Food for Thought: Questions From the National Net Impact Conference

This post was written by Arielle Tatar ‘18

As members of The Sustainable Innovation MBA’s local chapter, Sarah Healey ‘18 and I attended the national Net Impact conference in Atlanta, GA in late-October.

All the sessions and keynotes were, of course, very informative and interesting (I am happy to share my notes to anyone who is interested in the speakers and discussions. Email me your contact information).

However, I’d like to challenge you to think about different perspectives of sustainability. I attended multiple small group sessions revolving around the food and agriculture industries. The following questions were brought up by either the speakers or members of the audience.

Topic: Sustainable Agriculture in the 21st Century:

Panelists: Jerry Lynch, VP of Sustainability, General Mills; Keith Kenny, VP of Sustainability, McDonald’s; Shari Rogge-Fidler, CEO, Applied Geosolutions; Will Harris, 6th generation Georgia farmer

  1. There​ ​are​ ​struggles​ ​with​ ​commodities​ ​that​ ​are​ ​geographically​ ​specific​. How​ ​do​ ​we​ ​support those​ ​farmers​ ​and​ ​support​ ​resilience?
  2. What are the challenges as we look to the future?
  3. What are the barriers to catalyzing change and how do we overcome them?
  4. How do you quantify environmental risk?
  5. How can we think differently to achieve our agriculture objectives?
  6. What is our mutual responsibility to both people and the world?
  7. How do we keep using food to bond people together?
  8. How do we make industrial farms more sustainable?
  9. What excites you about the future of sustainable agriculture?
  10. How do you help other farms by being a role model?

Topic: Transparent Supply Chains in the Food Industry:

PanelistsMary Ann DiMascio, Senior Manager, Ceres; Kathy Cacciola, Senior Director of Sustainability, Aramark; Riana Lynn, Founder and Venture Director, FoodTrace/Cleveland Avenue; Joe Whinney, CEO, Theo Chocolate

  1. Where is the transparency trend going?
  2. How do we sustain values when there’s a leadership change?
  3. What’s the biggest challenge you face with traceability?
  4. What are you excited about?
  5. How can we better communicate about the message of organic?
  6. What’s the best way to communicate stories?

Topic: Farm to Trash: Disrupting the Food Waste Epidemic

PanelistsLaura Asiala, Senior Fellow, Pyxera Global; Scott Boylston, Professor of Design for Sustainability, Savannah College of Art and Design; Brittany Price, Director of Sustainable Operations, MGM Resorts International; Eileen Hyde, Director of Hunger and Healthy Eating, Walmart Giving; Jasmine Crowe, CEO and Founder, Gooder

  1. What’s the problem we need to solve?
  2. How do we get food that would otherwise be wasted into the hands of people who need it most?

Topic: A Dialogue with Monsanto: Our Perspective on Food Systems for the Future

Panelists: Clint Chaffer, Product Marketing Lead for Distribution and Platform, The Climate Corporation; Alison MacInnes, Research Chemist, Monsanto; Anilkumar Gowda, Global Insect Resistance Management Project Lead, Monsanto; Valerie Bayes, STEM Engagement Lead, Monsanto

  1. How do you help make plants resistant to blight and other issues?
  2. Why do we need crop protection?
  3. As the world grows, how can crop protection help farmers produce more food?
  4. Why are insects important to agriculture?
  5. How does climate change impact insects?
  6. How do you see technology helping farmers grow more sustainable food?

I’m happy to answer any questions or comments: