Over the last 18 months, our food systems have suffered whiplash. As the concerns and costs of health, safety, labor, and raw materials have increased, markets have been in constant turmoil and hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people face chronic hunger and nutritional insecurity. The global food system is facing continued challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with extreme weather events fueled by a warming planet. New solutions, system-wide overhauls, and intentional innovations are urgently needed.
With your votes, you can send inventors and thought-leaders, designers and makers, founders and farmers to South by Southwest (SXSW) 2022, to take the global stage, and show how we can create a world without hunger, where the food we eat is good, clean and fair—here on Earth and even among the stars.
After a successful SXSW Online in March 2021, SXSW is now planning for a hybrid event in 2022, building on the accessibility and inclusivity that the virtual components brought. One of the interesting things they’ve done since 2007 is their Panel Picker process, where ideas for panels and presentations can be submitted by anyone in the world, and upvoted by the public to make the conference programming more human, more compelling, and especially more timely. Your vote can change the programming lineup and actually influence which speakers will be on the stage.
If you’re going to spend your time watching somebody talk at SXSW, I want you to see the best of the best, and sometimes that means the hidden gems. I especially want you to see and hear people and perspectives that haven’t had the chance to take the microphone at SXSW or have been intentionally excluded from conversations about our food system in the past. Nobody needs another panel with a bunch of white guys talking about how they’re saving the world.
Anyone and everyone can vote for and interact with the panel picker process—your votes, shares and comments influence which submissions will ultimately be accepted into SXSW 2022. When a simple upvote can influence the outcome of who is on the stage and who gets the mic in the programming lineup next March, I’m upvoting all of these. I hope you will, too!
Black Space & the Future of Food – Panel
The most pressing issues confronting our communities, nation, and world today are centered around access to clean, healthy food. Most Americans are affected by poor nutrition every single day. These food desserts have exacerbated chronic disease, such as diabetes and obesity especially among marginalized communities. Even as, we produce more than $3 trillion in packaged foods globally each year. We are failing on all fronts, from affordable prices to nutrition to sustainability. Despite what appears to be an abundance of food options, many families do not have access to the healthy wholesome food they need. We believe that there is a better way to feed people and are dedicated to finding solutions to this problem.
Building a Sustainable Future – Panel
On this panel we will explore what “sustainability” really means for businesses, from agricultural practices, community governed investing models, and CPG products to building safer, stronger and more equitable communities. From the unique perspectives of four sustainability leaders in different industries – a climate activist, a cannabis entrepreneur spearheading regenerative agriculture, an impact investing organization creating sustainable and equitable food systems and a clean beauty brand with an earth-first mission – we will discuss how businesses are centering sustainable practices, community needs and voices, and redistribution of wealth into their operations, culture and supply chains, and the ways entrepreneurs can contribute to a sustainable future.
Speakers include Julia Jacobson, CEO / Co-Founder, Aster Farms, Stephanie Sheperd, Nonprofit Co-Founder / Entrepreneur / Influencer, Future Earth, Alisha Gallagher, Co-founder & Chief Brand Officer, MOB Beauty, and Olivia Watkins, President, Black Farmer Fund
How do the topics of immigration and food intersect? In the U.S., nearly every piece of food is touched by an immigrant at some point in the production process. The food and agricultural system of this country is fundamentally dependent on the workers who grow, harvest, and process food consumed daily. This has important ramifications for labor rights, food safety, health equity, and sustainability.
This panel features a group of speakers who are working tirelessly to lead and build committees, alliances, and unions advocating for immigrant and workers’ rights. Join Teresa Romero (United Farm Workers), Baldemar Velasquez (FLOC), Leonard Aguilar (Texas AFL-CIO), and Gustavo Arellano (writer) as they discuss their efforts to create a fair, transparent, and humane food system. And Danielle Nierenberg, President, Food Tank, will moderate the panel.
Upcycling & Wasted Food
Project Drawdown lists Reducing Food Waste as the number 1 most impactful, plausible, and economically realistic solution to maintain a 2’C temperature rise by 2100. US Cities have stepped up to take on municipal food waste to improve local sustainability, address food gaps in their communities, cut waste disposal costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Hear from 3 city leaders in the Food Matters Regional Initiative about their strategies, successes, and upcoming plans for limiting food waste in their city.
