SDL speakers are a diverse selection of industry leaders determined to transform the agtech ecosystem and innovate the global supply chain, in order to build a better, more sustainable future for food.
GLOBAL STRATEGIST, FARM INPUTS, RABOBANK
Dirk Jan and his team publish research on macroeconomic trends and industry dynamics within different food & agribusiness value chains, provide strategic corporate advice, and assist asset management firms in agricultural commodity markets investments.
DIRECTOR AGRICULTURE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS, MICROSOFT
Claudia Rössler is Director Agriculture in Microsoft Azure Global Engineering. She is responsible for developing strategic partnerships for Digital Innovation and Ag Tech in the agriculture ecosystem
DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL, INTER-AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR COOPERATION ON AGRICULTURE
Mr. Lloyd C. Day is a United States citizen who joined the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) as Deputy Director General in 2012. The mission of IICA is to promote agricultural development and rural well-being in its 34 Member States in the Western Hemisphere. Prior to IICA, Day held several positions at the United States Department of Agriculture. After his government service, he represented the global agri-business corporation Syngenta as its Head of Federal Government Relations.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FOODSHOT GLOBAL
Sara Eckhouse is Executive Director of FoodShot Global, an innovative, collaborative platform of investors, industry leaders, innovators, and advocates who are working together to create scalable, impactful, and inspired solutions – MoonShots for Better Food. Sara also worked in the Obama White House in the Office of Legislative Affairs, and as a Field Organizer on the 2008 Obama Presidential Campaign. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College.
DIRECTOR, INNOVATION COMMERCIALIZATION, DONALD DANFORTH PLANT SCIENCE CENTER
Claire combines science research and business knowledge along with experience with startup companies to support commercialization of innovative technologies in agriculture. She began work at the Danforth Center in February of 2019 where she promotes the commercial impact of the Center’s intellectual property through such activities as patent filing, license agreements, and oversite for an innovation incubation program (IN2, funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation) that accelerates early stage agriculture technologies into the market through the execution of validating research for companies in collaboration with the Danforth Center.
PARTNER, FINISTERE VENTURES
Arama Kukutai is a co-founder and Partner at Finistere Ventures a pioneer in the Agriculture and Food technology sectors founded in 2005. He has led the creation of Finistere’s global network in Agrifood technology which includes presence in Tel Aviv, San Diego and Silicon Valley, and Dublin, Ireland. Finistere has built a global platform investing in the leading Agrifood companies and partnered with corporate leaders including Nutrien, Bayer, Pepsico and International Farming Corporation.
DIRECTOR FORUM US, FORUM FOR THE FUTURE
Sandra is the Managing Director of Forum for the Future US, directing a team dedicated to unlocking complex sustainability challenges through systems thinking, and building the capabilities of other change-makers through the School of Systems Change. Her experience and expertise is in inspiring senior leaders to develop a vision and strategy for transformational change, and catalysing interventions that can have a disproportionate impact on society and the environment.
VICE PRESIDENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL STRATEGY AND INDUSTRY ACTIVATION, BAYER CROP SCIENCE
Andy Knepp leads the Environmental Strategy and Industry Activation team for Bayer Crop Science. The team’s focus is on advocacy for modern agricultural innovations and to demonstrate how technology can reduce agriculture’s impact on biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, water usage and water quality. This effort extends globally through relationships and collaborative projects with environmental groups, grower associations, food value chain companies, and intergovernmental agencies.
PRESIDENT AND CEO, SOIL HEALTH INSTITUTE
Dr. Wayne Honeycutt leads SHI’s programs to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soils. He served for 5 years as Deputy Chief for Science and Technology with USDA-NRCS in Washington, DC; for 10 years as a Research Leader and 14 years as a Research Soil Scientist with USDA-ARS. He was the 2018 recipient of the Hugh Hammond Bennett Award, the highest honor bestowed on an individual by the Soil and Water Conservation Society.
PRESIDENT AND COO, GROWERS EDGE FINANCIAL
Mr. Young is an innovative leader with over 29 years of experience in managing every level of business operations including sales, finance, compliance, marketing, product development, claims, and underwriting. With a results-driven focus, Mr. Young has led various organizations from startups to Fortune 100 companies, including his tenure as CEO/President of AmTrust Ag and The Climate Corporation, and Vice President at John Deere Financial. In addition, Mr. Young has served on numerous local, industry, and philanthropic boards and is a frequent speaker on the topics of finance and technology in agriculture.
STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS AND INNOVATION, AEROFARMS
Fabian is a Strategic Research and Technology Development Lead at AeroFarms, a clean-technology company that builds and operates responsible, state-of-the art indoor vertical farms in urban environments around the world, helping transform agriculture. In his current work, Fabian oversees all AeroFarms R&D projects and manages the relationships with potential R&D strategic partners. He joined AeroFarms after graduating from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
PRESIDENT AND CEO, VESTARON CORPORATION
Anna is the President and CEO, and also a Board Member at Vestaron since April 2018, bringing more than a decade of experience across multiple venture-backed ag-tech companies. Anna has also founded and led as the CEO of NexSteppe to develop and commercialize optimized crops for the biobased economy, as well as led the Commercial and Business Development at Ceres, an agricultural biotechnology company and developer of dedicated energy crops.
VP OF BUSINESS STRATEGY AND INNOVATION, NEWLEAF SYMBIOTICS
Mike McFatrich joined NewLeaf Symbiotics as vice president of business strategy and development in 2015. In this role, he develops strategy, directs business development and guides the field biology effort. He is keenly interested in sustainability and the interface of biological crop protection tools with traditional chemical solutions to enhance crop performance, starting with the seed.
HEAD OF US SALES AND OPERATIONS, AEROBOTICS
Alastair Curtis is the Head of US Sales & Operations at Aerobotics. In this role, he oversees expansion, growth, and operations across North America. He is originally from Cape Town, South Africa & received his B.BusSci (Finance) from the University of Cape Town. Alastair previously worked at Uber for 5 years, as the Launcher and General Manager of Uber in Nigeria and Kenya, as well as in the Launcher of the US-based vehicle leasing program.
FOUNDER AND INDUSTRY CONSULTANT, AGRITECTURE CONSULTING
Henry Gordon-Smith is a sustainability strategist focused on urban agriculture, water issues, and emerging technologies.
FOUNDER AND CEO, GOODR CO.
Jasmine Crowe is an award winning social entrepreneur who is passionate about ending hunger and reducing food waste. Through her first company, BCG, she was able to partner with celebrities across the nation in a host of cause campaigns. In January of 2017, she founded Goodr, a sustainable food surplus management company that leverages technology to combat hunger and reduce waste.
SENIOR PARTNER, CARLAN ADVISORS GROUP AND AUTHOR, 'THE DIGITAL STRATEGIST' BLOG
Kenneth Zuckerberg is a Wall Street-trained securities analyst and investment manager that advises food, agribusiness and financial services clients on strategic and capital matters. He recently led Wells Fargo's AgriFood Technology research and advisory practice until returning to manage Carlan Advisors, a niche consulting firm he founded in 2003 following his retirement from Lazard Asset Management. He is a subject matter expert on the digitalization of food and agriculture and is a prolific communicator that writes frequently on advancing technologies for climate smart food production.
FOUNDER AND CEO, CROPIN TECHNOLOGY
Krishna Kumar, founder and CEO of CropIn Technology Solutions, has made it possible to enable data-driven farming by connecting all the stakeholders in the agri ecosystem. Krishna is also a BusinessWorld 40 Under 40 Achiever 2018 and Top 25 Tech Entrepreneurs of 2019 by Entrepreneur India Magazine.
VICE PRESIDENT, S2G VENTURES
Cristina Rohr is an investor with S2G Ventures, a food and agriculture venture capital fund, focused on companies whose products and services meet the shifting demands for healthy and sustainable food.Cristina has nearly 10 years of experience in sourcing, executing, managing and exiting venture and private equity investments. Before joining S2G Ventures, Cristina was a private equity investor with the Edgewater Funds in Chicago and, prior to that, with First Reserve in London, where she focused on leveraged buyout investments in the natural resources industry.
