Thought For Food Summit - Amsterdam17 Aug 2017
This year, one of our ambassadors, Brittany Dahl, attended the Thought for Food (TFF) Global Summit in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The TFF Summit is a global event focused around a student start-up competition. This year’s theme was '#whatsnext' in food and agriculture. Here are her thoughts...
The Thought for Food (TFF) Global Summit is unlike any food security summit in the world. It is an innovative and interactive event that brings together social entrepreneurs, students, and experts in the fields of food, agriculture, and technology. The idea behind the summit is to discuss and take action towards feeding the projected 9 billion people in the world by 2050. Every year the TFF Challenge invites students from all around the world to form teams and develop solutions that address this challenge. The teams with the top ideas are sent to the summit with the chance to win $25,000 in cash prizes to put their idea into action.
This year’s summit involved two days of jam-packed keynote speakers, interactive discussion groups, and pitches from the Top 10 TFF Challenge Finalist teams.
My time at the summit was a mash-up of interdisciplinary and interactive activities, clean eating, and innovative ideas for tackling the future of food security in the world. Here is my list of the best insights from the summit:
"We need to think differently about what we’ve already got"
I learnt a lot about innovation. Many keynote speakers highlighted that to innovate you don’t need to invent something new. By reusing or repurposing what we already have, or already know, we can create useful solutions to our food security problems.
Some great examples included:
- In-vitro (lab-grown) meat ice-cream developed by Koert van Mensvoort, from the In Vitro Meat Cookbook to help people grow an appetite for lab grown meat - read more
- A sustainable replacement for palm oil made from insects by Biteback - read more
- Virtual Reality stall, where you could experience life as a social eggplant! A virtual reality experience about attaining the ideal body image, more.
At the summit I also experienced my first “food meditation” session. This involved the act of eating a truffle to a guided video by chef Charles Michel. It made you stop and think (with all of your senses) about the experience of eating, and the importance and journey of every ingredient. It was really interesting to take time-out to reflect on the effort and resources it took to make one tiny chocolate, that usually gets eaten within 1-2 seconds!
"As an individual you can strive for change"
One of the biggest takeaways from the Summit was the proven ability of young people to make change in the world from simple ideas. The final keynote speech by Alpha Sennon, founder of WHYFARM - a start up from a previous year’s TFF Summit. They are focused on the world’s first Agricultural Superhero, Agriman - it was incredibly inspiring. Alpha and his team in their non-for-profit educate children in Trinidad and Tobago about leading a career in Agriculture. Alpha’s message focused around believing in yourself and using the four “ships” to succeed: mentorship, entrepreneurship, leadership, and partnership. He noted that by actioning these four concepts, he has been able to make change through WHYFARM, and change his mindset about farming (as he strongly disliked the idea of becoming a farmer as a child!).
It was also inspiring to see the overall winners of the TFF Challenge, Cultivando Futuro - who developed a platform for providing big-data on markets and trends to impoverished small-holder farmers in Colombia. I look forward to hearing more about the team’s platform in the future!
"There’s always room to adjust your attitude and actions"
The founder of Thought for Food, Christine Gould, gave an insightful keynote speech about what it takes to be a next generation innovator in this industry. She developed six core enabling attitudes:
3. A Beginner’s Mindset
4. Entrepreneurial Methods
5. Purpose before Paycheck
6. Larger-than-Life Energy
You can view a summary of her work here. She actually only presented the first five points at the summit, and later added the last point (I believe due to the overwhelming enthusiasm displayed at the TFF event). I really liked this touch, as it displayed that she is true to her words - to be an open entrepreneur with a beginner’s mindset, you can’t be afraid of thinking dynamically and continually improving your work!
Brittany Dahl - Australian Ambassador / Writer
We would love to work with you. Together we can change the way the world eats.
... because ethical eating feels good!
*Main image TFF Facebook page
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