Speakers include Caroline Howe, Aspire Program Coordinator, DC Department of Small & Local Business Development, Wilson Mora, Recycling Blue Cart Program Director, City of Chicago, Brittany McPeak, Sustainability Project Coordinator, Office of Sustainability & Resilience, City of Orlando, and Maddie Keating, City Strategist, Natural Resources Defense Council.
Reducing food waste would have a greater impact on climate change mitigation than alternative energy sources, transportation efficiency, green construction, and other better-known solutions – plus it has the potential for significant investment returns. In the U.S. alone, 35 percent of all food goes unsold or uneaten, causing 4 percent of GHG emissions – and costing the economy $408 billion a year. This session will introduce three companies that have developed technological innovations to help businesses and consumers cut food waste across the food system. We’ll explore what works – and what’s still needed. And we’ll issue a call to action for businesses, funders, and others to get involved in the fight to achieve the United Nations’ goal to cut global food waste in half by the year 2030.
Speakers include Alexandria Coari, Vice President, Capital, Innovation & Engagement, ReFED, Christine Moseley, Founder & CEO, Full Harvest, Lucie Basch, Co-Founder & Chief Expansion Officer, Too Good To Go, and Emily Malina, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Spoiler Alert.
The way our current food system operates consumes many resources — including energy, water, and labor — and emits climate-wrecking greenhouse gasses at every stage from growing to eventually disposing of wasted food. Most wasted food ends up in landfills, where it generates methane, a greenhouse gas that is up to 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Households are actually the largest source of wasted food, and we all have a part to play in reducing it. This panel will discuss how you, as an individual, can take action on one of the most solvable climate problems and how you can support policy and larger systems change to reduce food waste and build a more equitable food system.
Speakers include Nina Sevilla, Program Advocate, Food Waste and Food Systems, NRDC, Joseph Beckmann, Clinical Fellow & Attorney, Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, Harvard Law School, Nena Shaw, Acting Division Director, Resource Conservation and Sustainability Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Sophia Hosain, Community Composter Coalition Coordinator / Baltimore Lead, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Consumer consciousness to make more environmentally responsible food choices was heightened during the pandemic. By all accounts people want to do their part to leave the planet better than they found it, but often the general population struggles with how to make an impact. That is finally changing with the start-ups, NGOs, CPG companies and thought leaders all leveraging the common, and solvable pain point of food waste to enable and empower all consumers to participate in change. Hear from chef to President Obama Sam Kass, former Nestle marketing executive turned creator of start-up brand Do Good Foods Sheridan Budin and head of one of the leading food waste NGOs on how they are driving scalable impact on climate change through consumer centric food waste initiatives.
Food waste is rampant in America. Each year, 35 percent of all food produced in the US is thrown away. Meanwhile, more than 42 million Americans struggle with hunger. Startups are uniquely positioned to play a role in creating a world with zero hunger and zero waste in a post-pandemic world. With annual investment of $14 billion over the next ten years food waste can be reduced by 45 million tons each year. In this panel, Village Capital and The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation will bring together a diverse group of innovators and funding leaders with lived experience and unique perspective to discuss the capital landscape for startups as well as the role that they play in creating a sustainable and inclusive food system.
Speakers include Sunny Reelhorn Parr, Executive Director, The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, Kelly Bryan, Sustainability Practice Lead, Village Capital, Shayna Harris, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Supply Change Capital Fund, and Kayla Castañeda, CEO and Co-Founder, Agua Bonita.
“We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” That’s a quote from Albert Einstein and the philosophy food industry leaders are taking to protect the planet. Food Tank Founder and CEO Danielle Nierenberg will talk with global snacking leader Mondelez International, Upcycled Food Association and ReBlend about new initiatives in upcycling, investing and consumer empowerment to make tangible, sustainable and scalable impact.
Speakers include Susanne Mathis, Head of Global Impact, Mondelez International, Danielle Nierenberg, President, Food Tank, Turner Wyatt, Founder and CEO, Upcycled Food Association, and Kathryn Bernell, founder, reBLEND.
