The pandemic has shone a light on how fragile and intertwined our global agri-food supply chain is, making it even more pressing to push for food systems innovation and change. Can we leverage technology to build a more resilient food system that feeds more people and feeds them better?
Join us virtually for our inaugural Food Systems Forum, which will convene experts from around the world to share their insights and spark further connections and potential collaborations.
As the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Dr. Kalibata provides leadership, guidance, and strategic direction towards the 2021 Food Systems Summit. She is responsible for outreach and cooperation with key leaders, including governments, to ensure the Summit serves as a catalytic process within the Decade of Action to improve food systems around the world to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement. Since 2014, Dr. Kalibata has also served as President of AGRA, where she leads the organization’s efforts with partners to ensure a food secure and prosperous Africa through rapid, sustainable agricultural growth, improving the productivity and livelihoods of millions of African smallholder farmers. Prior to joining AGRA, Dr. Kalibata was Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) from 2008 to 2014. She has a distinguished track record globally as an agricultural scientist, policy maker and thought leader.
The Good Food Institute is an international nonprofit building a sustainable, healthy, and just global food system. With unique insight across the scientific, policy, industry, and investment landscapes, we are using the power of food innovation and markets to accelerate the transition of the world’s food system toward alternative proteins. GFI is powered by philanthropy. Bruce oversees GFI’s global strategy, working with the U.S. leadership team and international managing directors to ensure that GFI is maximally effective at implementing programs that deliver mission-focused results. Bruce is a TED Fellow, Y Combinator alum, and popular speaker on food innovation. He has penned op-eds for the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Wired, and many other publications. He has represented GFI on the TED Radio Hour, New Yorker Radio Hour, Ezra Klein Show, Making Sense (Sam Harris), ReCode Decode, and other programs and podcasts. Bruce’s 2019 TED talk has been viewed two million times and translated into dozens of languages. He graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown Law and also holds degrees from Johns Hopkins University and the London School of Economics.
Lei Chen is a founding member of Pinduoduo and has served as director and our chief executive officer since July 2020. Mr. Chen was appointed as chairman of the board of directors of Pinduoduo in March 2021. Mr. Chen served as Pinduoduo's chief technology officer since 2016 and as Pinduoduo's director from February 2017 to July 2018. Prior to joining Pinduoduo, Mr. Chen served as chief technology officer of Xinyoudi Studio since 2011. Mr. Chen was trained as a data scientist and is a prolific publisher on the subject of data mining, and has presented his works at large international conferences, such as the ACM SIGMOD Conference, Very Large Data Bases (VLDB) Conferences and the International Conference on Machine Learning. Mr. Chen received his bachelor's degree in computer science from Tsinghua University and his doctoral degree in computer science from University of Wisconsin-Madison.
George Yeo is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore, and the Founding Patron of its Asia Competitiveness Institute. He has served as Pinduoduo’s independent director and chairman of its nominating and corporate governance committee since July 2018. He is an independent non-executive director of AIA Group Limited (HKEX: 01299). Prior to that, Mr. Yeo served 23 years in the government of Singapore, and was Minister for Information and the Arts, Health, Trade & Industry, and Foreign Affairs. Mr. Yeo is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Berggruen Institute on Governance and International Advisory Panel of Peking University, among others. Mr. Yeo studied Engineering at Cambridge University on a President’s Scholarship, graduating with a Double First in 1976, and became a Signals Officer in the Singapore Armed Forces. After graduating from the Singapore Command and Staff College in 1979, he was posted to the Republic of Singapore Air Force. Mr. Yeo graduated with an MBA (Baker Scholar) from the Harvard Business School in 1985. He was appointed Chief-of-Staff of the Air Staff from 1985 to 1986 and Director of Joint Operations and Planning in the Defence Ministry from 1985 to 1988, attaining the rank of Brigadier-General.
Andre has served as Senior Vice President of Pinduoduo since 2018 and has been appointed as General Counsel since July 2020. He leads Pinduoduo’s corporate strategy and operations and oversees domestic and international legal matters of the company. Before joining Pinduoduo, Andre was a partner in the Beijing office of White & Case LLP. From 2010 to 2017, he was an associate and then counsel in Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Andre received his bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Tsinghua University, and his Juris Doctor’s degree from University of California Hastings College of the Law.
