To access short biographies of our 2016 presenters, please click on the presenter's name or photo. For the session times, titles, and descriptions, you can download the program schedule here.
To access short biographies of our 2016 presenters, please click on the presenter's name or photo. For the session times, titles, and descriptions, you can download the program schedule here.
Sunset Magazinehttp://www.sunset.com/ @@mtrue
Margot True has been the food editor at Sunset since 2006. Before coming to Sunset, she was the executive editor at Saveur magazine, and before that, a senior editor and writer at Gourmet. Margo has won several national honors for her writing, including four James Beard journalism awards and two awards from the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). She edited The Sunset Cookbook (Oxmoor, 2010), The Sunset Edible Garden Cookbook (Oxmoor, 2012), The Sunset Essential Western Cookbook (also Oxmoor, 2012) and was the lead author of The One-Block Feast (Ten Speed Press, 2011), a backyard-farming book based on the magazine’s James Beard Award-winning blog, sunset.com/oneblockdiet. Her latest project was Sunset’s The Great Outdoors Cookbook (2014), an IACP cookbook of the year.
Chief Development Officer
New Harvesthttp://www.new-harvest.org/ @@NewHarvestOrg
Gilonne D’Origny is the Chief Development Officer at New Harvest, the organization that is building the field of cellular agriculture. She is a lawyer specialized in climate change, sovereignty, and war crimes. She joined New Harvest in 2015 and established the organization’s
West Coast presence in early 2016. Before New Harvest, Gilonne worked in the private sector, integrating climate and justice in business, finance, media, and banking. For example, she innovated one of the first ever impact bonds at Citigroup (a finance facility for mine action in South East Asia); she co-directed and co-produced Stealing Klimt, a documentary about the restitution of Nazi-stolen art; she developed and ran IMG’s corporate responsibility and helped create the company’s peace building consulting operation. She has a BA from Brown University and an MA and an LLM from SOAS.
Basque Culinary Centerhttp://www.bculinary.com/es/home @bculinary
Diego Prado is a Chilean born chef and researcher who has worked in some of the best restaurants in the world, including Noma (Copenhagen) and Boragó (Santiago de Chile). Currently, Diego leads the BCulinaryLab — a research and development gastronomy laboratory with its own lines of investigation included within the framework of BCC INNOVATION (Basque Culinary Center Research and Innovation Center) — as a teacher and researcher.
Culinary Events Chef
Emily Hewett is the Culinary Events Chef for Chobani Greek Yogurt in New York City. In addition to traveling the country representing Chobani at culinary events and trade shows, she also works closely with the Chobani cafes. Most recently, she represented Chobani as a USA sponsor at the Rio Olympics developing recipes for athletes and sponsors. Emily graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina in 2014 with her Bachelor of Science in Food Service Management. While attending Johnson & Wales University, she was a Culinary Teaching Assistant, Private Caterer, and had the opportunity to work at the Master’s Golf Tournament in Augusta. In her free time, Emily enjoys boxing, pottery, dancing, volunteering and traveling.
Biome Makershttp://www.biomemakers.com/ @wineseq
John Dimos is General Manager of Biome Makers, Inc., a precision viticulture biotech. Biome Makers has developed next generation DNA sequencing technology to analyze thousands of types of bacteria and fungi in vineyards to provide risk management recommendations and solutions important from soil to bottle. Biome Makers is revolutionizing microbial and probiotic understanding and control in viticulture and oenology. John has 15+ years of innovative research experience using stem cell systems to model developmental and pathological processes. In 2008, John published the first report on patient-specific pluripotent stem cells. This work was named by Time Magazine as the top medical breakthrough of the year and by Science/AAAS as “Breakthrough of the Year,” and led to John’s recruitment as one of the first employees of iPierian, a drug discovery and development company that he incubated within Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Highland Capital. John established iPierian’s R&D efforts and their proprietary stem cell based drug discovery platform, resulting in identification and development of a therapeutic antibody for Alzheimer’s disease and the sale of the company to BMS. Afterwards, as Vice President at Mavericks Capital John supported all aspects of corporate development strategy, capital raising and M&A activity for the investment bank’s public and private clients in therapeutics, medical devices, digital health and healthcare services. John received a B.S. with Highest Honors from Tufts University and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University. He completed a teaching and research fellowship at the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Stem Cell Institute of Harvard University and was a Finalist with the Kauffman Fellows Program. John is currently enrolled in the Winemaking Program at UC, Davis.
MIT Media Labhttp://tangible.media.mit.edu/person/wen-wang/
Wen Wang is a bioengineer, entrepreneur and designer. Her research focuses on bio-fabrication and bio-manufacturing, involving interdisciplinary studies that combine the knowledge of biotechnology, advanced materials, and design. Her vision is to fill the gap between bio-oriented research and the real-world applications, by enabling technology easy to access, and products more affordable. She has been working on numerous research and commercial projects involving biological systems for various products, e.g. therapeutic proteins for cancer therapy, medicine in small molecule form, sustainable biofuels from waste, clean diesel without sulfur, and future healthcare and household products using biological living materials including the bioLogic garment. Her current research interest is to make transformable food that can change shape during making, cooking and eating. Prior to joining the MIT Media Lab and MIT Department of Chemical Engineering as a postdoctoral associate, Wen gained her PhD degree in Singapore-MIT Alliance, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering. Her bachelor’s degree was obtained from Zhejiang University in both bioengineering and intensive training program of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Portfolio Director & Brand Strategist
Meija Jacobs is the Portfolio Director & Brand Strategist for the renowned IDEO food group. Design is Meija’s not-so-secret weapon for creating a better future for everyone in the food system. With a background in psychology and advertising, Meija has two decades of experience helping Fortune 500 companies, start-ups and non-profits design brands, products and experiences—from a campaign to rally support for the Horn of Africa Famine crisis, to new beverage product platforms that inspire healthy behavior change, and a brand insight film on beer-drinking and millennial nightlife around the world. As a leader in IDEO’s Food Studio, Meija collaborates with companies like Whitewave Foods, Suntory Food & Beverage, and The Hershey Company, as well as Bay Area food innovators and restaurateurs to envision new products and build new brands. Meija loves sharing her design thinking experience and can be found teaching, speaking and writing on topics from female entrepreneurship to brands and behavior change, including CCA, Middlebury College, Fast Company, and TED Women.
