The United Nations (UN) estimates that by the year 2050, the global population will exceed nine billion people–the challenge will be figuring out how we can feed this population in a way that is sustainable both environmentally and economically. This was the underlying theme of the Feeding the Planet Summit hosted recently by the George Washington (GW) University’s Planet Forward project–an online forum through which experts and citizens can come together to discuss solutions for many global issues related to energy, climate, and sustainability. The full-day event came at the conclusion of a week-long celebration of Food Day hosted by GW’s Urban Food Task Force.
The Summit invited experts in from a variety of food-related sectors including agriculture, business, finance, academia, media, government, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to weigh in on the conversation. Participants traveled from as far as the University of Oregon to attend. Among the events of the day were a panel discussion on the future of food and food policy, a debate over genetically modified organisms (GMOs), a showcase of innovations in sustainable food production, and spotlight talks from experts. Notable speakers included chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup and founder of World Central Kitchen Jose Andres, Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Krysta Harden, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Rajiv Shah, and Spike Mendelsohn, chef/owner of a number of restaurants in D.C. such as Good Stuff Eatery.