David Friedman is the CEO of VividGro, a leader in advanced-applications of Agricultural technology (AgTech). Friedman is also the founder of the Panther Funds which have invested over $10 Million in 20 cannabis companies.
INVESTMENT ASSOCIATE ONTARIO, FINISTERE VENTURES
Ingrid is an associate with Finistere Ventures located in Toronto, Ontario. In addition to her activities in Canada, Ingrid is interested in the application of life sciences technologies in agriculture. Her areas of focus for Finistere cover a broad range of disciplines including crop inputs, plant sciences, and animal health.
GLOBAL FOOD STRATEGY MANAGER, AIRBNB
McKenzie is the Global Food Strategy Manager at Airbnb and still spends her time working to build a global network of (com)passionate & ethical eaters. She oversees strategy and programming for Airbnb’s 40+ international offices.
CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, PRODUCERS MARKET
Keith has worked in the supply side of the agricultural industry for the past decade. He is the founder of the commercial urban agriculture firm, Sky Vegetables, which pioneered the integration of greenhouse hydroponic agriculture in urban environments.
Miku Jha is the founder and CEO of AgShift. She has led multiple startups from founding stage to successful acquisitions & mergers with companies such as IBM and Xyratex. As a product executive, Miku has launched large scale enterprise products in mobile and internet of things for companies such as VMware and IBM.
DIRECTOR OF AGRICULTURE, NORTH AMERICA, THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
Pipa Elias is Director of Agriculture in North America. Skilled at applying scientific research to advance policy and conservation solutions, Pipa leads an interdisciplinary team of experts in a collaborative approach to help producers meet the growing demand for food while protecting critical lands and waters. Elias joined TNC in 2015 as a senior policy advisor, leading land use policy advocacy at the United Nations climate negotiations and other multilateral venues.
ENVIRONMENTAL AND SUSTAINABILITY MANAGER, SMITHFIELD FOODS
Dawn manages environmental projects for the Smithfield Hog Production Division, and is part of the team leading innovation in the Smithfield Agronomics program. Working alongside Environmental Defense Fund, Smithfield Foods provides agronomic information and tech to local farmers to improve fertilizer use efficiency, livestock management, crop yields and soil health.
PROCUREMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY MANAGER, ST. JUDE CHILDREN’S RESEARCH HOSPITAL
As the procurement and sustainability manager for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, Kevin works with local and national suppliers to source products which improve the hospital’s position on environmentally preferable purchasing, antimicrobial stewardship in the food chain, and investment in local and regional foodsheds. He is also a member of the Google Refresh Working Group.
CO-CHAIR & PARTNER, HOLLAND & KNIGHT’S ISRAEL PRACTICE
Meital Stavinsky is the co-chair of Holland & Knight’s Israel Practice, a partner and a member of the firm’s Public Policy & Regulation Group. Meital focuses her practice on business and government relations, with a particular emphasis on Israeli emerging and advanced technologies companies. She advises advanced technologies companies that provide a beneficial social or environmental impact on a wide range of U.S. congressional and federal legislative matters. She provides strategic and policy advice, among others to agriculture and food technology clients and helped her clients impact agriculture-related legislation.
Maja Vujinovic is committed to a future where innovative technologies such as blockchain and AI enhance and support the global human experience. She is a founder and a CEO of OGroup, an investment and advisory firm that helps clients integrate and navigate new technology tools.
CEO, ANUVIA PLANT NUTRIENTS
Ms. Yoder has been in the agricultural industry for more than 20 years and has held key roles with Arysta LifeScience, Monsanto and Spectrum Brands and served on boards with CropLife America and RISE (Responsible Industry Sound Environment). Amy is currently a board member with Compass Minerals and Vive Crop Protection. She also promotes agriculture through her directorship on the Clemson University Foundation Board and as President for the Sigma Alpha Foundation.
