The planet is poised for a food revolution: concerns over the environmental costs of feeding our world are transforming what we eat, how we raise it, how we source our nutrition, and how we handle excess. How can we keep food delicious, sustainable, and healthy? For this event, we take a “tour of the table” with researchers and startups whose work is shaping the future of food — from agriculture, distribution, preparation, nutrition, and our health.
Presented in partnership with the Board of Higher Education (DGES) of the Canton de Vaud, this event is free for Swiss Alumni based in the Bay Area. Special guests include students from the School of Management and Engineering Vaud (HEIG-VD).
6:00pm — doors open
6:30pm — presentation and Q&A
7:30pm — networking
9:00pm — doors close
Josh is part of Nestlé’s Silicon Valley Innovation Outpost (SVIO), a team based in San Francisco that is dedicated to exploring how emerging technologies will shape the future of Nestlé’s businesses globally. The SVIO is part think-tank, part experimental laboratory, working across a variety of domains (AI/ML, IoT, AR/VR, Voice, Food Tech, Blockchain, Robotics/Autonomous Vehicles, and New Business Models) to bring new concepts to life. Working closely with startups to build prototypes for in-market testing, this entrepreneurial team strives to demonstrate the “art of the possible” for the greater organization. Josh comes from a 15-year background in technology consulting, with a focus on enterprise architecture, systems integration, and mobile computing. Driven by a passion to innovate and an obsession for user experience, he is a dreamer and entrepreneur at heart, even founding an internet-based animation start-up along the way. Here at the SVIO he is exploring opportunities in personalized nutrition.
Charlotte Biltekoff is Associate Professor of American Studies and Food Science and Technology at the University of California Davis, where she builds bridges between scientific and cultural approaches to questions about food and health. She is author of Eating Right in America: The Cultural Politics of Food and Health (Duke University Press, 2013) and is currently working on a book about tensions surrounding “processed food” and their relationship to broader struggles over scientific authority and expertise in the food system, and beyond. She is also a member of the AFTeR Project, a collaborative research project across 3 UC campuses examining the California Agri-Food Tech sector. Biltekoff’s work has been the subject of a short film, she engages frequently with the media, and has published in a wide range of academic journals. At UC Davis she teaches classes on food and culture as well as innovation in the food system.
Rache Brand has an innate understanding of the food system. She has worked in all aspects from CPG to Restaurants in Food Service and working with some of the biggest players in the business from Compass Group to McDonalds to Chobani. As a partner at RIFF – A global Venture Capital firm focused on investing in food tech, Brand holds the title of Chief Demand Officer. Her focus is on the analysis of the opportunity, seeking the right brands to invest in, focusing on the end consumer, and coaching her founders into a successful launch. RIFF believes that exponential leaders stem from the intersection between scale and greater good.
Leila Elamine is the cofounder of The Recipe Hunters and the Director of Storytelling at Shef. In 2014, Leila began traveling the world documenting the stories of grandmothers and their traditional recipes through photojournalism and film. Combining her storytelling skills with her personal values of social equality, she narrowed her focus to the documentation of cultures that are often misrepresented or under-represented in mainstream media. This pivot became the foundation for the Culinary Heritage Co., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to promote cultural pluralism through positive food media. Five years later, she’s worked with locals in seventy international communities, interviewing over four hundred artisan food makers and home-cooks and documenting over two hundred and sixty traditional food processes. Her award winning media has organically reached over nine million people internationally (www.therecipehunters.com). Most recently, Leila moved to San Francisco to help jumpstart Shef (www.myshef.com), an online marketplace that connects local cooks to their neighbors in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Rachel Gabato is the COO of ripe.io, helping drive their mission to enable a platform where everyone can access transparent information on the origin, journey and quality of their food. Rachel has more than 20 years of proven management and leadership experience with both private and public cloud-based technology companies. Throughout her career, she has experience in different functional areas growing her knowledge of Customer Success, Professional Services, Program Management and Product Management. Her professional career also includes stints in London and Hong Kong. At ripe.io, she manages Product Management, Professional Services and HR/Administrative functions. She holds a degree in Business Management and Marketing from Cornell University where she played NCAA Division 1 basketball.