Global Head of Food and Beverage
David McIntyre is the global head of food at Airbnb, where he oversees the corporate food and beverage program for Airbnb’s global offices. Prior to his current role, David’s career has included work in retail (Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s), culinary education (The Art Institute, Natural Epicurean), academic research, advocacy, and policy. David did his graduate work at New York University with Marion Nestle in Policy and Food Systems, and he continues to stay involved in advocacy work. (San Francisco, CA)
Deputy Editor for Innovation
Business Insiderhttp://www.businessinsider.com/ @arielhs
Ariel Schwartz is the Deputy Editor for Innovation at Business Insider. Previously, she was the Senior Editor of Co.Exist, Fast Company’s spinoff site focusing on world-changing innovation. Before that, she was the technology editor at Inhabitat, a green design site, as well as the site editor at Cleantechnica.com. She has also contributed to publications including Popular Science, SF Weekly, Modern Farmer, and GOOD Magazine, where she wrote a weekly online column about energy innovation. Ariel is the recipient of a Verge 25 Award for her work as “a leading voice on the promise of technology in the service of cities and sustainability.” In 2014-2015, she was an International Reporting Project fellow reporting on health and development in Brazil.
Co-Founder and CEO
Vijay Karunamurthy founded Nom with Steve Chen around their mutual love of cooking, community, and the potential of live video. Vijay led the engineering team at YouTube responsible for viewing, uploading and engaging with videos. Vijay also cofounded AVOS with Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, and cofounded startups in the financial space. He holds degrees from Stanford, UC Berkeley, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Executive Chairman and Co-Founder
Jonathan S. Wolfson is the Executive Chairman and co-founder of TerraVia Holdings, Inc., and co-founded and served as Chief Executive Officer at its predecessor, Solazyme, Inc. He served as Chief Executive Officer of TerraVia until 2016. Prior to TerraVia, Jonathan was Vice President of Finance and Business Development for 7thOnline, Inc., a supply chain software company. Immediately prior to that he co-founded InvestorTree, a SaaS/Internet based financial services company and was an adjunct faculty member in the Economics department at Hunter College (CUNY).
Jonathan has directed TerraVia’s overall strategy and execution since inception, leading Forbes to name him one of the “12 Most Disruptive Names in Business”. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) named Jonathan the recipient of its 2015 George Washington Carver Award, Biofuels Digest named him the #1 CEO in the top 100 people in the Bioeconomy, Emory University selected him as one of its “history makers”, the Clinton Global Initiative recognized him with its “Green Leap” award and he led TerraVia’s international selection as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer.
Jonathan has been an active participant in advisory groups including the Center for American Progress (CAP) Clean Tech Council and is a member of the board of directors of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) where he sits on the governing board of the Industrial and Environmental Section. He also sits on the supervisory board of Avantium N.V., a renewable chemicals company. Jonathan obtained a law degree from New York University (NYU) School of Law and an M.B.A. from NYU Stern School of Business. He has served as a member of our board of directors since inception and continues in an active leadership role as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Greg Shewmaker is the Founder and CEO of Food+Future and also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Target. A perpetual dreamer with a “push the limits” attitude, Greg has spent most of his life living and working around the world as both an entrepreneur and with large retailers. His personal commitment to complete transparency in our food system drives the Food+Future coLAB’s mission to create unique partnerships and unfair advantages in accomplishing our goals.
MIT Media Labhttp://www.mitopenag.com/ @hildrethengland
Hildreth England is the Program Coordinator of the Open Agriculture Initiative (OpenAg) at the MIT Media Lab. She is a behavior designer and registered dietitian who’s spent the last decade leading innovation and communications projects in nutrition behavior change for the Centers for Disease Control, the USDA, the University of Texas, and the City of Austin. Before joining the Media Lab, she spearheaded the Digital Innovation strategy for the Texas Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and managed the design and development of technology to nudge healthier behaviors in more than a million WIC clients a month.
Hildreth is also an award-winning performer and the founder of HESTIA design lab, and her food design work has been featured at the 2015 Triennale di Milano and in Il Cucchiaio d’Argento. Hildreth has a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, a BS (Hons) in Nutrition from Texas State University, and completed a fellowship in the 2015 Masters in Food Innovation Program (Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia). Her latest research is on triggering health-positive behaviors in food environments using emotive design language and Calm Technology.
The Culinary Institute of Americahttp://nearboil.com @nicki_briggs_
Recognized as one of PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 ‘Trailblazers to Watch,’ Nicki Briggs, MS, RDN, is a driven brand communications leader and passionate food and nutrition expert. As the Founder of Brooklyn-based NEAR BOIL Brand Commnications, Nicki acts as a strategic advisor, board member, and interim brand marketing leader across a diverse range of food, technology, and hospitality Clients at startup, mid-stage, and large organizations. Nicki harnesses her unique skill set to provide creative solutions across a robust range of services — including upstream business strategy, integrated brand marketing campaigns, innovation insights, product development, thought leadership, and corporate communications.
Prior to starting NEAR BOIL, Nicki led global communications for Chobani overseeing all public relations, social media, influencer marketing, customer service, corporate communications, executive visibility, government affairs, CSR, reputation management, nutrition strategy, and internal communications. She’s responsible for building the brand’s voice and played a pivotal role in transforming a once regional yogurt company into a one billion dollar brand in less than five year—gaining the company recognition as one of the fastest-growing startups ever. Nicki’s work at Chobani is featured in the Harvard Business School case study, “Growing a Live and Active Culture” along with hundreds of publications globally.
