New Thinking for New Era:

Innovating Food Systems for the Next Decade and Beyond

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Watch: All symposium sessions will be live streamed at

*Please note that this is a draft agenda and details are subject to change.

7:30 a.m.

Registration Opens

8:30 a.m.


Ivo H. Daalder, President, Chicago Council on Global Affairs

8:35 a.m.

Setting the Stage for the Next Decade of Food Security

With the world likely to reach 10 billion people by 2050, we must tackle global food and nutrition security and strategically plan for more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable food systems. Disruptive technologies, innovative solutions and major investments are pivotal for this transformation. How can cross-sector collaboration fuel action?


Femi Oke, Host, International Journalist and Moderator, NABJ

8:40 a.m.

Video Message

Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations

8:45 a.m.

Panel: Pushing for Public R&D

Over the past decade funding for public research and development (R&D) in the United States grew at 4.3% annually, while, agricultural R&D spending fell by about 20%. The research gap is closing. Estimates show that China has surpassed the US in R&D spending. What is the role of the public sector, and why is US leadership and investment pivotal in spurring innovation and economic growth?



Mark Keenum, President, Mississippi State University; Chairman, Board for International Food and Agricultural Development

Sally Rockey, Executive Director, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research

9:25 a.m.

Fireside Chat

Sunny Verghese, Executive Director, Cofounder, and Group CEO, Olam

9:35 a.m.

Panel: Fostering the Global Food Supply Chain of the Future

Today’s global food supply chain is facing various challenges, from environmental degradation, to growing populations wanting access to healthy, diverse and nutritious foods. At the same time, there’s greater consumer demand for environmental stewardship and sustainability. How are companies responding to these changes and what initiatives and commitments are being made to foster more sustainable and biodiverse food systems?

Chair: Allison Aubrey, Food and Health Correspondent, NPR


Philip W. Miller, Senior Vice President, Agricultural Global Government Relations, Regulatory Policy, Bayer Crop Science

Rebekah Moses, Head of Impact, Impossible Foods

Jim Perdue, Chairman, Perdue Farms

Paul Schickler, Former President, DuPont Pioneer  

10:15 a.m.

Networking Break

734 Coffee will be offering samples.

10:45 a.m.

Video Message

Agnes Kalibata, Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit; President, AGRA

10:50 a.m.

Panel: Rising Trends in Food Innovation

About 75% of the world’s food comes from 5 animal and 12 plant species, with almost half of our plant-derived calories come from wheat, corn, and rice. How can the future of food be more biodiverse and sustainable? How can new technologies and innovations be leveraged to make food systems more efficient? What are the impacts for people and planet?

11:30 a.m.

HOLD - more details soon

11:50 a.m.

Networking Lunch

12:50 p.m.

Networking Lunch Concludes

1:00 p.m.

Conversation: Unlocking Financing & Growing Global Investments

Global food and agricultural investments have tripled to more than $100 billion, along with the tremendous growth of agricultural and nutrition investment funds. Yet, only 6% of invested assets are in Africa and Asia, with even less invested in small and medium enterprises (SMES). What can be done to create an enabling environment? How can inclusive partnerships unlock finance, grow global investments, and improve agricultural value chains?

Chair: Ertharin Cousin, Distinguished Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture, Chicago Council on Global Affairs


Sanjeev Krishan, Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director, S2G Ventures

Rachel Lambert, Senior Livelihoods Advisor for Agriculture Research, DFID

1:30 p.m.

Panel: Driving Innovation and Leveraging Tech and Data

Our world is changing faster than ever and technological innovations from AI, blockchain, and data platforms have the power to transform our global food system. How can data and AI backed insights revolutionize production, productivity, and sustainability?

Chair: Louisa Burwood-Taylor, Editor, AgFunderNews


Sewit Ahderom, COO and Cofounder, Gro Intelligence

Ranveer Chandra, Chief Scientist, Microsoft Azure Global

Elliott Grant, General Manager, X

2:10 p.m.

Networking Break

2:25 p.m.

Conversation: Farmer to Farmer

Conversation with farmers discussing climate change, drought resistant crops, and future farming issues.

Chair: Roger Thurow, Senior Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture, Chicago Council on Global Affairs


Ruramiso Mashumba, CEO and Founder, Mnandi Africa

2:55 p.m.

Panel: Achieving an Environmentally Secure and Nutritious Future

Growing more food to meet a demanding population doesn’t necessarily mean healthier and more nutritious food. Studies show that an increase in carbon dioxide affects the nutrient content of crops. In order to feed and improve the health of all people, investment and solutions in nutrition and environmentally sustainable growing practices are necessary. How can agriculture be part of the solution? How can we work towards a more equitable, healthy, sustainable, and environmentally secure future? 

Chair: Eliza Barclay, Correspondent, Vox


Dan Glickman, Distinguished Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture, Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Tanya Harrison, Manager of Science Programs, Planet Labs

Zitouni Ould-Dada, Deputy Director, Climate and Environment Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies  

3:35 p.m.

Fireside Chat: Next Generation Delegates

Sustainability is a key focus of current and forward-thinking policymaking. Efforts to achieve a more sustainable world at large depend on cultivating more sustainable food systems, often via innovative technologies. Former Delegates will share how their participation in the Council’s Next Generation Program has shaped their current interests in sustainable and innovative agri-tech, as well as highlight key elements of their current work supporting more sustainable food systems.

Chair: Katelyn Jones, Women, Peace, and Security Fellow, Chicago Council on Global Affairs


Oluwafemi Ajayi, Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture Specialist, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,

Hattie Brown, ESG Researcher, MSCI Inc; MS/MIB Candidate, Tufts University

3:45 p.m.

HOLD - more details soon

3:55 p.m.

Fireside Chat: The Power of Collaboration and Partnership


Catherine Bertini, Distinguished Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture, Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Barbara Stinson, President, The World Food Prize

4:05 p.m.


Femi Oke, Host, International Journalist and Moderator, NABJ

4:10 p.m.

Networking Reception

5:00 p.m.

Reception Adjourns