With so many new ways to include high quality proteins into our diet, it’s no wonder more people than ever before are thinking about alternatives to conventionally produced meats, eggs, fish and dairy; from the recent explosion of dairy alternatives from plants, oats and nuts, to highly-processed plant and GMO-based meat alternatives; from futuristic foods like cellular meats to culturally traditional insect proteins; from old standby staples like tofu, quorn and mushroom proteins, to proteins from traditional livestock and seafood using regenerative, sustainable and ethical practices. If you’re interested in creating, growing, selling, buying, cooking or eating more ethical and resource efficient proteins in the next thirty years, come out and join your fellow innovators & eaters!
With the need to feed more people with fewer resources quickly becoming a defining issue of this century, solutions for alternative proteins range from the ancient, like insects, to the futuristic, like cellular agriculture. But what if we could get the best of both worlds? Join a researcher, entrepreneur and investor to explore the intersection of insect agriculture and cellular agriculture, and how these two unique forms of protein production can benefit from cross-pollination. By looking at this issue, how to grow food that is good or our bodies, ethical and resource efficient, from the perspective of how solutions and innovations intersect with each other, this panel will change hearts, minds and maybe even stomachs, as we think about the way we feed ourselves in the coming decades.
Speakers include Brittany Solano, Vice President, Jones Dilworth Inc, Natalie Rubio, PHD Student, Tufts University, Lejjy Gafour, Cofounder, Future Fields, and Michael Dean, Founding Partner, AgFunder.
Michael Pollan told us to “eat food, not too much, mostly plants,” but have we taken the latter too literally and has the flooding of highly-processed fruits, vegetables and “plant-based” meat alternatives made us obsessed with “plant-based” foods? Is this really the best future we can envision? Using the resilience of wholesome ingredients, we believe in the viability of “prepare and preserve” over ultra-processed. Our panel brings together a plant-based yogurt pioneer, an alternative animal protein advocate, a farming entrepreneur, and a social impact investor to talk about the future of real and plant-based foods in order to explore what is truly the best way to restore our relationship with nature and society.
Speakers include Shen Tong, Managing Partner, FoodFutureCo, Patrick Mateer, Founder/ CEO, Seal the Seasons, Jason Jones, Chief Growth Officer, Aspire Food Group, and Bonnie Lau, CEO and Founder, Yoconut Dairy Free.
How Brood X Cicadas Changed My Life – Presentation
I spent two months immersed with Brood X Cicadas and had no idea how profoundly it would impact my life. My work was featured in the media for a two-month news cycle, and the narrative was incredibly validating towards my work with edible insects. I want to share how Brood X Cicadas not only changed my life, but how I can apply what I learned towards an environmentally conscientious, healthier, and brighter future for our planet.
The interdisciplinary approach I have incorporating science, culture, and gastronomy will allow for me to uniquely discuss big picture thinking in 2050, how it’s relevant to mitigating the effects of Climate Change, and what methods we’ve successfully utilized to transform the psychology and narrative around eating insects thus far. The speaker will be Joseph Yoon, Edible Insect Ambassador, Brooklyn Bugs.
To feed 10 billion by 2050, we know our food culture & consumer behavior has to change. Luckily we have examples of food culture changing, with foods like tomatoes, lobster, sushi & kale as examples of foods going from strange & undesirable to haute cuisine & kitchen staples. Why then has American food culture lost touch with insect ingredients when so many other cultures around the world still consider them a perfectly normal food? Join an entrepreneur, chef & scientist to explore how insect ingredients are being positioned to consumers, in both whole & abstracted forms. How can the way a new or unusual food is prepared & served help us normalize & even enjoy something we might otherwise be hesitant to try, & sway the hearts, minds & even stomachs of today’s consumers?
Speakers include Joseph Yoon, Owner and Chef, Brooklyn Bugs, Sarah Schlafly, CEO, Mighty Cricket, Dr. Jessica Ware, Associate Curator of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, and Arnold Van Huis, Tropical Entomologist – Emeritus Professor, Wageningen University.
What’s Bugging Agriculture? – Panel
Join the North American Coalition for Insect Agriculture and members to look at the potential that farmed insects – and their byproducts – can have on circular economies within agriculture. Insect agriculture can also lower farmer and rancher reliance on monocrops for feed, on fishmeal that is leading to fishery collapses, and also on chemical fertilizers which diminish soil health and lead to poisonous water run-off, among other environmental challenges.
