellow and a Seasteading Ambassador. Elliot founded the nonprofit DIYbio laboratory Indie Lab and has spoken at SXSW and Synbiobeta on the topic of social impact and food. Spira was chosen for RebelBio, Lighthouse Labs, and the World Food Programme bootcamp and is the winner of the CommBeBiz award. He is incredibly motivated to solve physiological needs using simple biological design.
Erin holds a BA in Women's and Gender Studies and Human Geography from the University of British Columbia, and a JD from the University of Alberta with a specialization in Environmental Law. She started out at as one of New Harvest's first volunteers in 2014, balancing her studies with various duties writing content and handling social media. Her long held interests in futurism, sustainability, and global catastrophic risk mitigation led Erin to the discovery of animal products made without animals, and she spent much of her time as a law student diving deep into the world of cellular agriculture. Following the completion of her law degree, she took on the role of Communications Director. Prior to working in cell ag, Erin spent time in legal advocacy at Pivot Legal Society and many years working in special education in Vancouver, Canada.
Gareth is CEO of the UK startup YAGRO, farming’s most powerful purchasing platform which helps farmers manage their input costs and ensure long term financial sustainability. He previously led a smallholder innovation team at Syngenta, spanning financial and digital business models to venture capital. Gareth began his career as a management consultant, and has worked in West Africa with the peer-to-peer microfinance lending platform, Kiva.org.
Gemma is Co-Founder of Science: Disrupt - an organisation connecting the innovators, iconoclasts & entrepreneurs intent on creating change in science. Gemma focuses on biotech, energy, space, health, advanced computing & changing the way we do academic research. She is also a Freelance Journalist, writing for The Guardian, Adweek, Imperica & Ogilvydo, covering science, tech, culture and politics. Previously, Gemma was the Tech Innovation Strategist at Ogilvy Labs.
Ger Baron, Chief Technology Officer of the City of Amsterdam, started his professional career at Accenture, working as analyst in the consulting department. In 2007 Ger started working for the Amsterdam Innovation Motor (AIM) as project manager to develop and enhance the role of ICT. In this role Ger was responsible for starting up the Amsterdam ICT-cluster and initiated several projects in public-private partnership. Amongst these were several projects related to the development of Amsterdam’s Smart City initiative. In his current role Ger is responsible for innovation, R&D and innovation partnerships within the City of Amsterdam. Ger is also president of the City Protocol Society.
Gregor Noltes is a Dutch entrepreneur, community builder and innovator. His project, Serious Playgrounds, offers an insider's view of the space that organizations create - away from the day-to-day activities - to create new things. Gregor has been involved in building Serious Playgrounds with Google, Philips and KPMG. Gregor was part of the founding team of startup accelerator Rockstart and is a guest lecturer on entrepreneurship at VU University in Amsterdam.
Guido is the inventor of the term 'FairChain' and founder of Moyee Coffee which is a FairChain coffee brand. He combines value proposition and financial resources as no other. Guido is committed to our Ethiopian farmers, with Moyee he organizes regular training for the farmers and he is the brains behind the Call The Farmer project.
Guillaume Charny-Brunet is a founding member of SPACE10, and Director of Innovation and Strategy. He is a French national, who calls himself a “lawyer in recovery”. Guillaume spent the last 10 years helping large organizations think and act like startups. From Paris, to New York, San Francisco and Copenhagen, he has worked at the convergence of strategy, sustainability, business and technology to bring radical ideas to life. Today, together with the rest the SPACE10, he’s on a mission to explore and design for better ways of living.
Henry Gordon-Smith is a sustainability strategist focused on urban agriculture, water issues, and emerging technologies. Henry was born in Hong Kong and has lived in Japan, Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia, Canada, Spain, Austria, and the United States. Henry is Founder of the popular blog Agritecture.com and a board member at the Association for Vertical Farming (AVF). Two years ago, Henry launched his company Blue Planet Consulting, a boutique urban agriculture advising firm where he helps entrepreneurs with vertical farming feasibility studies, recruiting, and systems design.
Hiroumi Takahara is the General Manager of corporate strategy to lead business development, marketing and technology development of SPREAD and its group company,TRADE Group, in Japan. SPREAD operates one of the world largest indoor vertical farming facility in Japan over 10 years and innovates food and agriculture with its cutting-edge technologies and market creation effort from Kyoto to the world. Hiroumi focuses on business development and strategy over 10 years at Sony and the Walt Disney Company Japan. By leading strategic planning of SPREAD, he is committed to achieve exponential growth of the company by bringing innovation in agriculture and evolve it to the next generational industry.
Holley is an entrepreneur, education producer and strategist using her passions for communication and culture to help emerging creatives, entrepreneurs, and leaders tell stories, pitch solutions and execute ideas that move the world forward. As Founder & CEO of Oratory Glory, a communication agency and speaker collective catalyzing diversity, Holley leads the development of learning experiences and strategy for companies, entrepreneurial communities, and schools.
Joe Fletcher is a co-founder and Executive Creative Director at Raft with 15 years experience in corporate design management and consulting. He works focusing on designing connected experiences for companies/brands. His previous leadership roles include Creative Director at frog design, and management roles at Microsoft and Intuit.
Joe regularly speaks on design at universities and conferences in the EU, N. America, and Asia. He led work at Microsoft creating the first touch based applications for Windows 7 and other programs at Microsoft Surface. His most recent work includes managing the user experience of IKEAs transition into the Smart Home space, and has designed connected technology experiences at Microsoft, Huawei, and VW.
GrowX B.V. is a vertical farming company. John worked in venture capital backed start-ups in: media, couture fashion, LED lighting and creative leadership in concept development, sales & marketing roles. John has a MBA from Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University and BA in History from Boston University.
John Cumbers has a strong background in the synthetic biology industry as founder of SynBioBeta, a global activity hub and community of entrepreneurs, thought-leaders and investors. John is an active angel investor through his synthetic biology syndicate on AngelList. He’s also currently writing a book titled “What’s Your Bio Strategy?”, a guide for any business wanting to understand the impact that biotechnology will have on their industry.
Julie Borlaug is the granddaughter of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug and the Associate Director of External Relations at the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M. Julie works to continue his legacy through developing agricultural partnerships between public, private and philanthropic groups to further the Borlaug legacy and expand upon his mission to feed the world’s hungry.
Julie is passionate about the need and acceptance of innovation and technology in the fight against hunger and poverty. She is also is committed to mentoring and training the next generation of “hunger fighters” and helping them to become part of the solution. Her quote “Fear of Change is one of our greatest obstacle to ensuring there is enough food to feed 9 billion people” was highlighted as one of the top quotes by global leaders by DevEx.
Julie is a proud advisor to thought For Food Challenge and on the boards of Planet Forward at George Washington University, Community for Zero Hunger, the Global Coalition for Attracting and retaining Youth in Agriculture, The Agriculture and Food Security Center at the Earth Institute, Colombia University, and the CropLife Foundation, Council for Agricultural Science & Technology and FarmLink
Karoline K is a senior communications designer at IDEO who specialises in visual storytelling, digital design and the circular economy.
She built the Circular Design Guide (www.circulardesignguide.com) – a collaboration between IDEO and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, outlining new methods and ways of thinking designers need to adopt in order to play a part in designing more sustainable, regenerative futures.
Outside of work, Karoline helps run Ada’s List - a network of over 4000 women who work in tech.
Keira Havens has been deeply involved in synthetic biology as a scientist, an entrepereneur, a communicator, and a thought leader. Her work has engaged all facets of the synthetic biology economy in the pursuit of beautiful biotechnology - well designed, elegant solutions to intractable problems. After receiving her Bachelor's in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2004, she accepted a commission in the United States Air Force. She left active duty to pursue a degree in a synthetic biology laboratory, investigating a test system using mathematical modeling to describe biological signaling.
After recieving her M.S. in 2014, she established Revolution Bioengineering, a biotechnology company specializing in floral trait development with the goal of pioneering a mass consumer biotechnology product. This effort inspired a discussion on 'good biotechnology', leading to the development of the One Sky Initiative, a third party dedicated to impact assessment in applied biology. Ms. Havens combines technical expertise and industry experience with a broad network in academia, industry, and government, giving her a comprehensive perspective when analyzing the opportunities and challenges facing the field of biotechnology.
Dr. Koert van Mensvoort is an artist and philosopher best known for his work on the philosophical concept of Next Nature, which revolves around the idea that our technological environment has become so complex, omnipresent and autonomous that it is best perceived as a nature of its own. It is his aim to better understand our co-evolutionary relationship with technology.
Lucas is an award winning interaction and immersive experience creator, technologist, and designer. Using Virtual and Augmented Reality, he is revolutionizing the integration of visual, human and interactive design with projects that change how we think about technology and the role it plays in our lives.
Marco La Mantia is a Senior UX/UI Designer based in Milan with extensive experience designing interaction models and visual languages for digital channels. He helps organizations deliver digital products and services that put people first by advocating human-centred design and offering tailored design solutions. While working in frog, he had the opportunity to conduct social impact projects in Uganda and Senegal, as well as to work on cutting-edge web portals like the recently awarded https://group.axa.com/. He has recently left frog working as an independent consultant, willing to bring his expertise to new challenges and contexts.
