Food Innovation Conference

1st International Food Innovation Conference

Farms, Labs and Beyond: Fixing a Broken Food System

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The past decades in food production have seen a move in one direction only: towards a growing worldwide entanglement along the nutrition value chain. But this chain is being challenged – by changing consumer demands, by new technologies and, lately, by the pandemic.

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the multiple facets of sustainability, from ethical standards to responsible manufacturing, and are demanding more control over the provenance of the products they buy. At the same time, climate change, shrinking farmland and a growing world population are putting pressure on traditional methods of food production and distribution.

When it comes to meeting the challenge of feeding nine billion people while preserving the natural environment, innovation will be key. Already, startups and established companies alike are implementing novel ways to produce, process, distribute and recycle our daily bread. Plant-based meat has made its way onto supermarket shelves. Thanks to significant investment, scientists in laboratories around the world are recreating our nutrition, from dairy to meat. Is cellular agriculture the future of food?

At the 1st International Food Innovation Conference, we will introduce you to cutting-edge research, revolutionary new business models and smart thinkers, presenting the latest in food innovation.

A hybrid event

This conference can be booked as a livestream event with online-networking or as an in-person event, circumstances permitting. If registrations to attend on-site exceed the number of participants allowed, we will consider registrations for on-site participation in the order in which they are received.

Special offer

We are offering a two-for-one deal for the livestream of the event: register two participants now and the second person attends for free.


Illustration: Jim Cooke

20 % off for early birds until 31 May 2021!
Paul Shapiro

Paul Shapiro

CEO of The Better Meat Co., author of the bestseller “Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals Will Revolutionize Dinner and the World”, a four-time TEDx speaker, and the host of the “Business for Good Podcast”. 

Lord Adair Turner

Lord Adair Turner

Chairman of the Energy Transitions Commission, a global coalition of leaders from across the energy landscape committed to achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century. Lord Turner is a Senior Fellow of the Institute for New Economic Thinking and former Chairman of the british Financial Services Authority; a columnist for Project Syndicate; and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society.


Sjaak Wolfert

Sjaak Wolfert

Theme Ambassador Digital Innovation in Agri-Food, Wageningen University & Research. Important research topics are the application of the Internet of Things and Big Data with special attention to socio-economic aspects such as data sharing, business modelling and governance. 

Chris Smaje

Chris Smaje

Author of the book “A Small Farm Future: Making the Case for a Society Built Around Local Economies” and of the blog “Small Farm Future”. An academic social scientist, Smaje is currently on the board of directors of the Ecological Land Co-op . He has written on agricultural and environmental issues for a variety of publications and co-runs a small farm in Somerset, southwest England.

Costa Yiannoulis

Costa Yiannoulis

Co-founder and Managing Partner, CPT Capital, which invests in companies driving the food and materials technology. From plant-based protein to recombinant proteins to cell-based meat, CPT Capital backs founders from seed all the way through IPO

przemek obloj

Przemek Obloj

Managing Partner, Blue Horizon. Obloj is responsible for Blue Horizon’s growth capital and private equity business. Prior to joining Blue Horizon, he was the Managing Director and Head of European Private Equity at PSP Investments, a C$ 170 billion Canadian pension investment manager. Obloj started his career at McKinsey & Company and holds a MSc in Finance from Warsaw School of Economics.

Mathew Kenney

Matthew Kenney

Founder, Matthew Kenney Cuisine. Kenney is an American Chef, entrepreneur, author, and educator specializing in plant-based cuisine. He has authored twelve cookbooks and is also the founder of Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy, an education and wellness business offering courses in eight cities worldwide as well as online.

David Bosshart

David Bosshart

Author, Speaker, Executive Advisor

Dr. David Bosshart was CEO of the GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute for consumption, economic and social studies from 1999 to 2020. Since 2020 he has been President of the Gottlieb and Adele Duttweiler Foundation.


Florian Inhauser

Florian Inhauser

Journalist and moderator. Florian Inhauser presents the main newscast at Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, SRF and he is also the anchor of the foreign news magazine «#SRFglobal». With a master in history and anglistics he speaks English fluently. He has also an excellent reputation as an international correspondent, covering conflicts and crises around the globe.

Start-up speakers

Start-ups in Cellular Agriculture

In the afternoon of the conference, we will meet these pioneering start-ups from all around the world who work at the forefront of cell-based products.


Sandhya Sriram

CEO and Co-founder, Shiok Meats. Shiok Meats is a cell-based meat company which provides seafood and meats by harvesting from cells instead of animals.


Benjamina Bollag

Founder and CEO, Higher Steaks. Higher Steaks uses cell culture techniques in order to produce meat products based on animal cells.


Lou Cooperhouse

Co-Founder, President & CEO of BlueNalu. The cellular aquaculture company provides consumers with seafood products.

Ido Saveer

Ido Saveer

CEO and Co-founder, SuperMeat. SuperMeat is a Tel Aviv-based food tech company for chicken meat grown directly from chicken cells.