Nick has over a decade of organizational leadership, sustainability strategy development and research experience in the areas of crop production, nutrient cycling and management, and environmental quality. He currently leads several projects with grower, agricultural industry, foundation, conservation and academic organizations to help prioritize engagement strategies and collaborative ventures to capture and deliver value across agricultural supply chains. He has held technology development roles within the corn and soybean seed and vegetable production industries.
PRESIDENT AND CO-FOUNDER, RIPE.IO
Phil is a founder at ripe.io that is deploying the “Blockchain of Food” that provides solutions to help answer what’s in your food, where it’s been and what’s happened to it.
CO-OWNER OF HORT AMERICAS LLC AND FOUNDER OF URBAN AG NEWS
Chris Higgins is the General Manager and co-Owner of Hort Americas LLC, a wholesale supply company focused on all aspects of the horticultural industries as well as Big Bad Flower
Chris is also the founder of Urban Ag News and is also dedicated to creating change through a variety of non-profit and community minded projects.
CO-FOUNDER, BOX GREENS
Lisa Merkle is the proud co-founder of Box Greens. Box Greens brought “Hydroponic Box Farms” into urban areas of South Florida, providing fresh “farm to table” greens to discerning diners and on the job training for residents in underserved communities throughout South Florida in the booming field – AgTech.
PRINCIPAL, GLOBAL CAPITAL MARKETS
Erica Riel-Carden is a Principal at Global Capital Markets, a boutique investment bank. She leads the Global Capital Agriculture and Agricultural Technology practice and contributes to the Firm’s Food, Beverage, and Consumer Products practices out of the San Francisco Office. With her grower, legal, and financial expertise, she has prepared AgTech companies for capital, corporate, and related intellectual property transactions. She also enjoys lecturing for the Santa Clara University Center for Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
GENERAL MANAGER, USA, THE MEATLESS FARM CO.
Heading up US operations for UK based Meatless Farm Co, Kasper is spearheading fast development into the international plant based protein market, having recently seen Whole Foods begin to stock the vegan friendly, gluten free and wheat free products. Kasper and his team focuses efforts on not only marketing a delicious brand, but a responsible, sustainable alternative to meat products in today's consumer market.
CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, TELESENSE
Naeem is a serial entrepreneur and currently serves as the co-founder and CEO of TeleSense, an IoT (Internet of Things) company creating real-time wireless sensing and predictive analytics solutions for the stored grain industry. Naeem has authored five books on entrepreneurship and he teaches entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley. He has a graduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota.
CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, INFINITE FOODS
Ms. Adelman has 30 years of business experience as a former Global Managing Director for Accenture, CEO of a US-based home health services company, and Group Strategy Executive for the pan-African Econet Group. In 2017, she was named by CEO Global as Africa’s Most Influential Woman – Business & Professional Services and in 2019. She was named on the Forbes Africa “20 New Wealth Creators” list. Ms. Adelman is a speaker and consultant on agricultural transformation in emerging markets and serves on the advisory board to Cornell University’s Dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
PRINCIPAL, ZAPALAC ADVISORS
Laurie Zapalac, PhD is Principal of Zapalac Advisors, a consulting practice that provides research, planning and storyline development services to help places find new potential. Working with clients across all sectors, she guides regeneration strategies that draw heavily upon the diversity of food culture and foster healthy food systems for communities. Much of her recent work focuses on how new technology is transforming the commercial seafood industry – and expanding opportunities for shellfish aquaculture – and what this means for historic maritime cities and coastal environments.
CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, FOODSHED.IO
Daniel Beckmann is the Co-Founder and CEO of Foodshed.io, an app working to make local food distribution more efficient. He and the Foodshed.io team are connecting sustainable producers to local wholesale markets in an accessible, traceable, reliable food system by integrating blockchain technology.