She also acts as a contributing writer and media spokesperson. Her expertise has been included in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The NewYorker, Health, Shape, Better Homes and Gardens, Fitness, Cooking Light, Eating Well, Redbook, Baking & Snack, Gourmet Retailer, Grocery Store Headquarters, Today’s Dietitian and Intermezzo. Nicki earned her Masters Degree in Nutrition Communication from Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (Boston, MA). She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.
MIT Media Labhttp://www.sculptingevolution.org/ @kesvelt
Kevin Esvelt is an Assistant Professor at the MIT Media Lab and the Leader of the Sculpting Evolution group, which explores evolutionary and ecological engineering and responsive science. The group investigates the fundamental parameters governing molecular evolution, uncover new ways of controlling bacterial fitness and horizontal gene transfer, develop safeguards and model systems for evaluating CRISPR gene drive elements, collaborate with groups developing gene drive interventions, and advocate for a new model of responsive science. Broadly speaking, the goal of the endeavor is to learn enough to rectify a fundamental flaw in our universe: evolution has no moral compass. Kevin’s work is currently supported by the MIT Media Lab, the National Institutes of Health (through a K99-R00 award from NIDDK), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Kevin received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) in 2010 for his invention of Phage-Assisted Continuous Evolution (PACE), a synthetic microbial ecosystem for rapidly evolving biomolecules, in the laboratory of David R. Liu. His work there was enabled and generously supported by fellowships from the Hertz Foundation and the National Science Foundation. PACE was recognized by the Harold M. Weintraub Award and the Hertz Foundation Doctoral Thesis Prize.
At the Wyss Institute and Harvard Medical School, Kevin developed several key technologies that utilize the RNA-guided CRISPR/Cas9 nuclease for genome engineering and regulation in collaboration with George Church’s laboratory. The most notable of these is the RNA-guided CRISPR gene drive, which may allow us to deliberately alter the traits of wild populations. It will eventually merge the the fields of molecular biology and ecological engineering.
Chad Robertson, a pioneer in naturally leavened, long fermented bread baking, co-founded San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery & Cafe with his wife Elisabeth Prueitt in 2002. The bakery quickly became a celebrated institution showcasing her pastries and his breads. Chad has spent decades apprenticing and collaborating with bakers, honing his signature style, and ultimately becoming one of the most influential bakers in the world. Lines form daily in anticipation of his signature country loaf - with its hallmark crackly crust and custard-like crumb. Recently, Chad’s endeavors have focused on ancient and heritage grains where he explores groundbreaking techniques and recipes for completely new breads. In August 2006, Chad and Prueitt co-authored Tartine (Chronicle Books) and he went on to publish two additional books, Tartine Bread (Chronicle Books, September 2010) and Tartine Book No. 3 (Chronicle Books, December 2013). The duo received the 2008 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. In Spring 2015, Tartine partnered with Blue Bottle Coffee, a celebrated third-wave coffee roaster, with the intent of bringing their complementary work to a wider audience. Chad became CEO of Tartine while Prueitt remained Executive Pastry Chef. In the coming years, Tartine will expand to other parts of San Francisco, LA, NY, and Tokyo.
Director of Bioinformatics
Daniel Almonacid is the Director of Bioinformatics at uBiome where his group uses computational chemistry and biology along with bio–chem–informatics to resolve important scientific and technical issues relating to the development of clinical microbiology diagnostic tests, functional annotation of proteins and genes and correlating taxa and metagenomic functions to different human health conditions.
Daniel is also an assistant professor of bioinformatics at the Center for Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology at Universidad Andrés Bello (Santiago, Chile). There he leads the enzyme informatics and phylogenomics lab which focuses on characterizing the effect of mutations discovered in whole-exome sequences of tumors, re-engineering of enzymes and metabolic pathways for biotechnological applications, and studying the evolution of function in superfamilies of proteins, and functional annotation of genomes and metagenomes. He is an active member of the International Society for Computational Biology where he served as program chair for the first Latin American regional meeting of the society, and currently serves as sponsoring faculty advisor for the Chilean regional student group (RSG) of the society.
Founder and CEO
Megan Mokri is the founder and CEO of Byte, a food company using proprietary IoT technology to offer the highest quality, most affordable fresh food solution to workplaces. Byte’s customers include Amazon, Sephora, Chevron, Williams Sonoma, the San Francisco SPCA, and food service providers like Sodexo and Aramark. Prior to Byte, Megan spent eight years in the online ad technology space, leading teams at Yahoo! and Ghostery. Megan studied biological engineering in the bitter cold of upstate New York at Cornell University and received an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. She lives in Mill Valley, CA with her husband, daughter, soon-to-arrive son, and two cats and two dogs.
Culinary and Media Director
Hestan Smart Cookinghttp://www.hestancue.com/ @PhilipTessier
Chef Philip Tessier is a founding member of Hestan Smart Cooking and serves as the Culinary and Media Director as well as Head Coach for Bocuse d’Or USA. Philip is part of a core team of scientists and engineers developing a cooking system that allows aspiring cooks and food enthusiasts a new way to cook in the home. With a focus on temperature control, video guidance, organization and technique, Philip oversees recipe development and media production, working alongside software and hardware engineers to bring solutions to the everyday challenges in the kitchen. Prior to joining Hestan, Philip spent more than a decade behind the stoves in Thomas Keller’s award-winning restaurants, culminating his career with Keller as executive sous chef at The French Laundry. Philip won international acclaim in 2015, winning the Silver Bocuse at the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most difficult culinary competition. Just a few points shy of gold, Philip became the first American ever to mount the podium and now continues to push the United States forward as the head coach for Bocuse d’Or USA.
