USA Pavilion 2015: USA Pavilion Announces Innovation Council: Food, the Next Technological Frontier
How we produce, distribute, sell, purchase, prepare and consume food and how we manage food waste is impacted by innovation and technology. At the recent SouthBites symposium at SXSW Interactive, Max Mullen, Co-Founder, Instacart; Jeff Dunn, Chief Carrot Officer, Bolthouse Farms; and Kaitlin Yarnall, Deputy Creative Director of National Geographic joined the USA Pavilion’s Chief Creative Officer Mitchell Davis at a panel discussing ways to innovate this chain. They agreed that science, innovation and technology are required to solve these global issues as climate change, water shortages, and urbanization, among other forces place increasing pressure on the current food system.
Now more than ever the goal of feeding a planet of 9 billion people by 2050 sustainably and securely is garnering more and more attention and is the central question at this year’s Expo Milano 2015. Anchored on the theme, “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” all 140-plus participating countries will present their unique contributions to solve these issues. In addition to featuring an innovative pavilion designed by James Biber featuring the world’s largest vertical farm and SPD SmartGlass, the USA Pavilion will also assemble an Innovation Council to play an important role in the educational and programming of the USA Pavilion during the Expo.
The Innovation Council includes leaders from across the food, enterprise and academia worlds, including Jeff Dunn (Bolthouse Farms) and Max Mullen (Instacart) as well as Danielle Gould (Food & Tech Connect), Mike Lee (Studio Industries), and Arthur Molella (Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian).
An exciting addition to the USA Pavilion programming is Feeding the Accelerator, a food systems startup accelerator produced in conjunction with Atelier Slice with support from a growing list of partners such as Microsoft. This unique opportunity offers12 teams a unique opportunity to participate in a business incubator in the context of the Expo Milano 2015. The program features a series of workshops, seminars, food-labs with chefs, mentors and guest-lecturers from the food system. In addition, 36-hour hackathons will provide the 12 teams the chance create innovative solutions to specific issues in the food system.
“The United States is a global leader in innovation and the Feeding the Accelerator program exemplifies how our country, and the USA Pavilion, strives to help answer the daunting challenge of feeding 9 billion people on earth by 2050,” said Doug Hickey, Commissioner General of the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2015. “We have assembled an impressive group of collaborative minds in private enterprise and academia to serve as a critical sounding board for some of our most promising food solutions,” he continued, “it makes me proud to see Americans leading the charge here.”
The application process will be announced at this year’s Seeds & Chips conference, taking place in Milan from March 26-March 29. This event brings together companies, innovators, and investors who want to revolutionize the production and distribution of food as well as its consumption and depiction. Stay tuned for more updates!
Photos: Top, at SXSW SouthBites (left to right): Max Mullen, Co-Founder, Instacart; Jeff Dunn, President Package Fresh, Campbell Soup Company and Chief Carrot Officer, Bolthouse Farms; and Kaitlin Yarnall, Deputy Creative Director of National Geographic Mitchell Davis, Chief Creative Officer, USA Pavilion. Bottom, Douglas T. Hickey, Commissioner General (left) and Charlie K. Faas, CEO (right) both of the USA Pavilion.