Andy Ziolkowski is a Managing Director of Cultivian Sandbox and Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Cultivian Ventures. Prior to founding Cultivian, Andy had over 30 years of experience in venture capital investing and merchant banking across a broad range of industries.Andy was a Managing Director of SAE Ventures and Forest Street Capital, where he spent fourteen years as an investor and advisor to early stage healthcare and technology companies; and before that was Director of Venture Capital at Credit Suisse First Boston Merchant Bank. Andy began his venture capital career at Whitehead Associates, a family investment fund. His investment track record includes DexCom, Biomimetic Pharmaceuticals, FutureHealth, Tessera, i-STAT and The Liposome Company. Prior to his investing career, Andy was an electrical engineer and plasma physicist at the Grumman Aerospace Corporation and Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory. Andy represents Cultivian Sandbox on the board of directors of AquaSpy, Descartes Labs, EOSi (acquired), Harvest Automation, Novihum Technologies, Novogy (acquired) and Corvium. Andy holds a Masters of Business Administration from The Wharton School of Business and Finance, and has a Bachelors of Science in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Grumman Scholar.
Anuj joined Temasek in 2004 and is currently Managing Director of Agribusiness, which is responsible for investments across the agri and food value chain. Anuj is also Managing Director for the Middle East & Africa. In addition to overseeing Temasek’s investment activities for both portfolios, he is also a board member on Ceva Santé Animale, Tana Africa Capital and Temasek Life Sciences Accelerator. Anuj has been with Temasek for 15 years; he started his career with Temasek as an investment professional with the India team, and moved to Singapore in 2013, where he is currently based in. Prior to joining Temasek, Anuj was a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company. He graduated with a Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 2001, and also holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University.
As a risk assessor and toxicologist who has worked across industry, academia and government, Ben is a strong proponent of collaborative research and the importance of embedding safety across the entire food chain. He is particularly interested in the development of risk-benefit frameworks and the integration of new approach methodologies to support product and supply chain safety. FRESH is a joint initiative of A*STAR, SFA (Singapore Food Agency) and NTU (Nanyang Technological University) set up to drive food safety under the Singapore Food Story (SFS) R&D Programme and build local food safety science capabilities in support of Singapore’s growing food innovation ecosystem. SIFBI is a research institute that brings together A*STAR’s research capabilities in areas such as food, nutrition, public health, biotechnology, manufacturing, agri-food technology, and safety research under one roof. SIFBI aims to bring cutting edge biotechnology in the forefront of food science. A*STAR is Singapore's lead public sector R&D agency. Through open innovation, we collaborate with our partners in both the public and private sectors to benefit the economy and society of Singapore. A*STAR’s R&D activities span biomedical sciences to physical sciences and engineering (www.a-star.edu.sg).
In 2013, Danielle Nierenberg co-founded Food Tank with Bernard Pollack, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. Food Tank is a global convener, research organization, and non-biased creator of original research impacting the food system. She has an M.S. in Agriculture, Food, and Environment from the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and spent two years volunteering for the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. Danielle is the recipient of the 2020 Julia Child Award.
David Yeung is the Founder & CEO of Green Monday Group, a multi-faceted social venture with the mission to take on the world’s most pressing crises of climate change, food insecurity and public health. With the global sustainability movement initiated by Green Monday Foundation, the revolutionary food technology innovation in OmniFoods and OmniPork, the market-transforming plant-based retail, dining and distribution network in Green Common, and the impact investment arm in Green Monday Ventures, Mr. Yeung has pioneered a one-of-a kind integrated platform that engages and empowers millions of people, along with public and private sectors, towards green awareness, action and economy. His work earns him the award of “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” by the World Economic Forum and Schwab Foundation. Other honors and recognitions include Fortune’s “Change the World” Company, “EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award”, “Roddenberry Prize”, “Cathay ChangeMakers”, “Ten Outstanding Young Persons Hong Kong” and “Company of the Year” by PETA Asia.As a noted environmentalist and entrepreneur, Mr. Yeung has spoken at the World Economic Forum, Milken Institute Summit, TEDx, as well as financial and academic institutions such as UBS and UCLA. International media coverage of Green Monday and Mr. Yeung includes BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, Nikkei Asian Review and Reuters.Mr. Yeung is a graduate of Columbia University, an Ashoka Fellow and the author of a number of best-selling books on Zen wisdom and mindfulness.