Speakers include Chloe Sorvino, Food and Agriculture Staff Writer, Forbes, Virginia Emery, Founder / CEO, Beta Hatch, Shakara Maggitt, Graduate student, Texas State University, and Liz Koutsos, President, EnviroFlight.
Food & Tech
CaaS is new Saas in Food and Beverage – Presentation
The rise of CaaS in food and beverage is being led by shift in consumer demographic in favor of millennials. Curation in this industry is needed as it removes friction from the discovery process, this consumer demographic wants to be able to find better alternatives that align better with their lifestyles. Abundance of choice has made grocery stores anything but convenient, which has led to the rise of curation as a service grocers like Foxtrot, PopUp Grocer and niche marketplaces as well as utility based delivery apps focusing on food and beverage CPG. Curation enhances the overall grocer experience for millennials.
Learn how the nonprofit U.S. Hunger pivoted their revenue model in the midst of the pandemic. Using their expertise in shipping and logistics, U.S. Hunger delivered 100,000+ boxes of food directly to the homes of families in need over the past year. In collaboration with JPMorgan Chase’s Tech for Social Good team, and NY-based non-profit Feed Forward, U.S. Hunger is building a SaaS solution that uses Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning to solve for food insecurity in the U.S. In this panel you will hear how technology changed the way they collaborate with partners to serve clients with dignity and discretion.
Speakers include Rick Whitted, President & CEO, U.S. Hunger, Ezekiel Brooks, Solution Architect, E Brooks Consulting, Loryfel Nunez, Senior Data Scientist, Wealth Management, JPMorgan Chase, and Winston Chiu, CEO/Founder, Feed Forward.
Few things are as deeply rooted, so deeply ingrained into our DNA and culture as humans, as food. Over millennia, technology has allowed humanity to make periodic leaps of magnitude in our food culture. Our ancestors used technology to revolutionize food systems by cooking with fire; fermenting foods; refrigerating; canning; freezing…to today’s on-demand delivery of a mind-boggling array of possible cuisines and options, all from the palm of your hand. Join us to explore the intersections of food, technology and culture, looking towards the future. What do the next few decades have in store, and how can we learn from the past to create technologies that unlock a food system that is more Just, equitable, sustainable and scalable; to feed the bodies, and souls, of 10 billion or more.
Industry and policy leaders come together in this panel to share the challenges and opportunities presented by autonomous food delivery robots. Last-mile delivery startup Refraction AI’s CEO Luke Schneider will discuss their customer acquisition strategy and how they are designing an engaging customer experience for the public. Connected vehicle policy expert Michele Mueller (MDOT) and legal expert Tifani Sadek (University of Michigan) will join Refraction AI in analyzing how the policy environment in Michigan and Texas shaped the deployment of their service. The panel will conclude with a discussion identifying the developments needed in technology and policy to enable ubiquitous and accessible robotic delivery. Beep boop beep: your order for the technology of the future has arrived!
Speakers include Michele Mueller, Sr. Project Manager, Connected and Automated Vehicles and Electrification, Michigan Department of Transportation, Tifani Sadek, Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Michigan Law School, and Luke Schneider, CEO, Refraction AI.
The $6 Billion F-Word – Panel
We produce enough food on this planet to feed everyone. And yet, nearly 811 million people worldwide are hungry today, and 41 million people are on the edge of famine across 43 countries. They say life is priceless, and yet there is a cost to save these lives: $6 billion dollars. Join us for an inside look at how the U.N. World Food Programme fights famine and the cutting-edge innovations that its technology incubator — Innovation Accelerator — sources, supports and scales to solve hunger. Since launching in 2015, the Accelerator has supported more than 80 projects across 46 countries, with 14 innovations scaling up to improve life for nearly 4 million people. Find out how mobile technology, artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain are transforming how we combat hunger.
Speakers include Femi Oke, International Journalist & Host, Al Jazeera, Kate Hudson, Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations World Food Programme, United Nations World Food Programme, Valerie Guarnieri, Assistant Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme, and Bernhard Kowatsch, Head of Innovation Accelerator, United Nations World Food Programme.
It is impossible to separate our current food ecosystem from its inherent influence on the environment. Sustainability for all will require technology that capitalizes on integrated systems and spotlights the user at the heart of the process. This panel will highlight top minds from Compass (largest food service provider), Google (tech giant), and Shelf Engine (fast-growing startup), on how they are reimagining the food ecosystem through a technology lens. They will share how to drive environmental impact by focusing on the user at the core of the ecosystem. As innovation leaders in food and technology, the panelists will address how to build and leverage the right partnerships to not only increase the pace of innovation but also accelerate impactful change across the industry.
