Three Questions with David Aylward, Senior Advisor on Global Health and Technology at Ashoka

From foodtank.com, by Ricky Angel
Three Questions with David Aylward, Senior Advisor on Global Health and Technology at Ashoka

Food Tank, in partnership with The George Washington University, is hosting the 1st Annual Food Tank Summit in Washington D.C. on January 21-22, 2015.

This two-day event will feature more than 75 different speakers from the food and agriculture field. Researchers, farmers, chefs, policy makers, government officials, and students will come together for panels on topics including food waste, urban agriculture, family farmers, farm workers, and more.

Food Tank recently had the opportunity to speak with David Aylward, Senior Advisor on Global Health and Technology at Ashoka, who will be speaking at the summit.

Food Tank (FT): What will your message be at the Food Tank Summit?

David Aylward (DA): Chronic malnutrition affects 2 billion people globally; another 1 billion are “over nourished”. The costs to both individuals and our society are huge and rapidly growing. Most relevant government policies are either making things worse (subsidizing a non-nourishment food system) or focused on the wrong end of the pipeline (paying for hospital sick care, rather than focusing on vitality and well-being). The public needs to be empowered to both understand and take control of their own well-being; new information technology will enable that.

FT: How are you contributing to building a better food system?

DA: We are the working with Ashoka Fellows, and other social entrepreneurs and partners all over the world, to develop: (1) an understanding of the costs and the benefits of proper nourishment at each stage of the nutrient value chain: natural ecosystems, soil, agriculture, food and food manufacturing, human well-being; (2) the relationship of each stage to those before and after it (the flow of nourishment); and (3) new sustainable systems to deliver nourishing outcomes, particularly to people at the base of the pyramid.

FT: What are the biggest obstacles or challenges you face in achieving your organization's goals?

DA: Enormous economic and political investment in the traditional instructions to the food industry: “more food for less money”.

The event is SOLD OUT, but interested participants can sign up for the live-stream HERE. Or JOIN US for dinner and a reception to celebrate Food Tank's two-year anniversary on January 21st at 5:30pm EST. This event will also sell out fast, REGISTER NOW.