Emilie Baltz: Food Design Studiohttp://emiliebaltz.com/ @emilie_baltz
Emilie Baltz is a food technologist, experience designer, multimedia artist, and educator who uses food as a material and metaphor for creativity and multisensory communication. She is an award-winning author and public speaker with appearances at TEDx, DLD, PSFK Conference, Ignite Conference, Creative Mornings, TODAY Show, NBC, Wall Street Journal, D-CRIT and more. Emilie is based in New York City and is part of the founding members of NEW INC, the first museum led incubator hosted at the New Museum. She is also part of the founding faculty of the School of Visual Arts Products of Design MFA program, and the founder of the Food Design Studio at Pratt Institute. Emilie is the author of the award-winning “L.O.V.E FOODBOOK“, recipient of Best First Cookbook in the World at the Prix Gourmand held annually in the Louvre, Paris; as well as the nationally featured cookbook, “Junk Foodie: 51 Delicious Recipes for the Lowbrow Gourmand“. She lectures and consults internationally on the transformative power of sensory experience in the lives of creators and consumers.
CEO and Founder
Food+Tech Connecthttp://foodtechconnect.com/ @@foodantechconnect
Danielle Gould is the founder of Food+Tech Connect, the site of record and world’s largest community for food tech and innovation. Food+Tech Connect’s newsletter, website, events and consulting help entrepreneurs, executives and investors transform the food industry. 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. In 2015, Danielle was named one of the ‘Most Innovative Women in Food’ by Fortune and Food & Wine Magazines.
Founder and CEO
Deepak Sekar is the Founder and CEO of Casabots, a Techstars accelerated company and food service automation innovator. Casabots reduces the need for tedious, repetitive tasks in industrial kitchens through robotics.
Prior to Casabots, Deepak served as a Director at Rambus and as a Chief Scientist at MonolithIC 3D Inc. A recognized leader and lover of learning, he has managed several engineering and marketing teams, handled IP portfolios, and built B2B sales relationships. An inventor of more than 100 patents, Deepak received his Bachelor of Technology from IIT Madras in 2003 and PhD from Georgia Tech in 2007.
Basque Culinary Centerhttp://www.bculinary.com/es/home @bculinary
Joxe Mari Aizega is General Manager of Basque Culinary Center, which fuses gastronomic sciences with research and innovation at the Center on Food and Gastronomy. This center is the first Gastronomic School in Spain to offer an official Degree in Gastronomy and Culinary Arts.
The founder and pioneer of this center, Joxe Mar created it thanks to the support of public institutions, some of the world’s most famous chefs, private companies, and Mondragon University.
Joxe Mari earned a degree in Business and Law and a PhD in Law from the
University of the Basque Country. He worked as a Law professor at the University of the Basque Country and Faculty of Business in the University of Mondragon. He was also Vice Chancellor of Mondragón University.
Peter Klosse is the creator of a wine and food pairing concept that evolved into an innovative and comprehensive theory on flavor and tasting. His theory was scientifically validated in his PhD thesis ‘The concept of flavor styles to classify flavors’ (2004, Maastricht University). It’s also the subject of his 2014 book release, “The Essence of Gastronomy: Understanding the flavor of foods and beverages.”
Peter’s new flavor theory can be used to address myriad food issues and provides explanations to questions that have long seemed too difficult to answer. To enhance his research capacity and international connections, Peter founded The Academy for Scientific Taste Research (T.A.S.T.E.), which focuses on research behind deliciousness and consumer acceptance to promote healthy food choices by individuals.
Peter also owns a five-star hotel and restaurant with a long Michelin star history and is a member of the Google Food Lab.
Co-Founder & CEO
Mike Koeris is a co-founder and CEO of Sample6, a Synthetic Biology startup aiming to improve the health and safety of global consumers. Sample6 is developing integrated systems that can quickly and easily detect harmful and unwanted bacteria in the food, healthcare, and other industries. Mike also co-founded the nonprofit BiotechStart.org to facilitate the dissemination of successful business models for biotech startups, increase awareness amongst prospective founders and help start more biotech companies.
Before starting Sample6 and BiotechStart, Mike completed his doctoral work on network approaches to combat antibiotic-tolerant bacteria with Professor James Collins at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Boston University. While working on his thesis Michael co-developed Sample6’s technology, working with Tim Lu. Mike remains a visiting scholar with the Synthetic Biology Group at MIT. Prior to his doctoral degree, Mike graduated with a M.S. in Biochemistry from the Free University of Berlin, and was a recipient of the German Academic Exchange Fellowship (DAAD) to study at MIT. In addition to his scientific work, Mike previously worked at KPMG Consulting and McKinsey & Company in Germany, as well as Flagship Ventures in Cambridge.
The Hartman Grouphttp://www.hartman-group.com/ @HartmanGroup
Laurie Demeritt is the CEO of The Hartman Group, a consultancy focused on identifying demand-side trends in the food and beverage industry, where she drives vision, strategy and operations.
Laurie oversees client projects focused on issues of portfolio management, brand renovation, consumer insights and innovation. She is a nationally recognized authority on consumer behavior and culture, and received her MBA from the University of Washington (Seattle) and her BA from Cornell University (Ithaca).
Co-Founder and CEO
Kevin Brown is the CEO and Co-founder of Innit. Kevin is an accomplished entrepreneur and executive, with more than 20 years experience in the networking, storage, security, and cloud sectors.
Prior to joining Innit, Kevin was on the ground floor of several startups serving in key leadership roles, including CEO of Kidaro (acquired: MSFT), Vice President at Decru (acquired: NTAP), and Vice President/General Manager and founding team at Internet infrastructure pioneer Inktomi (NASDAQ: INKT, acquired: YHOO).
Kevin is a Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business where he sits on the Dean’s Advisory Council, and earned his Bachelor’s and MBA degrees at UC Berkeley, where he served as MBA class president.
