Summit Chair

Nina Ekelund
Executive Director
The Haga Initiative

Nina Ekelund is the initiator, together with the companies, of the sustainable business network The Haga Initiative as well as founder and chairperson of 2050 Consulting. She has over 20 years of experience from pursuing environment and climate issues within the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, The Prime Minister's Office, The Environment Department in The Stockholm City Council, Stockholm Resilience Centre and as member of the party board for Christian Democrats. Further, Ekelund participated as special adviser in the multipartisan Committee on the Environment, which was responsible for the development of Sweden´s new climate goals. She has several times been appointed one of the most influential people regarding environmental issues in Sweden. Through the Haga Initiative, Nina strives toward mitigation of climate impact from businesses focusing on making climate change the top priority for business leaders as well as politicians. The Haga Initiative gathers leading companies who reduce climate impact and profit from business opportunities and transforming goals into action. The member companies recently set the goal to be fossil fuel free within their own operations by 2030.

Danielle Gould
Founder & CEO
Food+Tech Connect

Danielle Gould is the founder of Food+Tech Connect, the site of record and world’s largest community for food tech and innovation, and co-founder and co-CEO of Alpha Food Labs, a food innovation lab.

Since 2010, Gould has been the leading voice for leveraging new technology, investment and business models to create a better food future. She is also a founding member of the Culinary Institute of America's Business Leadership Council and a member of the Google Innovation Lab For Food Experiences. Gould was named one of Fast Company's 'Most Creative People in Business' and one of Fortune and Food & Wine Magazines’ ‘Most Innovative Women in Food'.

Marcus Samuelsson
Award-Winning Chef, Restaurateur, Author and TV Personality

Marcus Samuelsson is the acclaimed chef behind Red Rooster Harlem, Ginny’s Supper Club, Streetbird Rotisserie, and Marcus’ Bermuda at the Hamilton Princess and Beach Club. A committed philanthropist and the youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times, Samuelsson has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards including Best Chef: New York City, and was tasked with planning and executing the Obama Administration’s first State dinner.

Samuelsson was also crowned champion of television shows “Top Chef Masters” and “Chopped All Stars”, and served as a mentor on ABC’s “The Taste”. Samuelsson co-produces Harlem EatUp!, a food and culture festival launched in Harlem, New York in 2015, and he is also the founder of the website Food Republic. He is the author of The New York Times bestselling memoir Yes, Chef, the young adult version, Make It Messy, Marcus Off Duty cookbook, and his newest book, The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem. He opened Marcus at MGM National Harbor outside of Washington, D.C. in December 2016 and has just opened Red Rooster Shoreditch in East London in June 2017. He has announced the opening of a new concept in Newark, New Jersey. In May 2016 he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.

Tristram Stuart
Toast Ale

Tristram Stuart is an international award-winning author and campaigner on the environmental and social impacts of food production. His books, The Bloodless Revolution (2006) and Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal (2009), have been described as "a genuinely revelatory contribution to this history of human ideas” (Daily Telegraph) and his TED talk has been watched over a million times. Stuart won the international environmental award, The Sophie Prize, in 2011. He is an Ashoka Fellow, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and an official UN Champion of the Global Goal to halve food waste by 2030. Feedback, the environmental campaigning organization he founded, has spread its work into over 50 cities across all inhabited continents, working with governments, international institutions, businesses, non-governmental organizations, grassroots organizations and the public to change society’s attitude toward wasting food. Stuart also founded Toast Ale, a social enterprise that brews beer with surplus bread and donates all profits go to Feedback.

Karen Washington
Rise & Root Farm

Karen Washington has spent decades promoting urban farming as a way for all New Yorkers to access to fresh, locally grown food.

Washington has been a resident of the Bronx for over 26 years, and has since 1985 been a community activist, striving to make New York City a better place to live. As a community gardener and board member of the New York Botanical Gardens, she worked with Bronx neighborhoods to turn empty lots into community gardens. As a member of the La Familia Verde Community Garden Coalition, she helped launch a City Farms Market, bringing garden fresh vegetables to her neighbors. Washington is a Just Food board member and Just Food Trainer, leading workshops on food growing and food justice for community gardeners all over the city. She is a board member and former president of the New York City Community Garden Coalition. She also co-founded Black Urban Growers (BUGS), an organization of volunteers committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings. In 2012 Ebony magazine voted her one of their 100 most influential African Americans in the country, and in 2014 she was awarded with the James Beard Leadership Award.

Theresia Silander Hagström &
Oytun Yildirimdemir

Theresia Silander Hagström and Oytun Yildirimdemir are engineers from Royal Institute of Technology with a background in social entrepreneurship, graphical design and food. They are co-founders of Eatit - the digital nutritionist and chef that with help of blood test and artificial intelligence helps people improve their health through individualized food recommendations.