Dr. Michael A. Kock is the Head of Intellectual Property for Syngenta in Switzerland. He is focused on developing innovative new business models and IP frameworks that enable open innovation and increased collaboration in agriculture. He regularly lectures on IP and has published several papers on plant IP issues in peer reviewed law journals.
Nadia Laurinci is a serial entrepreneur and lover of shortcuts. She used to do things by the book until she discovered that the most successful people apply shortcuts everywhere to make their dreams come true faster. At the TFF Summit, she will reveal these shortcuts and help you say “f*** slow!” Nadia is the Founder of Laurinci Speakers, a talent agency. She graduated from the Wharton School before spending several years on Wall Street in the sharky waters of Goldman Sachs.
Nêmora Müller Reche is the Head of LtO Policy Affairs at Syngenta, currently focusing on women in agriculture. She joined the company in 2008 and has held a number of positions in Latin America and at the global headquarters in Switzerland. She is Brazilian and holds a bachelor in Journalism and a post-graduation in Business Administration.
Pedro is Director, Social Strategy as well as Co-Lead, Multicultural Social Media Practice at Horizon Media, Inc. in addition to being a contributing blogger at the HuffingtonPost, focused on emerging social and digital trends. He is a 2015 Direct Marketing News 40 Under 40 Award Recipient and FOLIO Magazine Marketer of the Year Winner.
As Director of Integrated Marketing at People en Español (Time Inc.) he led award-winning marketing and branding campaigns. During his time as a member of the Digital Innovation Group at Cohn & Wolfe (WPP) he worked across consumer, healthcare, corporate and technology clients creating social and digital media communication strategies. Pedro's branding and marketing experience includes roles at HBO’s New York International Latino Film Festival and Ocean Drive Español (Niche Media Holdings LLC).
Pedro is a member of OUT in Tech and a supporter of God's Love We Deliver in NYC.
Peter is a TFF ambassador, having taken part in the first ever Thought for Food Competition and falling madly in love with the movement ever since. He is also a plant scientist, public engagement enthusiast and writer, who has a passion for telling the world all about plants, biology and food (including insects). He spends most of his days working with agrilution in Munich, where he develops recipes to cultivate fresh, tasty greens and herbs ridiculously quickly in a smart kitchen device. In his spare time he writes poems and songs, taking to the internet to discuss issues ranging from why we should all be eating insects through to ensuring we have a secure food future for all. Peter also writes regularly for the Earlham Institute in Norwich about genomics, bioinformatics and the importance of big, open data.
Peter’s career spans the travel industry, graphic design, digital technology, entertainment, experience design and animation in New Zealand, the United States, Denmark, The Netherlands and the UK. He is most comfortable at the crossroads of industry and culture where, as he puts it, “the most interesting things happen”.
A firm believer in the power of diversity and serendipity in the exploration and discovery of truly breakthrough ideas and opportunities, Peter created Wok+Wine in New York in 2009 as the solution to a personal challenge - “how do I find the people I don’t know I’m looking for?”. Peter has experimented with the concept in 11 countries, producing more than 160 events and connecting thousands of seemingly unrelated people in the process. Peter’s current focus is on two ventures: DOTWORKS is working to create a better connected world; and Simply Does It which makes complex things simple through animation.
Rebecca Chesney is a Research Director with the Food Futures Lab at the Institute for the Future (IFTF), a nonprofit research group based in Silicon Valley. She researches topics ranging from the future of global food security to augmentation of human senses, leads partnerships and collaborations across the food system, and is a frequent public speaker to audiences around the world. Rebecca is particularly interested in using food as a lens for exploring ways to reinvent the way we live, work, and connect with one another.
Before joining IFTF in 2013, Rebecca was a financial management policy analyst with World Bank and a research assistant for the European Union's FoodRisC Project at the University College Dublin. She was one of ten accountancy graduates selected from across the United States for the Financial Accounting Standards Board's 2007 postgraduate technical program.
Culturally curious, Rebecca has lived and worked across the globe, from China to Palestine to Lesotho. She is an award-winning food and travel photographer and a Certified Public Accountant. Rebecca holds a BBA in Accounting and MS in Finance from Texas A&M University and an MA in the Anthropology of Food from SOAS, University of London.
Roberto started his career working in the banking industry in his home-country Costa Rica.He then moved to the agricultural sector and worked 15 years with the largest trader of fruits and vegetables in the world, where he had the opportunity of playing several roles in finance, operations and logistics. As Head Smallholder Policy & Food Chain Relations, Roberto supports the strategic direction of Syngenta in product and smallholder policies, build and maintain relationships with key NGOs, IGOs, industry groups and other business partners, and develop implementation plans with global, regional and territory functions. Roberto has had the opportunity of working in several countries, and has a broad understanding of the challenges that smallholders face every day.