Head of Data Science
The Weather Company, an IBM Businesshttp://wiredgeo.blogspot.com/ @MichaelRFerrari
Michael Ferrari is the head of data science for the ad products team at The Weather Company, an IBM Business. In this role, he is responsible for defining the data science strategy across all of Weather’s advertising products, which includes LocationFX, WeatherFX, and AudienceFX. Michael leads a team of data scientists, engineers, and product managers in developing and implementing scalable, data-driven solutions for audience targeting, mobile and location-based targeting, ad attribution, and performance tracking across all of our ad products. He works closely with Weather’s leadership team to identify opportunities that leverage our massive sets of weather, location, and audience data in order to uncover business and consumer insights, and build predictive models for blue chip marketers. Michael is also an affiliate scientist with The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Applications Laboratory and an active board member on the American Meteorological Society’s Board on Global Strategies. He is also a research affiliate at the MIT Media Lab where he works on the OpenAG initiative towards the exploration and development of future food systems. Michael holds a doctorate in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics and Evolutionary Biophysics, and a master of science degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Well versed in food, biological, and health sciences as well as cutting-edge food, beverage, information, and education technologies — Dr. Matthew Lange guides teams toward designing and implementing knowledge environments the enable end-users to make new and insightful discoveries, create new products, and improve human living conditions.
In addition to teaching Food Product Innovation and Development, a capstone class for Food Science seniors at UC Davis, Matthew publishes, teaches, and consults internationally on strategies and conceptual models for enterprise and industrial-scale within infrastructures in the realms of agriculture, food, diet, health, and knowledge.
As Associate Director of the UC Davis Initiative for Wireless Health and Wellness and the Principle Investigator for International Center for Food Ontology Operability Data and Semantics (IC-FOODS) at UC Davis, Matthew is leading efforts to build the semantic and ontological underpinnings for the emerging Semantic Web and Internet of Food. The Semantic Web and Internet of Food hold promise to fundamentally alter the way we produce, process, deliver, and consume food. This initiative is giving rise to ecosystems of next-generation knowledge tools that lower technical innovation barriers for the creation of novel, traceable, and ecologically-friendly foods, products, medicines, and lifestyle regimens that are precisely personalized for health and delight yet aggregatable for population and market analyses.
MIT Media Labhttps://www.media.mit.edu/research/groups/social-machines @medialab
Neo ‘Mostafa’ Mohsenvand is a research assistant and a second-year PhD student at MIT Media Lab. Neo’s work focuses on pattern discovery in human-generated data. In particular, he is developing algorithms and exploratory data analysis tools to probe the complex socio-bio-economical structure of food.
He has an MSc degree in mathematics from Oxford University and has done research on Systems Neuroscience, Mathematical Modelling of Complex systems and Network Science.
CEO and Founder
Moley Roboticshttp://www.moley.com/ @MoleyRobotics
An accomplished PhD mathematician, computer scientist, and proven trailblazer — Mark Oleynik is behind the revolutionary company, Moley Robotics.
Moley Robotics has created the world’s first fully automated and intelligent cooking robot. It learns recipes, cooks them, and even cleans up after itself! Moley is turning the dream of unlimited access to chefs and their recipes, worldwide, into a reality. Moley gives consumers the ability to have a robot produce meals from around the world in their own homes.
Prior to founding Moley Robotics, Mark was a co-founder and major shareholder of a number of international and Russian companies in healthcare sector. Earlier in his career, Mark exercised his passion for building successful products at Pavlov First Saint Petersburg State Medical University and smaller companies. Mark Oleynik is a driven leader and passionate expert in the fields of robotics and healthcare.
CEO and Co-Founder
Biome Makershttp://www.biomemakers.com/ @wineseq
With recognition from the Spanish Government, Illumina Accelerator, and MIT Technology Review — Adrian Ferrero is a self-described entrepreneur on a mission to change the world.
Growing up, Adrian helped his grandfather with his wine harvest and winemaking process. This inspired him to co-found Biome Makers and create its patented WineSeq technology. This state-of-the-art process brings an overdue update to the world of wine by identifying the role of microorganisms in wine and soil quality and helps to optimize the role of terroir.
Prior to Biome Makers, Adrian founded three startups, including AC-Gen Reading Life S.L., InnoEconomy, and Prevema. He has also worked as an innovation consultant for more than nine years focused on public funding in the fields of entrepreneurship, innovation, and the future of the internet. Adrian holds a Master of Science in Economics.
National Institute of Food & Agriculturehttps://nifa.usda.gov/office/office-director @USDA_NIFA
As Deputy Director at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of USDA, Parag Chitnis leads NIFA’s Institute of Food Production and Sustainability (IFPS), which supports research and extension activities in plant, animal, and agricultural systems. IFPS manages a budget of about $660 M for competitive and capacity grants. Prior to joining NIFA, Parag was a research administrator at the National Science Foundation (NSF) – Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, where he served as division director, deputy division director, and program director. As the division director, he was responsible for an annual budget of approximately $125 million in research grants. In addition to leading the division, he managed many inter-directorate programs at NSF, developed collaborations with agencies in other countries, and represented NSF in several interagency activities, such as National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity and the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council.
Prior to joining NSF, Parag was a professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology at Iowa State University, and was an assistant professor in the Division of Biology at Kansas State University. As a researcher at these universities, he received more than $4 million in research grants from federal and private sources including funding from NIFA, NSF, and NIH. Parag authored over 100 peer-reviewed or invited publications in the areas of plant biochemistry, photosynthesis and proteomics. He has mentored over 50 undergraduate students, MS and PhD students, post-doctoral fellows, and AAAS fellows.
Parag has a B.S. in botany/plant breeding from the Konkan Agricultural University in India, an M.S. in genetics/biochemistry from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, and Ph.D. in biology from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Chief of R&D
Hampton Creekhttps://www.hamptoncreek.com/ @hamptoncreek
Dr. James (Jim) Flatt joined Hampton Creek as Chief of R&D and Chief Science Officer in 2015. Prior to Hampton Creek, Jim served as Chief Technology Officer and later as the President of Genovia Bio, a renewable products division, of Synthetic Genomics Inc., leading the development and commercialization of several microalgal-based products and execution of several major product and technology partnerships.