Anna Schreil
VP Operations
The Absolut Company
Anna Schreil
VP Operations
The Absolut Company

As VP of Operations at The Absolut Company, Anna Schreil is responsible for the production of three global spirits brands; Absolut Vodka, Malibu and Kahlúa. Anna was handpicked for the role because of her profound knowledge when it comes to production, product development, and supply chain management from the food industry.

Anna started at The Absolut Company as Head of Product Development and R&D for Absolut Vodka, Sweden’s largest food export and the world’s fifth largest spirits brand. During her first four years she headed up several projects related to sustainability, innovation and eco-design. Anna has brought her passion for these issues into her current role.

Anna is based in the small town of Åhus in southern Sweden where every single drop of Absolut Vodka is produced. Today, the vodka production is climate neutral and the most energy-efficient large distillery in the world. The goal is set to become a completely sustainable and circular production site with net zero resource consumption and net zero climate impact by 2040.

Michael La Cour
Managing Director
IKEA Food Services

Driven by the IKEA vision to create a better everyday life for the many people, Michael La Cour has been leading a development of IKEA Food Services AB for the past three years with main focus on health and sustainability. The objectives of this transformation are to move IKEA Food towards a wider offering of delicious, healthy and more sustainable food, easily available and affordable for the many.

La Cour has an extensive working experience from the food retail business prior to joining IKEA, where he has now been working for the past two decades. He started out as a Country Manager at IKEA Indonesia to become a Deputy trading area manager for IKEA in South East Asia. He has been an IKEA Store Manager in the USA and a Business Manager for one of the Business Areas at IKEA of Sweden. La Cour is since 2017 a member of Champions 12.3, a coalition of executives from governments, businesses, international organizations, research institutions, and civil society dedicated to inspiring ambition, mobilizing action, and accelerating progress toward achieving the UN Sustainability Development Goal for food waste; SDG Target 12.3.

La Cour holds a Master's in Business Administration, specialized in international management, from Aalborg Business Academy.

Adam Engström

The social entrepreneur Adam Engström is passionate about efficiency and innovation. He grew up on an organic farm and later ventured into the food and beverage business working abroad in Norway and London. After studying two years at The Royal Institute of Technology he put his studies on hold to found Nutrient, a company reflection his vision of creating efficient food production systems.

Nutrient develops concepts and processes for producing and selling climate-friendly proteins/nutrients, including products based on insects, and also plant-based products. This is what we call a simple idea, to convert industry waste streams and low-impact crops to new food solutions. Everything is made in a sustainable way through the circular thinking implemented in the entire production system. This means that no resource can go to waste.

The system is built around the insect production research, aimed to convert and use waste streams from the food and agricultural-industry where demand for quality and consistency is high. But also heavy industries and server parks where energy output can be directed to the farming system an energy input. We thereby helping these industries to lower their climate-impact.

Louisa Burwood Taylor
Head of Media & Research

Head of Media at AgFunder & Research, Louisa is a food and agriculture journalist, focusing on new technology and startup investment. Her career spans 10 years and involves a variety of different beats, mostly financial, including time at the Financial Times Group and Euromoney in Asia. She turned her attention to agriculture nearly four years ago as the founding editor of Agri Investor, the first publication dedicated to investment in the sector. Get in touch with her on louisa@agfunder.com

Dr. Isabel Hoffmann
The Tellspec Food Sensor

Dr. Hoffmann is an entrepreneur who has successfully founded eight companies over the last 26 years in the fields of preventative medicine, interactive multimedia, gaming, mobile health and education. Hoffmann has embodied the entrepreneurial spirit from the age of 19 when she started her first company. She has taken companies from $0 to $75 million, and has negotiated strategic investments with groups such as CBS Corporation and Mitsubishi International. Hoffmann has raised equity investment and convertible debenture notes in Wall Street, New York City, and Bay Street, Toronto. She was also the main strategic negotiator on several business acquisitions, including a US$28M acquisition of Corel Multimedia business division. More recently, she has shared her experiences as an entrepreneur and as knowledge on commercializing technologies by teaching MBA-level entrepreneurism courses at the University of Porto in partnership with the London Business School and the North Carolina University.

Dr. Hoffmann’s awards in the technology and entrepreneurial field include The Women in Technology Award presented by Bell Canada and the Toronto Sun; Canada‘s National IWAY Award for Leadership in the Application of Technology presented by CANARIE Inc. and the Royal Bank; Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award presented by the University of Toronto, Canada; Top 40 Under 40 award presented by the Financial Post, CIBC and Caldwell Partners, Canada; Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award presented by Ernst & Young; and MacLean’s Honor Roll for Canadian Excellence presented by MacLean’s Magazine. Dr. Hoffmann is a sought-after keynote speaker, her many talks include several TEDX presentations as well as a talk at TED Global in Rio de Janeiro, on October 2014.