Our global food system is broken and inequitable. It’s great at producing calories; there’s enough food in the world right now to feed all 7 billion of us. But flaws in the system have resulted in skyrocketing hunger: 1 in 10 people goes to bed hungry every night. Nutritious food is increasingly inaccessible and unaffordable for the most vulnerable people on the planet because of conflict, extreme weather & inequality. The global food system wasn’t built to withstand these stressors or serve the poorest of the poorHow do we build a more sustainable, climate-friendly, equitable food system? We believe innovation and technology have a critical role to play. Join our cross-sector panel of experts – a chef, humanitarian, policy expert and entrepreneur – for a peek into the future of food
Speakers include Danielle Nierenberg, President, Food Tank, Jessica Fanzo, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food & Agricultural Policy and Ethics, Berman Institute of Bioethics, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Bernhard Kowatsch, Founder, Head of World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator, and Andrew Zimmern, Chef/Writer and Founder, Andrew Zimmern and Project Hospitality.
As we look to 2050 and beyond, how we feed our world in a changing climate and with dwindling resources will be one of the greatest challenges of the century. Passionate entrepreneurs and innovators are pioneering the technologies of our future food system, but many more ideas and innovations are needed.
Join investor, author and podcast host Arlan Hamilton along with three of her portfolio company founders in the FoodTech space; Julia Collins of Planet FWD, Jasmine Crowe of GoodCo, and Rianna Lynn of Journey Foods; to discuss the challenges of changing markets and niche capital, hype cycles and hard choices to weather the pandemic, as well as the resources, mentors, investors and co-conspirators that ambitious up-and-coming future FoodTech founders should know about.
Cooking & Nutrition
Embracing the Joy of Imperfection in the Kitchen – Book Reading
Leanne Brown’s IACP Cookbook Award-winning, New York Times bestselling Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day showed that kitchen skill, not budget, is the key to great food. Helping those on the strictest of budgets—particularly those living on the U.S. food stamp allotment of $4.00 a day—eat unprocessed foods while discovering the joys of a homecooked meal, it changed the notion of what a cookbook could be and how it could help. While in Good and Cheap she tackled budget as an obstacle to eating well, Leanne is now turning her focus to the emotional barriers, aptly observing a huge hurdle to feeding ourselves is often believing we are not worth the effort to cook for. But, Brown declares we all deserve to eat well every day–this talk will delve into her personal journey to discovering how.
The speaker will be Leanne Brown, Author, GOOD ENOUGH: A Cookbook.
World rates of anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns skyrocketed over the past two years. Additionally, those not experiencing a diagnosed mental health condition are stressed to breaking points. We’re dealing with a lot, both globally and personally. As existing health systems try to increase access to medication and talk therapy, recent nutrition therapy research shows food’s ability to support mental wellness alongside traditional therapies. We will look at the most recent international science from The Washington Post’s food and mental health project, and discuss how cooking and eating can help us work through emotions.
More than food security, we should focus on nutrition security. It means providing access to foods that promote well being and aid in the prevention or delay of diet-related chronic conditions, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Communities of color have been impacted by COVID-19 the hardest due to the disproportionate prevalence of chronic conditions; often stemming from access to nutritious foods and education. By adopting a culturally competent approach to nutrition education and focusing on nutrition security, we can focus on closing gaps in health disparities in communities of color that lead to better health outcomes.
Speakers include Shireen Abdullah, CEO, Yumlish, Sara Naomi Bleich, senior advisor for COVID-19, Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Dariush Mozaffarian, cardiologist, Dean, and Jean Mayer Professor, Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
Veggies Stay On Your Table – Healthy Just Got Easy – Short Form
Time to get out of Old School for keeping, eating fresh fruit and vegetables! How veggies have historically been kept. Veggies are alive and strengthen your life. Use better bio-container to display fresh veggies on the table throughout the week, instead of throwing them away from the fridge.
Developed from the childhood experience of playing in greenhouses, then keeping that same idea of moisture to keep veggies fresh for kids.