FOUNDER AND CEO, AG-ANALYTICS TECHNOLOGY
Joshua Woodard is the founder of Ag-Analytics, a platform providing a variety of data services for farmers, growers, researchers and agribusiness networks such as the National Corn Growers Association and American Farm Bureau. He has published journals in agricultural finance and economics, risk management, and insurance, and he is an authorized Expert Reviewer Underwriter for the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.
SENIOR POLICY AND RESEARCH, REFRESH: FOOD+TECH
Sarah Papazoglakis leads the Refresh Working Group, bringing people together who are working at the intersection of agriculture, food and technology to better understand how emerging innovations can help improve our food systems. As a champion of what it means to "do good", Sarah uses her doctorate in humanities to convene thought leaders with competing perspectives and contextualize complex narratives.
PRESIDENT AND CEO, FEEDING SOUTH FLORIDA
Mr. Vélez is at the helm of the leading domestic hunger-relief organization in South Florida, providing more than $65 million worth of food to Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties. His expertise in the areas of Program Development, Client Services, Government Contracts, and Leadership are invaluable to the community.
Moe Levin is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Keynote, an investor in high-tech startups, and an advisor to governments, regulators, banks, and venture-backed companies.
Some of the projects he has been involved with include The Global Blockchain Council in Dubai (2015 – present) , the harmonized VAT treatment of Bitcoin (2013), The OECD Working Party 9 (2013-2014).
Moe is also the Co-Founder of the first accredited Blockchain Academy, an early investor in RSK Labs, Labfresh, Dropbox, and others. Prior to founding Keynote, Moe was responsible for launching a venture-backed startup in Europe which raised $30m from Richard Branson, Index Ventures and others.
VP MARKETING, PARABEL USA
Cecilia is a Brand Strategist with experience leading corporate and product communications for large companies. Cecilia holds a B.Sc. in International Business from the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She majored in Economic Geography studying production, distribution and spatial organization of economic activities across the world. Recently she has led the international marketing strategy for LENTEIN® introducing the plant protein to the global food system with a view to improve health and sustainability across the globe
FOUNDER AND CEO, ROCKY MOUNTAIN MICRO RANCH
Wendy Lu McGill is the Founder & CEO of Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch, Colorado's first and only edible insect farm. Prior to founding Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch, Wendy Lu worked for nearly twelve years with international aid agencies around the world in sectors as diverse as water and sanitation, human trafficking and rural infrastructure development. With a background in sociological research in international development and intercultural communication, Wendy Lu brings a global perspective and deep understanding of the why and how of farming insects for food.
FOUNDING PRINCIPAL, CREÄ AFFILIATES
As a sustainable development advocate for over two decades, Anindita Mitra has worked on a number of strategies that have advanced access to healthy food and local food production, particularly in food deserts. Ms. Mitra works at the intersection of land use, local government regulations, equitable access to healthy food, food waste reduction, and “farm-to-fork” strategies. She also assists regional efforts to further equitable food policies, such as the feasibility study of Washington State’s Healthy Food Access Policy. Ms. Mitra is the founder of CREÄ Affiliates, a company that advances sustainable community development through strategic plans, policies, regulations, and design.
REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF SOUTH FLORIDA, FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES
Alvarez brings more than a decade of experience in sustainable agriculture development to the administration. Most recently he has served as a consultant, working with minority agricultural producers and ranchers to implement stronger farm management and conservation practices, and farm-to-fork relations. Alvarez has worked on agricultural issues across the world, from West Africa to various regions of the United States, helping to advance sustainable farming practices, increase self-sufficient food production, and tackling issues such as women's empowerment, soil erosion and more.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FUTURE FOOD AMERICAS
Chiara is the Executive Director of Future Food Americas, representing Future Food Institute and Future Food Network globally, managing the expansion in North and South Americas, and leading international corporate innovation programs. Chiara is part of the Expert Network at the World Economic Forum, she is a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Future, Researcher and Alumna at Barilla Center Food Nutrition Foundation, as well as part of the Expert Team at Unleash, a global innovation lab fully dedicated to youth and SDGs.