Rob Wilson
Chief Toaster
Toast Ale

Rob has been involved with Toast Ale since its inception in early 2016, initially as an advisor and more recently as full time Chief Toaster. Toast Ale believe that if want to change the world, you have to throw a better party than those destroying it. Prior to Toast, Rob led an organization called Ashoka in the UK, supporting a global network of social entrepreneurs to scale system changing ideas and enterprises.

Rob is an award winning serial social entrepreneur himself having founded a number of ventures over the years. He founded READ International in 2004; a Tanzanian student-volunteer-led development organisation which to date has provided over 1.5 million books to school children and created 100 school libraries. He co-founded Generation Change in 2012, a partnership of the UK’s leading youth social action organisations, helping 600,000 young people a year take positive action in their local communities. He also recently co-founded the youth-led campaign Undivided; a non-partisan campaign set up to get the best possible Brexit deal for young people. In 2011 he co-authored a book with his wife Nikki about social entrepreneurs in Africa called On the Up.

Rob lives just outside London in Kent with his wife Nikki and their two very cheeky little boys Thomas and Matthew.

Thomas McQuillan
Director of Food Service Sales & Sustainability
Baldor Specialty Foods

Thomas McQuillan is a transformational executive, food sustainability leader, chef, and innovator in systems and operations. He has 25+ years of successful business leadership experience, developing strategic initiatives and turning companies around. He also has a passion for food and cooking.

In 2015, he combined his business expertise with his love for food when he joined Baldor Specialty Foods, the largest produce and specialty foods distributor in the Northeast. McQuillan was brought in to handle special projects for Baldor with the first one on tap: to identify a cost effective way to repurpose the overwhelming amount of food byproduct created by the company’s Fresh Cuts facility. McQuillan created a sustainability initiative called “SparCs” (scraps spelled backwards), to re-invent the way people feel about unused food. He completely eliminated food waste from Baldor’s facility within a year’s time and the revolutionary program has served as a template for other corporations across the country.

A major player in the food sustainability movement, McQuillan has presented his work at Harvard, NYU, Stanford, and even the White House. He holds a BA in Business Administration from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and a Master of Business Administration from St. John’s University in New York. He lives in Greenwich, Connecticut with his wife, two children and dog Ginger.

Fredrika Gullfot
Founder & CEO
Simris Alg

Fredrika Gullfot is the founder and CEO of Simris Alg, a pioneering agribusiness growing algae in Southern Sweden. Simris' production plant is one of the world’s largest and most modern algae farms for the production of omega-3 oils from algae, as a premium and sustainable alternative to fish oil. Simris is listed on the Nasdaq First North stock exchange and has been listed as one of Sweden's hottest new companies in tech by Swedish business media.

Gullfot holds a PhD in Biotechnology from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Her professional history spans over a variety of industries, including investment banking, national security, entertainment and telecom. She is the first female awarded with the Swedish Chemical Engineering Prize (2014), and is a 2015 WIRED Innovation Fellow appointed by Wired UK as one of 12 innovators with the potential to change the world. She considers herself a 'green capitalist' and is a passionate advocate for bio-based solutions as key technologies for a sustainable future.

Victor Friedberg
Co-Founder, Seed 2 Growth (S2G),
Founder and Chairman, FoodShot – MoonShots for Better Food and
Executive Chairman, Lavva

Friedberg has been at the forefront of innovation, global development and sustainability for over 20 years. As Co-Founder of S2G Ventures he has been a principal force in developing the S2G mission, culture, strategy and team. As Managing Director, Friedberg lead the S2G investments into Beyond Meat, sweetgreen, Ripple, Maple Hill Creamery, Apeel Science, Ataraxis. FishPeople and Lavva.

He is Founder and Chairman of FoodShot, Moonshots For Better Food an innovative grand challenge and investment platform with partners Rabobank, Armonia, Generation Investment Management, and The Stone Barns Center For Food and Agriculture.

He was named by Forbes Magazine one of the Top 25 deal makers in Consumer Products in 2016. He serves on the Governor’s Advisory Council for Innovation and Technology. Prior to S2G, Friedberg Co-founded and was Executive Director of LAUNCH, the innovation accelerator with NASA, USAID, US Dept. of State and NIKE, and an Executive Director at WIRED. As a tech entrepreneur, Friedberg was co-founder of the pioneering social media platform KODE.

Georgia McDonnell-Adams
Global Manager of Experience
The Absolut Company

Georgia McDonnell-Adams is the Global Manager of Experience at The Absolut Company. Originally from Perth, Georgia fell in love with the Absolut brand when she worked as cocktail bartender back in 2001. In 2007, she combined her passion for the brand with her background in PR, marketing & hospitality, becoming the Brand Ambassador for Absolut vodka. Today, that same passion is still there.