As we understand now through scientific studies and tested methods, whole food plant based nutrition is superb for maintaining health. There is a growing awareness and demand for fresh produce, yet our kitchens haven’t changed to handle this delicate, perishable food. We can understand more about fresh fruits and vegetables, and have more fun with our veggies!
The speaker will be Duncan Burns, Founder/ Inventor, VeggiDome, SPC.
Farming & Supply Chains
American farmers and more specifically farm owners are disproportionately white, cisgender, men. Today, more barriers are being confronted than ever before, and at times even broken, while more historical exclusions and injustices are being acknowledged and recognized as the wrongs they were and are. While progress has been made towards a more just and inclusive agricultural system, we still have a ways to go.
Strides have been made in both the local and national farming community to foster diversity and inclusion. In this panel we will hear from women who are working to uplift the experience of women of color in the farming infrastructure. This panel will explore what is already being done in our local and national communities to foster more inclusive farming environments.
Exploring the World with Gastro Obscura – Book Reading
Called a “captivating book celebrates the incredible global diversity of food, ingredients, and cooking practices” by Alice Waters, Gastro Obscura is an immersive cabinet of culinary curiosities brimming with over 500 compelling entries spanning all seven continents and fifty states, from the curious minds behind the #1 New York Times bestseller Atlas Obscura and AtlasObscura.com. In this talk, the audience will travel to the rainforests of southern Nigeria, where you’ll find a berry that’s a thousand times sweeter than table sugar, discover the quirks of Victorian table etiquette, and discover Texas’ Pecan Pie Vending Machines. A passport to a multitude of flavors, stories, histories, and cultures, this talk is for anyone who eats, who dreams of eating, or who longs to explore.
Farms to Incubators – Women Revolutionizing Food – Book Reading
The feminine touch is changing the landscape of agriculture worldwide. Women in agtech are helping farmers meet enormous challenges head-on. From water & labor shortages to climate change, barriers to growing food more efficiently & abundantly have never been greater. It is estimated that farmers will need to feed 10 billion people by 2050. So agtech needs all the support it can get. Women, including many women of color, are stepping up to meet that need, with grit, determination, intelligence, & innovation. Their stories are recorded in “From Farms to Incubators,” a collection of visual & written portraits by award-winning journalist Amy Wu, that become a series of newspaper stories, then an award-winning documentary & then a virtual reality traveling exhibition, and now a book!
The speaker will be Amy Wu, From Farms To Incubators.
Join a discussion with the United States Department of Defense, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and experienced logistics professionals to learn about the improvements being made in food tech. How does the military feed its soldiers across the globe? What does it take to resupply in austere, immature locations? This panel will review the latest innovations in nutrition food technology as it relates to feeding service members.
Speakers include Hope Shimabuku, Regional Director, USPTO, Christopher Burke, Lecturer, The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business, Stephen Moody, Chief, Combat Feeding Division, Soldier Sustainment Directorate, and Robyn Metcalfe, Director, Food plus City, Lecturer School of Human Ecology, UT Austin / Food plus City.
Food for the Future – Panel
In 30 years there will be 9 Billion people on the planet. Current farming practices mean we will meet just 60 percent of the demand for food.
Precision farming is how we increase supply, it has the potential to revolutionize the landscape by providing smallholder farmers insights on how to increase yield, mitigate against climate change and reduce water use. This is crucial in the Caribbean where farmers are the single largest source of labour. Keeping operators like these in business is vital as they produce 70 percent of the world’s crops.
Immigrant communities are set to grow in the United States, as they do, so will the market for culturally relevant staples. This panel takes the audience to 2050, discussing the changes Caribbean farmers can make to meet this demand for high quality fresh food.
Lifting Farmers Out of Poverty Through Blockchain – Presentation
Our session proposal is to focus on how it is possible to develop and deploy effective solutions designed specifically for low-literacy, first-time technology users in remote regions. This includes a discussion on developing a low-literacy UX backend architecture that supports low-connectivity, offline environments, and distributed ledger-technology (DLT, aka blockchain) to enable trust and transparency between two transacting parties. Through our platform, farmers will have access to high quality farming inputs from an online marketplace, share and receive education as well as check weather forecasts and produce prices. Most importantly, they can also use their secure digital identity, wallet and record of transactions and revenue to access micro-finance and other financial services.