FOUNDER AND CEO, MIGLIASSI CONSULTING
Fernando Migliassi is a purpose-driven entrepreneur and former corporate executive inspired and motivated by the economic, environmental and social impact of entrepreneurs and companies to produce course-altering change. His interest and experience in climate-related issues has led him to his current startup endeavor (pre-launch) around Climate Communications, immersive technologies, and most importantly Climate Action. As a Certified CLEO Climate Speaker Fernando is a catalyst to drive individual and business climate awareness and climate action, especially in Miami given that it is the most at-risk city in the world to sea-level rise.
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CEO, MILLENIUM ENERGY CORPORATION (OTC MARKETS MENC)
Lightman is or has been an advisor to over 20 crypto companies. He is the author or coauthor of four books, most recently Augmented: Life In The Smart Lane, with Brett King. Lightman is a graduate of MIT and attended graduate school at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
INVENTOR OF DIGITAL CASH
Widely recognized as the inventor of digital cash, David Chaum is also known for other fundamental innovations in cryptography, including privacy technology and secure election systems.
MEMBER OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, LITHUANIA
Antanas Guoga (TonyG) is an entrepreneur, Lithuanian member of the European Parliament, philanthropist, public CIO to the Mayor of Vilnius, Remigijus Šimašius. TonyG is entrepreneurship enabler, venture capitalist who invests in start-ups in the digital area. Known an opinion leader for his efforts to promote a better climate for entrepreneurship and improving conditions for business opportunities.
CTO AT IBM CLOUD
Anthony Butler is CTO for IBM Cloud in Middle East and Africa; providing technical leadership across IBM’s cloud services and software portfolio and focusing on helping clients unlock new sources of value through the use of cloud-based technologies, such as blockchain and cognitive computing.
REGION EXECUTIVE, IBM MIDDLE EAST
Bashar Kilani is IBM Middle East’s territory executive for the Gulf and Levant regions and has been with IBM for over 20 years. He incorporated many of IBM’s services, such as software, and systems businesses and drives local operations across the vertical spectrum. Initially, he joined IBM UK software business based out of Hursley labs, holding positions in development, services, and marketing in the past. He has been exposed to regional business and IT media and has been a speaker at several international conferences.
CO-FOUNDER AT CROWDFUNDER
Chance Barnett is the CEO of Crowdfunder, the leading equity crowdfunding platform for influencers. Crowdfunder empowers influencers to transform their social currency into financial capital. Chance is a successful internet entrepreneur, angel investor, and advisor who has started, bootstrapped, and raised VC money for several companies from inception over the last 15 years.
MEMBER OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
Eva Kaili is a Member of the European Parliament and Head of the Hellenic Delegation “Olive Tree”, in the Progressive Alliance of Social Democrats “S&D” 2014-2019. She has been the youngest Member of the Hellenic Parliament 2007-2012 elected with Panhellenic Social Democratic Party at the first position in both National and European Elections.
DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT STRATEGY, TRADESTATION CRYPTO, INC.
James is TradeStation Crypto’s Director of Product Strategy. Previously, he was Director of Strategy and Innovation for TradeStation Technologies, Inc., where he co-founded the TradeStation Sandbox, an innovation lab that’s focused on developing firm knowledge through innovation projects. James is active in the blockchain community with speaking engagements, TV appearances, and educational content. He has over 15 years’ experience in the FinTech industry.
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH
Jeffrey Tucker is Editorial Director at the American Institute for Economic Research. He is also Chief Liberty Officer and founder of Liberty.me, Distinguished Honorary Member of Mises Brazil, research fellow at the Acton Istitute, policy adviser of the Heartland Institute, founder of the CryptoCurrency Conference, member of the editorial board of the Molinari Review, an advisor to the blockchain application builder Factom, and author of five books. He has written 150 introductions to books and many thousands of articles appearing in the scholarly and popular press.
CO-FOUNDER, NAJARIAN FAMILY OFFICE
Jon is a professional investor and market analyst, who publishes his market observations and trade ideas on Investitute.com, his financial education and newsletter services company. Over the years he has authored four best-selling books on trading and options.