Symposium Submission

Cereals & Grains 20
Connecting Grain Science with Global Sustainability

As thought-leaders in cereal and grain science, we welcome you to submit a symposium topic for this year’s annual meeting program to help attendees connect grain science with global sustainability. To keep our programs relevant and focused for all attendees, this year’s conference is organized with daily thought-provoking questions that align with three distinct learning tracks that span across the entire conference, all relating to the annual theme of “Connecting Grain Science with Global Sustainability.”

You don’t need to be an expert to contribute to this year’s program. By submitting a topic, you simply organize the symposium by bringing together subject-matter speakers in a forum that connect with attendees. Submission closed April 13.


What Should my Symposium Topic be?

The goal of each symposium is to focus on problem solving and overcoming today’s cereals and grains challenges while inspiring attendees to make connections between grain science and a more sustainable world. In other words, we encourage a holistic presentation of subject matter from factual information (“what happened?”) to historical, economic or scientific motivations (“why it was done this way?”) as well as current and future impacts and implications (“what impact does it have?”).

Think about topics and challenges that excite you. What are you passionate about? What are you curious about? This can also be a great opportunity for you to search for a deeper understanding about a topic you previously haven’t had the time to delve into more.

To help inspire your submission to the meeting program, we’ve created examples of session topics that align with the daily question and each learning track for you to use as a jumping off point for developing your own symposia content. The below grid contains the daily questions that will drive this year’s meeting program as well as the tracks that will keep content linked to those questions.

We encourage you to scan the entire grid for session examples that might be relevant to the work you do. We look forward to hearing from you on how you can contribute to the cereals & grains community!

Learning Track A
Grain Production & Global Trade

Learning Track B
Innovation for health, Functionality & Consumer Trust

Learning Track C
Food Security & the Environment

Question 1:
How do we ensure traceability and safe products in the grain industry?
  • How to trace grains that move from producing to consuming countries, as well as within countries
  • Links to sustainable agriculture
  • How can we ensure the food safety that is so valued by today's consumers?
  • How do we ensure that the differences in quality and safety requirements that affect trade do not have a negative impact on stakeholders, such as small producers or small producing areas?
  • How do we overcome the requirement challenges that act as a trade barrier vs. that protect quality and consumer health?
  • Production, processing and commercialization of cereal-based foods, including pulses
  • Grain safety and how we manage things like bacteria, coronavirus and micro-nutrients
  • Food safety and the accuracy of health claims, including the education of consumers on nutrition and health
  • How do we deal with the traceability of grains of large volume (railcars, ships, mass quantities, etc.)?
  • Recent efforts and future trends on avoiding cross-contamination of wheat, nuts and gluten-free grains.

Question 2:
How do we meet the growing list of demands of the environmental and health-conscious consumer?
  • How the grain industry considers the security, quality and integrity of food in line with the standards valued by consumers.
  • Environmentally sustainable practices in global grain trade
  • Perspectives on the recent innovation in carbohydrate ingredients for functional and nutritional enhancements, including the current preference by some food companies not to use carbohydrates.
  • Clean label modification of starch.
  • Nutritional studies related to grains and cereals (e.g., low glycemic food using pusses; plant protein to replace carbohydrates, dietary fiber and gut health; etc.).
  • Ensuring accurate and clear communication to consumers on health claims of grain protein and fiber.
  • Health claims of grains and pulses – and ingredients derived from them.
  • The pros and cons of alternative diets, as well as how to restore consumer trust in grains.
  • Tension between clean-label and meat substitute
  • What are the impacts of misguided consumer activities on grain production (e.g., taking varieties out of cultivation due to court cases (specifically in EU decisions), GMO regulations applied to modern breeding (including mutants), etc.).
  • Growing demands for clean-labels and new varieties of grain that are more functional
  • New purposes of grain-based ingredients to meet clean-label requirements
  • How do we address removing corn as an ingredient, including public education and associated costs?
  • Specialty grains (small volume, such as quinoa) used in specialty food products.
  • Bioengineered Food Disclosure Act