A glass of conventional milk has come to represent so much of what’s wrong with our food system: resource intensive, wasteful, and to some, considered harmful. While the issues inherent to conventional dairy milk have become common knowledge, there are less obvious problems with plant milks that are just as important to resolve from water usage, to poor soil health and food waste. The good news is these complex problems have become catalysts for new ideas that are already creating meaningful change and carving a new path forward for a food system that is better for all people, ecosystems and the planet. This panel brings together a diversity of food thought-leaders to discuss the tensions and complexities of deciding what we eat and drink, through the lens of a simple glass of milk.
Speakers include Sophie Egan, Author, How to Be a Conscious Eater, Founder, Full Table Solutions, and Director of Strategy, Food for Climate League, Full Table Solutions, Food for Climate League, Adam Kaye, Co-Founder and Chief Culinary Officer, The Spare Food Co., Jillian Glenn, Author of the cookbook Easy Low-Cal Vegan Eats, Recipe Creator, Founder of Peanut Butter and Jilly, Peanut Butter and Jilly, and Christina Dorr Drake, CEO, Co-Founder, Willa’s Plant Based Milk.
SXSW EDU is technically a separate conference, but you can vote for submissions for it the same way, and these all caught my eye as really cool ways for an education policy and EdTech focused conference to explore how critical food access and food education are to the success of educators and students.
“Let food be thy medicine” but, what if it’s not the food? What if it’s the process of cooking that can heal us and foster a child’s social-emotional and creative development? Today, a professional chef and a national expert on human and childhood development will lead you through an interactive video breakdown of what is occurring in a child’s mind and heart as they navigate their way through a recipe. You too will see the growth that occurs when a child puts on a chef’s hat and gets hands on.
When schools closed during COVID, millions struggled to keep hunger at bay for their kids. Then healthy school meals for all children became a reality. But this program ends in June 2022, and we will be at an inflection point. How can we motivate America to declare—as California did—that free, nutritious school meals are as critical to school success as textbooks? Practitioners, funders, and policymakers share stories addressing the need for every child to have access to nutritious meals.
Speakers include Curt Ellis, President and Founder, FoodCorps, Luis Guardia, President, Food Research and Action Center, Miriam Nelson, President and CEO, Newmans Own Foundation, and Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, State of California, Department of Education.
Planting Seeds of Change – Future 20 (short presentation)
My session will discuss food justice and how small changes in your community can make a big impact. I will share what I’ve done in my community to promote food justice.
The speaker will be Te’Lario Watkins II, Founder, The Garden Club Project.
The relatively new all-audio social media app, Clubhouse, has offered a rare but priceless way for Black, brown, Latinx, Indigenous, AAPI, Women & non-binary founders to engage directly & personally with a wide variety of investors & other entrepreneurs, as well as new ways to grow their network & connect with community during the Covid19 pandemic. During the weekly show “Pitch Practice,” one of the first & longest running pitch rooms on the platform, hundreds of founders have improved their pitches with free expert feedback. Founders have already raised north of one million dollars based on the feedback received. We’re excited to bring this digital experience to an IRL stage @ SXSW! Join us to practice your pitch, share your feedback & network with fellow startup community members!
Building a community on top of Clubhouse has offered rare but priceless access for Black, brown, Latinx, AAPI and Women entrepreneurs to engage with investors and founders. Social Media as a means to Access is a panel on how a group of founders and investors used a new medium, Clubhouse, and our network, to help hundreds of entrepreneurs through our weekly live show shows and programming. This panel will go over how to use social capital to gain access to people and places you wouldn’t otherwise have access to when fundraising and growing your startup. We will also discuss the importance of community for founders of color and those who would be considered on the outside of tech.
Speakers include Shondra Washington, President & Cofounder, TBC Capital, Janine Sickemeyer, Founding Partner, Overlooked Ventures, Harold Hughes, Founder and CEO, Bandwagon, and Ben Parr, President and Cofounder, Octane AI.
* Full disclosure: This year Little Herds, an educational nonprofit in Austin, Texas, worked with partners, colleagues, friends, neighbors and mentors to encourage community members to submit food focused ideas. I’m a bit biased on the submissions we had a big hand in helping organize, so I’ve put a star next to those for transparency. I’m just as excited about the ones I only discovered this week, and I encourage you to check out all of these panels if you’re interested in food.