Jennifer Thomson (PhD Rhodes) is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Cape Town. She held a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard, was Associate Professor in Genetics at the University of the Witwatersrand, visiting scientist at MIT, and Director of the Laboratory for Molecular and Cell Biology for the CSIR, before becoming Head of the Department of Microbiology at UCT in 1988. She won the L’Oreal/UNESCO prize for Women in Science for Africa in 2004 and has an Honorary Doctorate from the Sorbonne University. Her research field is the development of genetically modified maize resistant to the African endemic maize streak virus and tolerant to drought. She has published four books on Genetically Modified Organisms: Genes for Africa, Seeds for the Future, Food for Africa and GM Crops and the Global Divide. She is a frequent speaker at international meetings, including the World Economic Forum and the United Nations. She is the President of the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) and was recently awarded the International Prize for the Protection of Human Rights by the Accademia dei Lincei of Italy.
Jessica Fanzo, PhD is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Global Food Policy and Ethics at the Johns Hopkins University in the USA. At Hopkins, she holds appointments in the Berman Institute of Bioethics, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She also serves as the Director of Hopkins’ Global Food Policy and Ethics Program, and as Director of Food & Nutrition Security at Hopkins’ Alliance for a Healthier World. She is the Editor-in-Chief for the Global Food Security Journal and leads on the development of the Food Systems Dashboard, in collaboration with GAIN. From 2017 to 2021, Jessica served on the Food Systems Economic Commission, the Expert Panel for the Cornell Atkinson Center’s Socio-Technical Innovation Bundles for Agri-Food Systems Transformation report, the Global Panel of Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition Foresight 2.0 report, and the EAT-Lancet Commission. She was also the Co-Chair of the Global Nutrition Report and Team Leader for the UN High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Systems and Nutrition. Before coming to Hopkins, she has also held positions at Columbia University, the Earth Institute, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the UN World Food Programme, Bioversity International, and the Millennium Development Goal Centre at the World Agroforestry Center in Kenya. Jessica has a PhD in nutrition from the University of Arizona.
Prof Jeyakumar Henry is Senior Advisor, Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation, A*STAR (SIFBI). He was the founding Director of the Clinical Nutrition Research Centre (CNRC), A*STAR, and the Functional Food Centre in Oxford. Initially trained as a Food Technologist, he obtained his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Nutrition from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), UK. He was a Board Member of the UK Food Standards agency from 2000 – 2003 and was awarded the British Nutrition Foundation award in 2010 for his outstanding contribution to human nutrition. He spent over 35 years in the UK and arrived in Singapore in 2011 to build and develop CNRC. He pioneered the understanding of food structure manipulation in the development of functional foods for health and well-being. He has published over 380 papers and presented more than 390 lectures around the world. A recipient of numerous awards inlcuding the NutraIngredients–Asia NutraChampion Awards 2019 and Institute of Food Technologists (IFT, USA) – W K Kellogg International Food Security Award & Lectureship 2019. He continues to act as a Consultant to UN agencies, multinationals and governments.
Professor Jing Zhu is Dean of College of Economics and Management, Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU), and Cheung Kong Chair Professor, Distinguished Professor by the Ministry of Education of China. She is a Chairperson of the Agricultural and Forestry Economics and Management Disciplinary Appraisal Committee of the State Council Academic Commission of China, vice-chairperson of the Advisory Committee for the Agricultural and Forestry Economics and Management Disciplinary of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education of China, member of the Expertise Advisory Committee for the trade promotion center of the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs of China (MARA), member of the Academic Committee for the Agricultural Economics Research Center of MARA, and member of the Board of Trustees of ILRI, CGIAR. Prof. Zhu obtained her Ph.D in NAU before joined International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) of the CGIAR as a post-doctoral research fellow, with Research areas include agricultural economic management, agricultural trade, especially food security policy studies. She is a widely published author and recipient of awards for research achievements, and is currently undertaking a series of key research projects from authoritative national research foundations as well as government agencies.