Previously Jim served in R&D leadership roles at Mascoma Corporation, Martek Biosciences, Monsanto and Merck, resulting in the discovery, development and commercialization of several major nutritional and performance ingredients commonly used in the food and specialty chemicals industries. Jim received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA) and graduate degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of California-Berkeley (Berkeley, CA) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI). Jim served as the Chairman of the Industrial Advisory Board for the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Marine Biotechnology (MarBEC) at the Universities of Hawaii and California-Berkeley.
Founder and CEO
Studio Industrieshttp://studioindustries.com/ @StudioIndustries
Mike Lee is the founder of Studio Industries, a food product design and innovation studio, and founder of the Future Market, a futurist food lab that explores what our food system could look like in the year 2065. The Future Market creates concept food products, events, and research to enhance how the food world innovates today, by thinking more ambitiously about tomorrow. Mike’s experience in food design and innovation has covered a wide range over the past 10 years. Most recently, Mike led product development initiatives on the Innovation and New Ventures team at Chobani. At Chobani, Mike focused on building out the Greek Yogurt maker’s product platform into new categories and he drove the product design process from research, insights and ideation, to food, flavor and packaging development, and then finally to business planning and production. Mike also led the development of the company’s innovation pipeline process, which impacted both the company’s product development methodology as well as the culture of innovation across all employees. Mike also founded the Studiofeast underground supperclub, a sister organization to Studio Industries. Studiofeast creates unique dining experiences that use food as a medium to design experiences that range from the artful, to the educational, to the hedonistic. The Studiofeast project acts as a conceptual test lab for Studio Industries and provides a platform with unlimited creative freedom to explore new ideas in food. While Studiofeast and Studio Industries have seemingly different goals, they are both closely connected in the spirit of using food as a creative design tool. Mike is a Detroit native and was trained in Business at the University of Michigan and Design at the Parsons School of Design. He now lives in Brooklyn, NY.
University of Pennsylvaniahttps://sites.sas.upenn.edu/rozin
Paul Rozin, PhD, is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Paul was born in Brooklyn, New York. He attended the University of Chicago (Chicago, IL), receiving an AB in 1956, and received a PhD in both Biology and Psychology from Harvard (Cambridge, MA), in 1961. His thesis research was sponsored by Jean Mayer. He spent two subsequent years working with Jean Mayer as an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Since then, he has been a member of the Psychology Department at the University of Pennsylvania. Over the last 25 years, the major focus of his research has been human food choice, considered from biological, psychological and anthropological perspectives. During this period, he has studied the psychological significance of flavorings placed on foods in different cuisines, the cultural evolution of cuisine, the development of food aversions, the development of food preferences, family influences in preference development, body image, the acquisition of liking for chili pepper, chocolate craving, and attitudes to meat, Most recently, major foci of attention have been the emotion of disgust, the entry of food issues (e.g., meat, fat) into the moral domain in modern American culture, French-American differences in the food domain, attitudes to recycled water, the psychology of music, and the nature of remembered pleasure. Some of his recent research is carried out in France, Japan and India, as well as the United States.
Paul is a member of the Society of Experimental Psychologists, has twice been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, was a visiting Scholar for Phi Beta Kappa, and a Visiting Scholar for one year at the Russell Sage Foundation. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award for 2007. He was an editor of the journal, Appetite, for ten years. (Philadelphia, PA)
MIT Media Lab, Tangible Media Grouphttps://www.media.mit.edu/ @liningy
Lining Yao is conducting her PhD research on material and interaction design at MIT Media Lab. To Lining — a kitchen is a lab for smart material inventions. And, food is media.
Lining’s work focuses on the transformation of food materials created during the action of baking, boiling, microwaving and frying, including the physical changes in shape, color, and texture.
Lining is originally from Inner Mongolia.
Professor of Experimental Psychology
Professor Charles Spence heads Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory. His interests lie in trying to apply the latest insights concerning the multi-sensory nature of human perception to the real world, in everything from the design of food and packaging, to car warning signals.
He has worked with a number of the world’s top chefs, including Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck (London, EN) and Ferran Adriá’s research kitchen. Currently he is collaborating with the next generation of modernist chefs, with molecular mixologists, chocolatiers, culinary artists, designers, and composers on multi-sensory experience design.
Charles’s research lies at the interface of modernist cuisine and commercial food and beverage design. Over the years, he has worked with many of the world’s largest food and beverage companies, including PepsiCo, Unilever, Diageo, Pernod Ricard, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Twinings, Molson Coors, Unilever, Mars, and Neal’s Yard Dairy. Charles is an expert in the field of multi-sensory perception and neuroscience-inspired design. He has published more than 700 articles as well as authoring and editing eight books, including the The Perfect Meal, together with Betina Piqueras-Fiszman in 2014.
He directs the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at Oxford University’s Department of Experimental Psychology, and has been awarded a number of national and international prizes for his research. Charles is a passionate advocate of the application of the latest insights from experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience to the design of better-tasting, more stimulating, more memorable, and healthier food and drink experiences – an approach that comes under the banner of gastrophysics.
Founder and Director
Accessible Sciencehttps://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/news/henry-hoby-wedler @hobywedler
Dr. Henry “Hoby” Wedler, blind since birth, is the founder and director of the nonprofit Accessible Science. Henry is also host of the truly blind wine and beer tasting experiences. In 2012, Hoby was one of only 14 individuals honored at the White House when he was named one of President Barack Obama’s Champions of Change for enhancing educational and employment opportunities for Americans with disabilities.
