Keynote Speakers

Opening Keynote

Feeding and Nourishing Nine Billion:
Charting a Resilient, Evidence-Driven and Sustainable Path Forward

We will live in a world of more than nine billion people by 2050. Feeding and nourishing them will be a formidable task that requires bringing evidence, innovations and experiences forward in unprecedented ways to meet the needs of both people and planet. In this opening plenary, Nabeeha Kazi Hutchins will share global priorities and issues at play that impact our collective response to delivering food security, nutrition and a resilient food system.

Nabeeha Kazi
President & CEO
Humanitas Global

Nabeeha Kazi Hutchins is President & CEO of Humanitas Global, an international development agency based in Washington, DC, where she has worked with the world’s leading agriculture, nutrition and health institutions. With more than 20 years of public health, nutrition, agriculture and early childhood development expertise, Nabeeha has directed multi-sectoral programs to accelerate development impact at scale. Nabeeha served in senior roles with global communications firm, FleishmanHillard and The Clinton Foundation Global HIV/AIDS Initiative, and has led advocacy and engagement programs at the EastWest Institute and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). An inspiring speaker and undeterred advocate for the poor and hungry, Nabeeha Chairs the Community for Zero Hunger and serves as board member and technical advisor for a range of academic, research and non-profit institutions, including WHO, FoodTank, IFPRI and Kansas State University, among others. Born in Pakistan and raised in Mexico, Nabeeha holds Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Journalism and Mass Communications from Kansas State University, and Master’s degrees in International Affairs and Public Health from Columbia University.


Day Two Keynote

Artificial Intelligence and the
Future of Flavor & Food Innovation

McCormick & Company and IBM Research have embarked on a journey to pioneer the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to flavor and food development. They are combining McCormick's extensive product formulation data and know-how with IBM Research's AI expertise to re-imagine food and flavor innovation for the digital era. Using IBM Research for Product Composition, McCormick is transforming product developers' workflow processes, enabling them to create more innovative and iconic flavor products faster and significantly improve their success rate.

Hamed Faridi
Chief Science Officer

As Chief Science Officer, Hamed Faridi heads a global team of 500+ scientists and flavorists responsible for thought leadership, scientific research, product development, Health & Wellness, and sustainability to support the global businesses of the world’s largest flavor company -- McCormick and Company, Inc. Dr. Faridi is the voice of science for McCormick & Company. His vision led to the formation of the McCormick Science Institute (MSI) in 2006 as a research-driven organization to advance scientific understanding of the potential health benefits of culinary spices and herbs. He has published six books and dozens of scientific articles in food science and technology. He is the past president of AACCI (1995-96) and was elected a Fellow (2011).

Robin Lougee
Senior Industrial Research Scientist
IBM Research

Robin Lougee is the IBM Research Lead for Consumer Products & Agriculture. She is a senior industrial research scientist with a strong track record of delivering innovation to IBM and its customers. Robin pioneered the creation of COIN-OR, an open-source foundry for computational operations research, and led its growth to an independent non-profit that has served the scientific and business community for over 15 years. She currently serves as the Steering Committee Chair for the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture and an Advisory Board Member for the Cornell University Department of Food Science.

Closing Keynote

The Future of Food: The Need to Adapt and Innovate

The way food is being produced, distributed, sold, bought, and consumed around the globe is changing rapidly and by the year 2050, an enormous increase in food production is needed to sustain global food security. Food industry professionals will have to address key challenges and opportunities in areas such as food security and innovation in the value chain. In this closing plenary, Marc Cwikowski will discuss the need to constantly adapt and innovate for those who are and will be playing a future leading role in meeting the world’s demand for food.

Marc Cwikowski
Founder & Managing Director
All Food Consulting

Marc Cwikowski is Founder and Managing Director of All Food Consulting. He has worked for more than 30 years in the food and beverage industry and held various senior global leadership and executive positions in companies including Unilever, SGS, The Coca-Cola Company and Danone. Former positions include director of quality & food safety strategy, director of supply chain capability development, food safety center director and vice-president for quality & food safety. Marc holds a Masters in chemistry and bio-industries from Agro-Bio Tech University, Gembloux, served as an expert in various organizations and was the Chairman of the GFSI Global Markets technical working group. Marc also acted as a board member of both FSSC 22000 and SSAFE. Marc brings international experience in innovation, quality assurance and food safety. He has successfully designed and implemented quality and food safety strategies, developed advanced initiatives for people development and implemented strong quality and food safety programs to secure companies’ business and reputation around the world. All Food Consulting is active internationally and helps food and beverage companies grow and secure their brand and reputation with stronger quality and food safety strategies.