April 13: Food, Space, and Re-Imagination

Updated: Mar 31

Network and learn as part of Part of The Yield Lab Institute’s Space for Food initiative

If we’re going to create new food systems, they have to improve on what we have and address the challenges we’ll likely face. Trends point to rising challenges and emerging opportunities - what’s a pipe dream vs what’s attainable?

Join us, rising innovators, and established thoughtleaders at a free virtual event on Tuesday April 13, 2021 from 9:00-11:15am Central US Time as we discuss how solving for food in space can help us solve for food on Earth. (register here)

You'll join experts from Yield Lab Institute, Bayer Crop Science, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Space Commerce Matters, the Arrell Food Institute, the Food and Agriculture Institute at the University of Fraser Valley, St. Louis University, Pluton Biosciences, the CEA Food Safety Coalition, Hawkwood Biotech Partners, the Food Equation Institute at the University of Missouri, and many more as we explore where we're going with sustainable, abundant, and local food and how we'll get there.

Event Agenda:

9-9:45am - Pre-Session Thoughtstarters:

Get your creative juices flowing in these discussions on key topics in space, food, and ag:

Food as System and Experience

We don’t just produce food, humans process, transport, prepare and consume it for individual and societal survival, for enjoyment, and for shared social experiences. How can we make the newest food tech as powerful (or more) in these ways?

Session co-leaders:

- Evan Fraser of the Arrell Food Institute at University of Guelph and author of the forthcoming book Dinner on Mars

- Nick Kalaitzandonakes, Director of the Food Equation Institute at the University of Missouri

- Lenore Newman, culinary geographer of the University of Fraser Valley and Director, Food and Agriculture Institute; Canada Research Chair, Food Security and Environment

Microbial opportunities on Earth and Beyond

Whether in space or on Earth, microbiology offers enormous potential as a food source, to remediate waste and unproductive soil, and to maintain a healthy living environment for producers and consumers and their communities. What potential is waiting to be tapped?

Session co-leaders:

- Barry Goldman of Pluton Biosciences

- Tony Day of Bond Pet Foods and Hawkwood Biotech Partners

Systems for Life on Earth and Space

Anything we grow on Earth or in Space has to safely coexist with people, and those people need to thrive, too. What are the factors to control and the systems and infrastructure that we can use to control them to make living and food possible wherever humans go?

Session co-leaders:

- Michael Swartwout of St. Louis University’s Parks College on the electrical, mechanical, civil, and other engineering systems

- Others to be announced soon

Measured Progress for Food System Development on Earth and Space

We won’t just turn the food system of a space crew or a city over to technology that hasn’t been proven. How will stakeholders and investors measurably drive progress toward scale?

Session co-leaders:

- Cynthia Bouthot of Space Commerce Matters

- Marni Karlin of CEA Food Safety Coalition

- Others to be announced soon

9:45-10:30am - Discussion: Hype vs Realistic Optimism in Future Food Systems:

Whether in space or on Earth, what are the real problems and the emerging technologies in food systems? How do we separate the hype from real potential from inputs through growing, processing, consumption and circular systems over extractive systems?


- Cynthia Bouthot of Space Commerce Matters

- J.D. Rossouw, SVP and Head of Vegetables R&D at Bayer Crop Science

- Thad Simons of Yield Lab Institute

- Others to be announced soon

10:30-11:15am - Post-Session Speed Networking

Meet the startups, researchers, resource providers, and others innovating in controlled environment growing, space ag, space habitats, cell ag, and circular biomaterial economies,

- Are you an innovator wanting to have your work showcased at our May 4 event at no cost or obligation? Sign up here.

- Advisors, funders, and supporters, register here for opportunities to help these innovators improve their work and connect with others to help them succeed.

Don't miss this exciting event - register here now.