2017 reTHINK FOOD PROGRAM SUMMARY
With innovation in food advancing at an unprecedented pace, the 2017 reThink Food conference, held November 1-3 at the CIA at Copia campus and presented in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab, engaged over 200 attendees in building a future framework to stay ahead and thrive in the coming 5, 10, and 20 years.
The ideas and issues presented explored what the implications of key bleeding-edge trends and innovations for leaders across foodservice, the food industry, academia, media, design, and technology. Presenters urged audience members to reframe conventional approaches to creative thinking, product design, sustainable solutions, and technology optimization in order to discover more innovative paths forward.
Renowned speakers brought to life key topics, including advancements in nutrition informatics, robotics, data transparency, supply chain optimization, and sustainable food innovations. Highlights of the program included sessions delivered by some of the nation’s leading experts including Eve Turow Paul who spoke about our evolving food culture, across generations and associated future implications; Nell Putnam-Farr of the Yale School of Management, who shared fascinating project data regarding consumer dining choices and how to drive behavior change; and a trio of experts who spoke about mapping out the future, including Jerold Mande of the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts, who discussed how food policy stands to affect us in the years ahead; Randy Burt of A.T. Kearney, who shared disruptive CPG and consumer trends; Mark Alexander of Campbell Soup Company, who spoke about how his organization is embracing change; and Greg Dollarhyde, who shared future trends and learnings on the cusp of the hospitality and dining scene. The conference also featured leading chefs utilizing design to create new fining experiences, including Kyle Connaughton of Single Thread Inn & Farms and Christopher Kostow of The Restaurant at Meadowood and The Charter Oak.