Lesly Goh is the Senior Technology Advisor, former Chief Technology Officer for the World Bank Group. She is a Fellow at Cambridge Judge Business School and Senior Fellow at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Lesly brings extensive international experience, advising government policymakers and central banks on the regulatory impact from emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G, Cloud and Edge Computing. Prior to the public sector role, Lesly built a solid technology career in the private sectors such as Microsoft, Deloitte, and startups. She is a certified Data Architect and worked on many high-profile Data and AI initiatives in highly regulated industries such as Financial Services, Agriculture Healthcare/Life Sciences and Digital Government, including Smart Cities designed for resilience. She is a member of the WEF Global Future Council on Data Policy to promote innovative thinking and shape a sustainable and inclusive future for all. Lesly is part of the Transformation Leaders Network to support the UN-led Food Systems Summit in 2021. From her extensive experience in public and private sectors, she develops strategic partnerships for digital transformation, leveraging data and technology innovations in emerging markets.
Louisa is Head of Media & Research for AgFunder and chief editor of its news site AFN, with 12 years of financial journalism experience. She has covered a range of financial products and markets during her career, from equities and institutional investment in Asia to structured bonds in Europe, before turning her attention to food and agriculture over seven years ago. She’s been responsible for launching two publications: an institutional investment intelligence service for the Financial Times and the first-ever title focused on agriculture investment, Agri Investor.
Experienced General Manager with a demonstrated history of working in different consumer industries and with a special interest in Sustainability topics. Strong skills in Business Development, Strategy, General Management, Marketing Management and Consumer Products in different international settings. Hi, we’re Mosa Meat, a European food technology company that’s helping everyone take a bite out of a better future – starting with the world’s kindest beef burger. Pioneering a cleaner, kinder way of making beef!
Raised in Israel, Ofir is fourth-generation to a family of farmers. He began his professional career at the age of 19, while fulfilling his military service in an elite technological unit of the Prime Minister’s Office. In this role, he developed and led groundbreaking technology for classified projects while managing an R&D department of 15 software engineers. Ofir earned a B.Sc. in Math & Computer Science, with honors, and a M.Sc in cryptography.
Ponsi Trivisvavet is CEO and Director of Inari, the SEEDesign™ company using predictive design and advanced multiplex gene editing to unlock the full potential of seed to build a more sustainable future for the food system. Ms. Trivisvavet has broad expertise in global agriculture as well as extensive management skill in the seeds business. Prior to joining Inari, she held a number of leadership roles at Syngenta, most recently as president of Syngenta Seeds North America. Before Syngenta, she held positions with McKinsey & Company. Ms. Trivisvavet holds an MBA from Cornell University.
Preston is Executive Director, Corporate Development of Pinduoduo, overseeing investments and strategic partnership activities across Pinduoduo's business activities. Before Pinduoduo, Preston spent over six years in private equity investment at GIC, investing in leading internet, technology and healthcare companies and venture capitals in Asia. Before his career in private equity, Preston was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan.
Przemek Obloj is responsible for Blue Horizon’s investment activities. He brings more than 15 years of investing experience from leading global organisations including CVC Capital Partners and EQT Partners. Prior to joining Blue Horizon, Przemek was the Managing Director and Head of European Private Equity at PSP Investments, a C$200 billion Canadian pension investment manager. He started his career at McKinsey & Company and holds a MSc in Finance from Warsaw School of Economics and an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau and Singapore.
Rahul Ray is a Senior Director at Tyson Ventures, the investment arm of Tyson Foods. Focused on deal flow and investment execution, Rahul brings a deep knowledge of investment strategy and management and experience in corporate finance to the Tyson Ventures team. He has more than a decade of experience ranging from hedge fund and private equity experience on Wall Street to corporate finance and strategy ecosystems. Rahul is also on the adjunct faculty at the University of Arkansas. Rahul earned his MBA from Columbia Business School and his Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Tyson Ventures is a $150 million investment fund, established in 2016. Since inception, Ventures has made over $40 million worth of investments. Ventures is the strategic partner for disruptive innovators transforming the food industry and that align with Tyson’s long-term goals under the 3 pillars of Grow-Deliver-Sustain.
