Chicago, We Can Change the Food System — The 2016 Food Tank Summit!

Daniel Stein

This event is sold out! Can’t join us in person? Watch the entire Food Tank Summit free via livestream (presented by Organic Valley). Sign up HERE.

Food Tank, in partnership with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and University of Chicago Booth School of Business, is excited to announce the 1st annual Chicago Food Tank Summit at the Gleacher Center. This event will feature more than 40 different speakers from the food and agriculture field. Researchers, farmers, chefs, policy makers, government officials, and students will come together for interactive panels.

This is the third in a series of three Summits in 2016 which will bring together some the world’s most impactful food system leaders. This is a can’t miss event for 2016!


November 16th, 2016

8:30am Registration and Complimentary Breakfast

9:00am Welcome: Stacey Kole, Deputy Dean for Alumni, Corporate Relations, and Full-time MBA Program and Clinical Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, @ChicagoBooth

9:05am Welcome: Alesha Black, Director, Global Food and Agriculture Program, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, @ChicagoCouncil

9:10am Keynote: Danielle Nierenberg, President, Food Tank, @DaniNierenberg@Food_Tank

9:20am Opening Keynote: Kevin Cleary, CEO, Clif Bar & Company, @KevinClearyCEO@ClifBar

9:30am Panel: Farming the Future

Keynote: Fred Kirschenmann, Distinguished Fellow, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University, @IowaStateU

Moderator: Roger Thurow, Author, Journalist, and Senior Fellow, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, @RogerThurow@GlobalAgDev


  1. Harry Rhodes, Executive Director, Growing Home, @GrowingHome
  2. Greg Kearns, Vice President, Institutional Partnerships, Heifer International, @Heifer
  3. Ben Burkett, President, National Family Farm Coalition, @FamilyFarmCo
  4. Emily Zack, Farm Operations Manager, LUREC, @loyolaretreat
  5. Pamela Hess, Executive Director, Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, @ArcadiaFood
  6. Billy Burdett, Executive Director, Advocates for Urban Agriculture, @AUAChicago

10:45am Break

11:00am Panel: Unlikely Alliances in the Food System

Keynote: David MacLennan, Chairman and CEO, Cargill, @Cargill

Moderator: Monica Eng, Reporter, WBEZ, @moicaeng@WBEZ


  1. Jonathan Pereira, Executive Director, Plant Chicago, @plantchicago
  2. David MacLennan, Chairman and CEO, Cargill, @Cargill
  3. Sarah Vared, Interim Director, ReFED, @refed_nowaste
  4. Patrick O’Neill, CEO, Amp Your Good, @PONeill1982@ampyourgood
  5. Alesha Black, Director, Global Food and Agriculture Program, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, @ChicagoCouncil
  6. Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, President, The World Food Prize, @WorldFoodPrize

12:15pm Lunch

1:15pm Afternoon Keynote: Rick Bayless, Chef and Owner, Frontera, @Rick_Bayless@Frontera_Grill

1:25pm Panel: Transparency in the Food System

Keynote: Juliette Majot, Executive Director, IATP, @JulietteMajot@IATP

Moderator: Shruti SinghReporter, Bloomberg News, @shrutidatesingh


  1. Bruce Friedrich, Executive Director, The Good Food Institute, @BruceGFriedrich@GoodFoodInst
  2. Angela Mason, Associate Vice President, Windy City Harvest, @angelakmason@wchproduce
  3. Karen Lehman, Director, Fresh Taste
  4. Gene Baur, President and Co-Founder, Farm Sanctuary, @genebaur@FarmSanctuary
  5. Cassandra Ly, Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) Alumni Association, @BarillaCFN

2:55pm Break

3:10pm Panel: The Future of Food

Keynote: William Warshauer, President and CEO, TechnoServe, @TechnoServe

Moderator: Bill Daley, Food Writer, Chicago Tribune, @BillDaley@chicagotribune


  1. Alexander Borschow, Partner, Semillero Ventures, LLC, @AlexBorschow
  2. Lisa Moon, President and CEO, The Global FoodBanking Network, @foodbanking
  3. Shayna Harris, Chief Operating Officer, Farmer’s Fridge, @mamashayna@FarmersFridge
  4. Jim Slama, Founder and President, FamilyFarmed, @jimslama@FamilyFarmed
  5. Mel Coleman, Vice President Strategic Partnership, Niman Ranch, @Niman_Ranch
  6. Elanor Starmer, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), @USDA_AMS

4:40pm Closing Keynote: Fred Iutzi, President, The Land Institute, @Iutzi_TLI@NatureAsMeasure

4:50pm Danielle Nierenberg, President, Food Tank, @DaniNierenberg@Food_Tank


Can’t join us in person? Watch the entire Food Tank Summit free via livestream (presented by Organic Valley). Sign up HERE.



On Wednesday, November 16, 2016, Food Tank will be holding a very special reception and dinner starting (generously hosted by Barilla) at 6:00pm.

The event is being held at Eataly, Chef Mario Batali’s sprawling, modern outpost featuring a range of Italian eateries and food markets. The reception will include unlimited drinks(from a selection of sparkling, white and red wine, craft beer, and artisanal Italian sodas) and assorted passed appetizers.

The Bright Spots dinner will begin at 7:30pm and will include a 4-course plated dinner paired with 4 complementary wines prepared by Eataly’s head chef. We will also be announcing some incredible guest speakers.

Thank you to our sponsors and partners: Almond Board of California, Annie’s Homegrown, Barilla, Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition, Blue Apron, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Chipotle, Clif Bar & Company, Driscoll’s, Elevation Burger, Fair Trade USA, Farmer’s Fridge, Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN), Inter Press Service (IPS), The Mike Nowak Show, Mother Jones, Natural Awakenings Chicago, Niman Ranch, Organic Valley, Panera Bread, SLoFIG, Terra Chips, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and VegFund.

2016 Food Tank Summit Locations:

  • Washington, DC: April 20 – 21, 2016
  • Sacramento, CA: September 22 – 23, 2016
  • Chicago, IL: November 16, 2016