Lejjy Gafour

Lejjy Gafour

Co-founder and COO, Future Fields, a biotech company focused on enabling the rapid commercialization of the cellular agriculture industry by providing affordable, high quality, customized growth media.


Raffael Wohlgensinger

Co-founder and CEO, LegenDairy Foods. LegenDairy Foods is a German food biotech and cell-ag (cellular agriculture) company developing cultured dairy products.


George Peppou

Founder and CEO, Vow. Peppou’s approach isn’t to produce conventional meat products. Cultured meat, unlike animal agriculture, isn’t limited to the animals that grow fast and breed well in captivity, but can also come from animals such as earthworms or bats.


Welcome coffee

David Bosshart (CH), Author and Executive Adviser, Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute
Farms, Labs and Beyond: Fixing a Broken Food System

A conversation with

Coffee break, networking, yoga

Lord Adair Turner (GB), Chairman of the Energy Transitions Commission, a global coalition of leaders from across the energy landscape committed to achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century

Sjaak Wolfert (NL), Theme Ambassador Digital Innovation in Agri-Food, Wageningen University & Research
Smart Agriculture: Digital Innovation for Sustainable Food
- How new technologies such as the internet of things, big data, AI and blockchains bring agriculture to the next level.
- What does state-of-the-art innovation in food production look like today, and what lies ahead?
- Bottlenecks, future challenges and how to address them.
A conversation with
Chris Smaje (GB), Social scientist, small scale farmer and author of "A Small Farm Future"
Small-Scale Farming: Food Production Relocalized
- How can the challenges to the existing global food and farming system be addressed?
- In a relocalized future, what would be the economic and distributional implications within the food sector?
- To what extent can politics contribute to enabling this shift?

Coffee break, networking, roundtable discussions

Paul Shapiro (US), author of “Clean Meat”
Clean Meat: Growing a New Industry
- What are the motivations behind the burgeoning movement to create meat without having to raise and slaughter animals?
- From growing meat from animal cells, using microbial proteins, plant proteins, to hybrids: an overview of new ways to recreate the meat industry.
- This is how major food companies are responding to the protein diversification
- Who will win and who will lose in the food industry?

Short presentations by pioneering start-ups in cellular agriculture:
Sandhya Sriram (SG), CEO and Co-founder, Shiok Meats
Benjamina Bollag (GB), Founder and CEO, Higher Steaks
Lou Cooperhouse (US), President and CEO, BlueNalu
Ido Saveer (IL), CEO and Co-founder, SuperMeat
George Peppou (AU), Founder and CEO, Vow
Raffael Wohlgensinger (DE), Co-founder and CEO, LegenDairy Foods
Lejjy Gafour (CA), Co-founder and COO, Future Fields

Breakout Sessions
Meet the Pioneers

Coffee break and networking

Panel discussion with
Costa Yiannoulis (GB), Co-founder and Managing Partner, CPT Capital
Przemek Obloj (CH), Managing Partner, Blue Horizon

The investors’ perspective
- $3.1B was invested in the alternative protein space in 2020: strong secular growth or a market bubble?
- Plant based, fermentation and cultivated: Where are the next big opportunities in the alternative protein space?
- Which markets are the most accepting of alternative proteins and where do you expect the biggest growth?

Matthew Kenney (US), Founder, Matthew Kenney Cuisine
The Plan(e)t Momentum: Crafting the Cuisine of the Future
- How to welcome meat lovers to a new experience.
- The secrets of satisfying pleasure seekers with plant-based alternatives.
- The role of lab-grown products in tomorrow’s cuisine.


Networking drinks


In-person participation: CHF 1200

20% early bird discount until 31 May 2021: CHF 960


Livestream participation: CHF 500

20% early bird discount until 31 May 2021: CHF 400

Register two participants and get the second participation for free.


Price for startups (Request for voucher code: brigitte.fischer(at)

In-person participation: CHF 500

Livestream participation: CHF 300


The conference fee includes all food and beverages. Participants registering less than two weeks before the event can pay by credit card only.



29 June 2021



Changes to the programme

The programme is subject to change. If an event does not take place, fees will be refunded. Further claims are ruled out.


If you are unable to attend, please let us have your cancellation in writing. The fee will be reimbursed on cancellation thirty or more days before the event. After this term and until five full working days prior to the event we will charge 75% of the fee. In the event of later cancellations we will charge the full participation fee. Substitute participants welcome.

Hotel reservation

To benefit from special rates, please use the following email adresses and refer to the following code: FoodInno2021
Hotel Sedartis, Thalwil:
Hotel Belvoir, Rüschlikon:
Hotel Alex Lake Zürich, Thalwil:


There will be a free shuttle bus service between the GDI and the Hotel Sedartis Thalwil and Thalwil train station.

Terms and Conditions (PDF)


GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute
Langhaldenstrasse 21
8803 Rüschlikon



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Participant information