Hoby’s work in the food and drink industry was generously recognized by Forbes Magazine when he was named one of Forbes’ 2016 30 under 30 in the food and drink category. Hoby completed his Ph.D. from University of California. (Davis, CA)
Hoby was raised in Petaluma, California where early on he fell in love with beautiful Sonoma County. When he is not busy pursuing his academic studies or leading his blind or visually impaired chemistry camp students in conducting hands-on organic lab experiments through touch and smell, he turns his attention to food and drink – where he’s most passionate about flavor, accurate flavor descriptors, and how flavor and aroma relate to science.
Prevention Research Center at Yale Universityhttp://www.truehealthinitiative.org/ @DrDavidKatz
David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM is the founding director of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center and current president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He earned his BA degree from Dartmouth College (1984); his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1988); and his MPH from the Yale University School of Public Health (1993). David completed sequential residency training in Internal Medicine, and Preventive Medicine/Public Health. He is a two-time diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and a board-certified specialist in Preventive Medicine/Public Health. He has received two honorary doctorates.
Dr. Katz has published more than 200 scientific articles and textbook chapters, and 15 books to date, including multiple editions of leading textbooks in both preventive medicine and nutrition. Recognized globally for expertise in nutrition, weight management, and the prevention of chronic disease, he has a social media following of well over half a million. In 2015, he established the True Health Initiative to help convert what we know about lifestyle as medicine into what we do about it, in the service of adding years to lives and life to years around the globe. (Derby, CT)
Co-Founder and CEO
Perfect Dayhttp://www.perfectdayfoods.com @perfectdayfoods
Ryan Pandya is the co-founder and CEO of Perfect Day. Ryan is a bioengineer and entrepreneur and studied Chemical and Biological Engineering at Tufts University (Medford, MA), where he contributed to early cultured meat research. After graduating, Ryan spent a year working at MassBiologics (Boston, MA), a biomedical company, where he honed skills in cell line development and small-scale bio-manufacturing. In May 2014, along with Perumal Gandhi, Ryan started Perfect Day, a company that is developing new technology and processes way to make dairy foods without cows.
Director of Programs and Culinary Nutrition
The Culinary Institute of Americahttp://www.ciaprochef.com/
SOPHIE EGAN is director of programs and culinary nutrition for strategic initiatives at The Culinary Institute of America, where she oversees a portfolio of the college’s food industry leadership initiatives focused on health and sustainability. Sophie has written on food and health for The New York Times’ Well section, WIRED, and Sunset magazine, where she contributed to The Sunset Cookbook and The One-Block Feast book. Sophie has also worked as a communications consultant for clients including eBay Foundation, Health Career Connection, and The Vitality Institute on its Food@Work initiative. She holds a master’s degree of public health, with a focus on health and social behavior, from UC Berkeley, where she was a Center for Health Leadership Fellow. She also holds a B.A. with honors in history from Stanford University. She is the author of a forthcoming book on American food culture (William Morrow/HarperCollins, May 2016)
Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences
MIT Media Labhttps://www.media.mit.edu/research/groups/playful-systems @slavin_fpo
Kevin Slavin is faculty and founder of the Playful Systems group at the MIT Media Lab. His group focuses on building systems that delight, instead of systems that explain. These range from mobile games to urban metagenomics.
Prior to MIT, he co-founded several companies including Area/Code (which worked with Nike, Nokia, Disney and others to pioneer locative and cross-platform entertainment, acquired by Zynga in 2011); Everybody at Once, an audience development platfotm for BBC America and others; and Collective Decision Engines, a software applying behavioral economics to market research.
His most recent work with MIT was part of the Venice Architecture Biennale, and his background includes 10 years as creative and strategy at DDB, Chiat, and others. His TED talk on how Algorithms Shape the World has been overexposed on the Internet and other places people watch videos. He has been written about in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, WIRED, and Fast Company. He received his BFA from the Cooper Union.
Co-Founder/Culinary Scientist, Pilot R&D; Northern California and New York, NY
Pilot R+Dhttp://www.pilotrd.com/ @AliBouzari
Ali Bouzari is a culinary scientist, author, educator, and co-founder of Pilot R+D, a culinary research and development company based in northern California. As a chef with a Ph.D. in food biochemistry, Ali has helped to lead the charge in changing the way we think about cooking by teaching and developing curriculum at top universities, from ivy league schools to the Culinary Institute of America, and collaborating with the country’s most innovative restaurants including Benu, Eleven Madison Park, The Restaurant at Meadowood, and the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group. For his unique approach to food and cooking, Ali has been recognized as a member of both the Zagat and Forbes 30 Under 30 lists. His book, Ingredient: Unveiling the Essential Elements of Food, will be published by Ecco on September 27th.
Dean and Executive Director
The Food Business Schoolhttp://foodbusinessschool.org/ @ideagardener
William Rosenzweig is dean and executive director of The Food Business School. Will has spent his career as an educator, serial entrepreneur, and venture investor. Will was founding CEO of The Republic of Tea, the company that created the premium tea category in the U.S. As an entrepreneur and investor, Will helped grow Odwalla, LeapFrog, Hambrecht Vineyards and Wineries, Winetasting.com and Brand New Brands, a functional food incubator he founded in 2004. In 2007, Will co-founded Physic Ventures, the first venture capital firm supporting early-stage companies in health and sustainability, including Revolution Foods, Pharmaca, Recyclebank, and Yummly. Will is co-author of The Republic of Tea: How an Idea Becomes a Business, named one of the 100 Best Business Books of all time. His work has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Sound Money, Business Week, USA Today, and the San Francisco Chronicle. In 2010, Will was honored with the Oslo Business for Peace Award for his accomplishments in the area of ethical business. In 2014, he chaired a US national commission on health promotion and the prevention of chronic disease. A long-‐time faculty member at the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley, Will developed the country’s first MBA courses in social entrepreneurship and social venture development. As dean and executive director of The Food Business School, Will works with industry experts and academic leaders to create experiential educational programs that enable entrepreneurs and innovators to deliver impactful solutions to address the world’s most pressing food challenges—and its greatest business opportunities.
Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and Industry Leadership, CIA; Sacramento, CA
The Culinary Institute of Americahttp://www.ciaprochef.com/ @CIAleadership
Greg Drescher is vice president of strategic initiatives & industry leadership at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), where he oversees leadership initiatives for the foodservice industry, including conferences, invitational leadership retreats, digital media, and strategic partnerships. He is the creator of the college’s Worlds of Flavor® International Conference & Festival (now in its 18th year); the annual Worlds of Healthy Flavors, and the new Menus of Change initiative, which are presented in partnership with the Harvard School of Public Health; and numerous other CIA “think tank” initiatives. Dubbed the Flavor Hunter by Bon Appétit, Greg was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America in 2005, was honored with Food Arts’ Silver Spoon Award in 2006, and received two James Beard awards for the CIA’s Savoring the Best of World Flavors DVD and webcast series. In 2008, he was appointed by the President of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine to its Committee on Strategies to Reduce Sodium Intake. Greg previously served on the James Beard Foundation Awards Board, and currently serves on advisory boards for UC Davis’ Agricultural Sustainability Institute and Olive Center. In 2011, he was inducted as a member of the Accademia dei Georgofili, Europe’s oldest agricultural academy.
Principal Investigator and Director of the Open Agriculture (OpenAG) Initiative
MIT Media Labhttp://openag.media.mit.edu/ @calebgrowsfood
CALEB HARPER is the principal investigator and director of the Open Agriculture (OpenAG) Initiative at the MIT Media Lab. He leads a diverse group of engineers, architects and scientists in the exploration and development of future food systems. Caleb’s research focuses in the areas of control environment design, actuated sensing, control automation and data-driven resource, energy, and biologic optimization. His group is developing an open-source agricultural hardware, software, and data common with the goal of creating a more agile, transparent, and collaborative food system.
Caleb is a National Geographic explorer and a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) New Vision for Agriculture Transformation Leaders Network. His work has been featured by TIME, WIRED, The Economist, IEEE, World Urban Forum (WUF), USAID, and TED. Prior to joining the Media Lab in 2011, Caleb worked professionally as an architect designing and developing data centers, health care, and semi-conductor fabrication facilities. Additionally, he has consulted with multiple international development agencies, including USAID, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and the Delhi Development Authority on high-density urban development projects.
Food & Beverage Practice Leader, IDEO; San Francisco, CA
Lynda Deakin, a partner at IDEO, brings 17 years of experience working with a broad range of food and beverage clients to her work. She is the leader of IDEO’s Food Studio, helping companies and organizations solve their toughest problems and identify opportunities for growth. The Food Studio’s empathic approach enables clients to address people’s unmet desires and aspirations and empowers them to tackle a wide variety of design and innovation challenges—from designing the next $100M product to creating strategic development platforms. Lynda has worked with clients such as ConAgra, Campbell’s, Whitewave Foods, Hershey’s, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and Procter & Gamble. Using brand as the anchor that supports user experience, Lynda brings a creative spark to the projects she directs, helping companies to express their vision and realize their goals.
President, CIA; Hyde Park, NY
The Culinary Institute of Americahttp://www.ciachef.edu
TIM RYAN ‘77, CMC, EdD, MBA, has served as president of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) since 2001. He graduated from the CIA in 1977 and received bachelor’s and MBA degrees from the University of New Haven, and his doctorate degree in education from The University of Pennsylvania. With the unique background of being a Certified Master Chef and Culinary Olympic Champion with an Ivy League doctoral degree, he is the first alumnus and faculty member to rise through the CIA to become president. Working in the industry as a successful chef and restaurateur, he was recruited back to his alma mater in 1982 to serve on the faculty and to develop and run the CIA’s ground-breaking American Bounty Restaurant. Tim was also the captain of the U.S. Culinary Team, leading the group to victories at the first Culinary World Cup and the Culinary Olympics. To this day, no other American team has been as successful in international competition. For his work in the American Bounty and with the U.S. Culinary Team, he is recognized as a pioneer in the American cuisine movement. During his tenure as president, and previously as executive vice president, the college developed major innovations, including the world’s first bachelor’s degree programs in culinary arts management and baking and pastry arts management; a highly successful publishing program; award-winning videos and television shows; and dramatically expanded continuing education programs; while strengthening an already gifted faculty. In 1998, Tim was named the ACF Chef of the Year. He has also served as ACF vice president, president, and chairman. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation. Tim has received awards from virtually every food industry organization. He is especially proud of being one of five Americans ever to receive the Presidential Medal from the World Association of Cooks Societies and his induction into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America.
Director of Global Food Services, Google; Mountain View, CA
Michiel Bakker is the director of global food services for Google, leading its world-renowned Food program, supporting all food service related activities and initiatives for Google’s global community. Michiel’s focus areas include developing new insights and evidence in how food experiences can enable individuals and teams to be their best short and long term, and developing internal and external global partnerships to explore and tackle the challenges and opportunities in the broader food systems. Prior to joining Google, Michiel spent 17 great years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. in various roles. Most recently, he led Starwood’s Food and Beverage in Europe, Africa and the Middle East where he drove operations and guided growth and development. Prior to that, he co-lead Starwood’s F&B efforts in its North American Division. Michiel serves on several advisory Boards. He is an Advisory Board member for the Stockholm Food forum EAT, the Sustainable Business Leadership Council for the CIA – Harvard School of Public Health ‘Menus of Change’ Initiative; the International Hospitality Advisory Board of the Hotel Management School Maastricht, the Netherlands and a Board member of the Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management. Michiel holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Hotel Management School Maastricht (The Netherlands), a MBA from the University of Bradford (United Kingdom), a Master’s of Hospitality Administration degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (USA) and a Master’s degree in Real Estate and Construction Management from the University of Denver, Colorado (Mountain View, CA).