Sebastian Cocioba is an Independent Research Contractor at MIT Media Lab working on novel flower design through bleeding-edge genetic engineering. Director at the education-oriented biotech non-profit, Binomica Labs, developing discovery-driven curricula for students in the molecular biology setting, both formal and amateur.
Dr. Sonia Massari has a PhD in Food Systems and Interaction Design in the Engineering Dept at the University of Florence. She is the Academic Director of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Food Studies programs in Rome and Director of Gustolab International Institute for Food Systems and Sustainability Studies. She works in partnership with 15 US Universities, and is managing Food Studies Programs in Italy, Vietnam and Japan. Since 2015, Sonia is involved in the creation of an international platform for Food Design Education on creating new teaching and learning formats. She is also on the scientific board of the 7th International Conference on Food Studies and in 2015 she founded and directed the first European Conference on "Understanding Food Design". Sonia continues to work as a consultant for food companies and research institutes.
Tim O'Reilly is the founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media Inc. His original business plan was simply "interesting work for interesting people," and that's worked out pretty well. He publishes books, runs conferences, invests in early-stage startups, urges companies to create more value than they capture, and tries to change the world by spreading and amplifying the knowledge of innovators. Tim is also a partner at O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, O'Reilly's early stage venture firm, and is on the board of Safari Books Online, PeerJ, Code for America, and Maker Media, which was recently spun out from O'Reilly Media. Maker Media's Maker Faire has been compared to the West Coast Computer Faire, which launched the personal computer revolution.
Timothy Marzullo received his B.S. in Biochemistry in 2001 from the University of Texas in Austin and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2008 at the Neural Engineering Lab at the University of Michigan. From 2009-2010, Tim worked as a research engineer for NeuroNexus Technologies, designing and supporting novel brain electrode technology for scientists around the world.
In early 2009, Tim co-founded "Backyard Brains," whose motto is "Neuroscience for Everyone" by designing and making inexpensive equipment (<$100) and experiments that allows scientists of all ages to study and understand the electrical activity of the the brain, muscles, and heart (and recently including plants!). The idea began as a self-imposed engineering challenge between Tim and his friend Gregory Gage to improve neuroscience outreach to local schools in Michigan.
With the generous sponsorship of the Kauffman Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Start-Up Chile Program, Tim works on rapidly bringing prototypes to market and designing intuitive experiments that teach students about physiology. To date the inventions of Backyard Brains are in all 50 States in the USA and 82 countries around the world.
Trevor Brown, CFA, is an independent ammonia industry analyst and agitator for the commercialization of sustainable ammonia synthesis technologies. He is the publisher of AmmoniaIndustry.com, a data and analysis website that tracks investments in new ammonia plants, and AmmoniaEnergy.org, the global information portal for ammonia as an energy vector. Previously, he was a theater producer, presenting award-winning plays and musicals in London and New York.
Vonnie Estes has spent her career with a passion for agriculture and sustainability. Currently a consultant, she was most recently she was Vice President of Business Development at Caribou Biosciences. Caribou Biosciences develops technology-based solutions for cellular engineering and analysis based on the CRISPR-Cas9 technology platform.Vonnie has held leadership roles at prominent companies including DuPont, Monsanto, and Syngenta. She has also worked with small start-ups and venture funds to identify and commercialize applied science. Her vision is to use new technologies to create revolutionary products in food and ag that are good for people and the planet.
Wouter Veer is an entrepreneur and impact investor. With a background in physics and mechanical engineering, he always preferred a systemic and analytical approach of things. In his early twenties, he started an employment agency, which later shifted towards a payrolling company, Pay for People. In 2014, Wouter stepped away from Pay for People and started foundation ifund. Ifund strives to accelerate the transition to a sustainable and resilient society, by stimulating entrepreneurship. In 2015, ifund acquired the 12.000 m2 former tropical swimming pool of Tropicana (Rotterdam) and is transforming it into a fully circular city. An ecosystem with 50 circular business, an impact incubator for the circular economy, circular events and catering, a living wet laboratory, maker spaces, offices, production facilities and much more.
Xiamyra Daal is concept developer at the Open Wetlab of Waag Society. She coordinates the Do It Together Bio workshops and guides the Open Wetlab evenings, where she shares her fascination and enthusiasm for biology with everybody. Xiamyra studied Biomedical Sciences in Leiden during which she gained her laboratory experience. Xiamyra loves to make things herself. Currently she is building her own lab at home