Question 3:
How do we innovate faster to meet food security, environmental, and market needs?
  • How stakeholders in the grain trade industry can navigate the multitude of safety and quality requirements, in addition to managing the economic costs of transportation.
  • How to obtain effective partnerships due to global grain trade and production systems.
  • Novel grain and pulse-based ingredients (e.g., micronutrients, phytochemicals, etc.).
  • Developing new products and addressing roadblocks in using grain-based protein as an ingredient
  • Flavor chemistry, particularly for pulses, in regard to health benefits and taste.
  • How can grain-based ingredients assist in solving for the challenges associated with formulating better-for-you foods, including challenges with health ingredient formulations)?
  • How to translate science to actual food products, including true product application beyond information presented in papers.
  • How do we innovate to deal with the impact of climate change and the adaption of wheat proteins?
  • How do farmers adapt to current environmental and consumption challenges, such as moving from growing maize to small grains or how environmental changes influence crop choice?
  • Advancements due to new analytical equipment that allows for the faster screening of ingredients.
  • Co-creation: how companies work together to quickly introduce products into the market.
  • Plant-based protein trends: meat and dairy analogues – by using pulses and grains as the base for these products, are we increasing food insecurity?
  • How to balance the requests from cash-heavy consumers with keeping costs low for the food insecure.
  • Breeding: the desire to decrease input and increase yield, and the tension between consumer perception and the use of modern breeding tools for cereal grains.
  • How can we leverage and use pulse by-products in sustainable ways?
  • New sorghum varieties to revolutionize feed and, potentially, food uses.

How Should I design my Symposium Session?

This year also offers you the new opportunity to design your session in the manner that is most conducive to your content – and in ways that are most likely to appeal to the different learning style of attendees. While each symposium session must be 90 minutes in length, you can choose the number of speakers you have and how long each will speak. You also have the freedom to determine the format that is best for relaying information related to your chosen topic. Examples of formats that can be used include:

  • Panel Discussions - 3 or more experts in different areas discuss the topic at hand with time for audience discussion.
  • Opposing-Viewpoint Panels - 2 -3 panelists with differing viewpoints provide a short, introductory talk followed by an engaging discussion to explore different approaches to a topic.
  • TED-Style talk (non-traditional talk) - Short presentations of a story-telling format that use the full stage without a podium and include time for audience discussion.
  • Traditional podium talk - One speaker at a time speaking to a rehearsed or PowerPoint presentation followed by audience Q&A.

Based on feedback, we are not publishing the speaking times of presenters. This will encourage attendees to experience your session in its entirety, from start to finish.

I'd Love to Contribute, What do I do Next?

We will need the following information on your symposium proposal upon topic submission. We always welcome the chance to help you bring a topic that sparks your interest through the ideation phase. If you are excited about a topic, but it doesn’t seem to fit the requirements of a symposium, consider organizing a workshop or a tour . We are glad to help you determine the best method for communicating the subject you’re passionate about. Please reach out to us at at any time for assistance.

Submissions closed April 13.

Please note: The Grains & Cereals 20 program team will review all session submissions. There is limited space within the program, and not all sessions will be accepted. As a result, we encourage you to be as thorough as possible when completing the submission form. Organizers will be notified of session status in mid-April. Do not formally invite your speakers until you personally received official communication by the program team that your session has been accepted.

As a reminder, this year’s session length is limited to 90 minutes, and the number of speakers and individual presentation length are completely up to your discretion.

Please have the following information ready before submitting your topic:

  • Session Title
  • Submitter Email
  • Session Format
    • Non Traditional Talk ("TED Talk" Style) - One speaker at a time, no podium, full use of stage, presentation followed by Q&A
    • Panel Discussion - All panelists on stage, each give short introductory talk, followed by engaging discussion with audience
    • Opposing-Viewpoint Panel - 2 - 3 panelists with differing viewpoints, each gives short introductory talk, followed by engaging discussion to explore the different points of view
    • Traditional Podium Talk - One speaker at a time, PowerPoint presentation followed by Q&A
    • Other

  • Brief Description of Symposia
  • Cereals & Grains 20 Theme - Indicate how your session supports the meeting theme
  • Select which UN Sustainable Development Goals the symposium supports - Please see for reference
  • Learning Objectives - Provide the learning objectives that will be acquired by attendees after attending this session
  • Target Audience for Symposium
    • Fundamental/Basic Research
    • Applied Research
    • QA/QC
    • Nutrition
    • Processing

  • Promotion - Provide statements that you would use to promote your session to the target audience
  • Daily Questions (select that which best applies to your session)
    • How do we ensure traceability and safe products?
    • How do we meet the growing list of demands of the environmental and health-conscious consumer?
    • How do we innovate faster to meet food security, environmental, and market needs?
    • I am unsure which best applies, please help me decide

  • Program Tracks (select that which best applies to your session)
    • Production & Global Trade
    • Innovation for Health & Consumer Trust
    • Food Insecurity & the Environment
    • I am unsure which best applies, please help decide

  • Cereals & Grains Association Sponsoring Committees (if applicable)
  • Cereals & Grains Association Co-Sponsors (if applicable)
  • The amount of funding you are requesting from Cereals & Grains Association (if applicable)
  • Potential outside sponsors and the sponsorship amount (if applicable)
  • Speaker Information and Proposed Presentation Titles

    PLEASE NOTE: Do not formally invite speakers until your symposium has been formally accepted by the Cereal & Grains 20 program team via email by April 30. The program team will review all submissions for acceptance; only a limited number of sessions will be accepted to the program.