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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 one-day 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.

The event will feature interactive panels moderated by top food journalists, networking, and delicious food, followed by a day of hands-on activities and opportunities for attendees. 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. Last year, the Food Tank Summit sold out in minutes and drew in more than 15,500 livestream viewers. 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

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

9:10am Keynote: Danielle Nierenberg, President, Food Tank

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

9:30am Panel: Farming the Future

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

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


  1. Denise O’Brien, Founder, Women, Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN)
  2. Harry Rhodes, Executive Director, Growing Home
  3. Pierre Ferrari, CEO, Heifer International
  4. Ben Burkett, President, National Family Farm Coalition
  5. Emily Zack, Farm Operations Manager, LUREC
  6. Pamela Hess, Executive Director, Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture

10:45am Break

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

Keynote: David MacLennan, Chairman and CEO, Cargill

Moderator: Monica Eng, Reporter, WBEZ


  1. Jonathan Pereira, Executive Director, Plant Chicago
  2. David MacLennan, Chairman and CEO, Cargill
  3. David Barber, Co-Founder/Owner, Blue Hill Farm & Restaurant
  4. Kevin Cleary, CEO, Clif Bar & Company
  5. Sarah Vared, Interim Director, ReFED

12:15pm Lunch

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

1:25pm Panel: Transparency in the Food System

Keynote: Anuradha Mittal, Founder, Oakland Institute

Moderator: Corby Kummer, Senior Editor, Atlantic Monthly


  1. Bruce Friedrich, Executive Director, The Good Food Institute
  2. Angela Mason, Associate Vice President, Windy City Harvest
  3. Karen Lehman, Director, Fresh Taste
  4. Gene Baur, President and Co-Founder, Farm Sanctuary
  5. Juliette Majot, Executive Director, IATP

2:40pm Break

2:55pm Panel: The Future of Food

Keynote: William Warshauer, President and CEO, TechnoServe

Moderator: Bill Daley, Food Writer, Chicago Tribune


  1. Alexander Borschow, Partner, Semillero Ventures, LLC
  2. Brian Halweil, Editor in Chief, Edible Publications
  3. Lisa Moon, President and CEO, The Global FoodBanking Network
  4. Shayna Harris, Chief Operating Officer, Farmer’s Fridge
  5. Jim Slama, Founder and President, FamilyFarmed

4:10pm Closing Keynote: TBD

4:20pm Thank you: Danielle Nierenberg, President, Food Tank,@DaniNierenberg,@Food_Tank

4:30pm Adjourn

And many more to be announced soon!

On Wednesday, November 16, 2016, Food Tank will be holding a very special reception and dinner starting at 5:30PM EST. All tickets include unlimited beer and wine.

The event is being hosted by Eataly, Chef Mario Batali’s sprawling, modern outpost featuring a range of Italian eateries and food markets. The reception will include 1 drink per person (from a selection of sparkling, white and red wine, craft beer, and artisanal Italian sodas) and assorted passed appetizers. Cash bar is also available.

The Bright Spots dinner will begin at 7:00pm EST 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.

Sponsors include: Almond Board of California, Annie’s Homegrown, Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition, Blue Apron, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Clif Bar, Driscoll’s, Elevation Burger, Farmer’s Fridge, Food and Environment Reporting Network, Inter Press Service, Niman Ranch, Organic Valley, and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Highlights from the 2015 Food Tank Summit:

We recently hosted the 1st Annual Food Tank Summit in Washington D.C., which was held in partnership with The George Washington University. It was an exciting event and I’m writing to share with you impacts from the Summit—both its immediate successes and a variety of longer-term outcomes.

  • 400 in-person attendees (completely sold out) from more than 25 states.
  • 15,520 livestream participants from more than 125 countries. The livestream was shown on FoodTank.com, Jamie Oliver’s website, the Forum for the Future website, and the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation website.
  • 78 speakers, panelists, and moderators, came from various leading policy organizations, NGOs, nonprofits, federal and state governments, global health organizations, domestic and international corporations, as well as passionate individuals from all over the world. Please view the complete agenda (http://ow.ly/HYTyK).
  • 11 top food journalists on stage as panel moderators from major media outlets including National Public Radio, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, Voice of America, Politico, and more.
  • More than 6 million Twitter impressions including more than 7,500 tweets directly mentioning or using the #FoodTank hashtag (#FoodTank number one “trending” topic on Twitter on Thursday, January 22 and number two “trending” topic on Wednesday, January 21).
  • 500 attendees to the Food Tank dinner and reception the first evening with Washington Post Food Editor Joe Yonan, Chef Jose Andres, Congresswoman Pingree, and others.
  • All videos (of individual speakers and entire panels) will be posted this week to the Food Tank YouTube page and photos from the event will be posted to the Food Tank Facebook page
  • Major event sponsorships included the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition, Whole Foods Market, Equal Exchange, Panera Bread, Chipotle, sweetgreen, ShopHouse, and more.

2016 Food Tank Summit Locations:

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

Food Tank Platinum Ticket: Includes the entire Food Tank Summit (breakfast and lunch included) and VIP ticket (skip the line, unlimited beer/wine) to our Bright Spots in the Food System Networking Reception (includes appetizers and one drink ticket, cash bar available), and a dinner ticket to our Bright Spots in the Food System Dinner, with your name listed in the Summit and dinner event programs.
Food Tank Summit “Table” Premium Package: Includes 8 Food Platinum Tickets (tickets includes entire Food Tank Summit (breakfast and lunch included) and 8 VIP tickets to our Bright Spots in the Food System Networking Reception, and 8 dinner tickets (entire table) to our Bright Spots in the Food System Networking Dinner, with your organization’s name mentioned from the stage, over the livestream, with a full page ad in the Summit and dinner event programs.

Can’t join us in person? Watch the entire Food Tank Summit free via live stream. Sign up HERE.

Food Tank is a non-profit organization focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. We spotlight environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty and create networks of people, organizations, and content to push for food system change.