TED has named it’s new class of Fellows for 2014. These 21 thought leaders will focus on “ideas worth spreading” over the next two years–three of the fellows are specifically working on cultivating a better food system.
Gray’s organization, Aunt Bertha, helps connect low income residents to food and housing and other social services through an easy-to-use website.
According to Gray, “people shouldn’t go hungry because they didn’t know there was a food pantry nearby, or that they qualified for a government food program. At Aunt Bertha, we’re organizing human services (including food programs) so people can find help in seconds. By making this data widely available, governments and advocacy organizations have a snap-shot view (or inventory) of providers by city – allowing them to have a better understanding of the real-time supply of human services.”
Potter, a long-time animal welfare advocate and writer, is concerned how it’s becoming more and more difficult for activists and advocates to expose abuses, including inhumane treatment of animals, in the food industry. “Ag-gag laws being introduced across the country make it illegal to expose animal welfare and environmental abuses in agriculture. Laws like this aren’t just dangerous for whistleblowers: they put us all at risk. When it comes to food, we need transparency, not secrecy,” says Potter.
Sharma hopes to inspire everyone to grow food and restore native trees through his work. Afforestt works with businesses, policy-makers, and individuals to grow wild, native, maintenance-free trees in India. He says that “honey is the sugar of the future and tree farming is the future of farming, trees grows vertically up and acquire vertical space using the space left out by monoculture of single species tree plantation.”
For more information on these Fellows and TED’s other 2014 Fellows, please click here.