Shashank is Co-founder & CEO of DeHaat & led the organization to a current milestone of 380,000 digitised farmers network in India & current annual growth rate of 3.5x. He believes that technology can bring efficiency and transparency for the supply chain between different businesses and smallholders & that's exactly what DeHaat has been building. Hence DeHaat aims to bring 10mn Indian farmers together at one platform for various agri businesses. Shashank has raised USD 46 mn of investment for DeHaat from marquee funds like Nasper, Sequoia, FMO, Omnivore & AgFunder. Prior to DeHaat, He worked as a consultant in the supply chain industry for 3 years after he graduated from IIT Delhi in 2008. He has also been awarded as Forbes 30 under 30 in 2014 & BWDisrupt 40 under 40 in 2018. He is also an Ashoka fellow who has been awarded as distinguished alumni of IIT Delhi in 2017 for significant contribution for national development. He has been awarded as " Champions of Change" by PM - India & Niti Aayog in 2018.
Dr. Shenggen Fan is currently Chair Professor and Dean of Academy of Global Food Economics and Policy (AGFEP) at China Agricultural University (CAU). Prior to joining CAU, Dr. Fan served as director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) from 2009 to 2019. He currently serves as a member of the United Nations’ Lead Group for the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement. He was a member, vice chair and chair of food and nutrition council of the World Economic Forum. He is a Fellow of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association(AAEA), and a Honorary Life Member, International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE). Dr. Fan received a PhD in applied economics from the University of Minnesota and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Nanjing Agricultural University in China.
Wilfred Feng joined Dentons Shanghai Office as Senior Counsel in 2019. His practice focuses on global food and drug, agricultural and environmental laws, advising clients in the sectors of food, food packaging, dietary supplements, drug, medical device, tobacco products, cosmetics, pesticides, feed, veterinary drug, biotechnology, and chemicals. Before joining Dentons, Mr. Feng spent 14 years at Keller and Heckman, an international regulatory law firm. As the first Chinese member joining its Shanghai Office, Mr. Feng has made significant contribution to its establishment and growth. Before working at law firms, Mr. Feng gained extensive experience in regulatory affairs, government affairs, marketing and R&D at DuPont. Mr. Feng earned B.Sc. (biology) from Fudan University, and master degrees in agriculture and law from Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and East China University of Law and Political Sciences. He is qualified to practice law in China.
Dr. Jia is the leading scientist at Agricultural Information Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS). He obtained the PhD from University of Hohenheim, Germany. He has been researching a broad range of development issues associated with sustainable farming technologies, combined digital and human advice in agriculture, microfinance, agro-food chain governance and farmer organizations. He has been an advisor and consultant for several international organizations (the World Bank, FAO, IFAD, UNEP, SDC, etc.) and entities of the private sector and the civil society. Dr. Jia thinks and works in hybrid constructions of issues and teams, and he values impact-oriented innovation, investment and partnerships. In his recent work, the opportunities of impact entrepreneurship and social finance are mapped and conceptualized at the national and global perspectives.
Xin Yi Lim is Executive Director, Sustainability and Agricultural Impact at Pinduoduo. She is responsible for Pinduoduo’s international corporate strategy efforts and innovation in sustainability and agri-tech. Before joining Pinduoduo in late 2018, she worked for Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC, in both its Singapore and New York offices as a technology and media analyst in its Public Equities division. Xin Yi holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Oxford and a Master’s degree from Harvard University.
Prof. Yaakov “Koby” Nahmias is a bioengineer and innovator, whose breakthroughs ranged from the first 3D printing of cells to the first commercial human-on-chip technology. He is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, and is the founding director of the Grass Center for Bioengineering of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Nahmias is a recipient of a NIH career award, two European Research Council (ERC) grants, the Kaye Innovation Award and the prestigious Rappaport Prize in Biomedical Research. He is the first scientist outside Britain to win the Rosetrees Trust Prize. Nahmias is a fellow of both the prestigious American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and the British Royal Society of Medicine (RSM). He is an editorial board member of the Annual Reviews for Biomedical Engineering, and a long-standing member of the European Research Council LS9 Biotechnology committee. Nahmias is the founding director of BioDesign-Israel, an entrepreneurship program sponsored by Boston Scientific that spun off several medical device companies including Guide In Medical, CardioVia and VenoVision.