Johan Jörgensen
Sweden FoodTech

Johan Jörgensen is the founder of Sweden FoodTech (swedenfoodtech.com) a coaching and venture company focused on building the next generation food system entrepreneurs. He has more than 20 years of experience from being an entrepreneur and investor in the Internet sector, but converted to the future of food after being voted “venture capitalist of the year” in 2011 and subsequently was bombarded by irrelevant business ideas.

The fundamental change of the current food system is not a passion, it is an existential necessity that can only be solved by deploying massive amounts of innovation, plus a substantial dose of tech and entrepreneurship. Each year that is also showcased at Smaka på Stockholm, one of the world’s largest food festivals, where Jörgensen is a partner. In 2015 Jörgensen headed up the USA Pavilion innovation program on food and tech at Expo 2015 in Milan.

Currently he lives between Stockholm and London, spending an unfair amount of time in transit between events and meetings aimed at re-building the food sector. He is also partner of Smaka på Stockholm, one of the world’s largest food festivals.

Maria Larsson
County Governor
Örebro County

Maria Larsson is the County Governor of Örebro County since May 2015. She is a former politician of the Christian Democrats, and served as Minister for Children and the Elderly from 2010 to 2014 and prior to this, as Minister for the Elderly and Public Health from 2006 to 2010. She was a Member of the Swedish Parliament from 1998 to 2014 representing Jönköping County, and deputy chairman of the Christian Democrats from 2003 to 2015.

Some of Larsson’s previous board assignments include member of the county administrative board of Jönköping and the Labor Market Agency. She is a trained schoolteacher, and is married with three children.

Tobias Peggs
Co-Founder & CEO
Square Roots

Tobias Peggs is co-founder and CEO at Square Roots, the Brooklyn-based urban farming platform. He was previously CEO at Aviary, the award-winning mobile photo editor (acquired by Adobe); and CEO at OneRiot, one of the first social media analytics companies (acquired by Walmart). Peggs has a PhD in Machine Learning, was born and educated in the UK, and is a competitive triathlete, curious traveler and insatiable foodie.

Guillaume Charny-Brunet
Director of Innovation

Guillaume Charny-Brunet is a founding member of SPACE10, and Director of Innovation and Strategy. He is a French national, who calls himself a “lawyer in recovery”. Guillaume spent the last 10 years helping large organizations think and act like startups. From Paris, to New York, San Francisco and Copenhagen, he has worked at the convergence of strategy, sustainability, business and technology to bring radical ideas to life. Today, together with the rest the SPACE10, he’s on a mission to explore and design for better ways of living.

Andreas Jeppsson
Managing Director

Andreas Jeppsson has for many years, in different positions been highly involved in the fast development of Ecolean. He has an Engineering background with further academic education from the University of Lund in Sweden and Insead Business School in France.

With strong leadership skills Jeppsson has developed organizations for Ecolean in different parts of the world. He has extensive experience from Business Development and Sales in Russia and the Eastern European markets. He has three years of experience being the Managing Director for Ecolean in China including its packaging material factory.

Following China, he was assigned to start up the business for Ecolean in Pakistan, which has since developed into another important market for Ecolean. Since 2014 he is the Managing Director for Ecolean Inc. in Plano, Texas with responsibility for the North and the South American markets. From 2012 Jeppsson is a part of the Ecolean Global Corporate Management Team.

Björn Öste
Oatly AB, Aventure AB and Double Good AB

Björn Öste is a serial entrepreneur that started his career by building a highly successful global computer security company out of his native Stockholm, Sweden. Twenty years ago, he switched focus to team up with his brother, Professor Rickard Öste, to build Oatly AB into what is today the global world leader in plant based dairy products from oats.

He is still active on the board of directors in Oatly and works on advisory roles with Oatly’s US and China organizations. In parallel with Oatly, he and his brother have launched a handful of other science based functional food companies in Europe, US, China, India and South America.

Öste’s current day-time job is to launch their latest venture, Good Idea Inc, here in the US! Good Idea sparkling drinks complement any meal and will reduce the blood sugar response with on average 25% (in healthy individuals). Good Idea is an all-natural, patented and clinically proven drink that carries a FDA compliant structure-function claim. Good Idea is targeting health seeking consumers and will help in diabetes prevention.

He currently lives with his wife and their two teenagers in Tiburon, California

Prof. Robert Brummer MD, PhD
Professor of Gastroenterology and Clinical Nutrition &
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health
Örebro University

Robert Brummer studied medicine at Nijmegen University, The Netherlands. After obtaining his MD in 1983 he was appointed as resident physician at the Department of Clinical Nutrition, Göteborg University and University Hospital, Sweden and started his PhD studies. Subsequently, he continued clinical training at the Department of Medicine, Maastricht, The Netherlands and was registered as senior consultant in Internal medicine as well as Gastroenterology and Hepatology. In 1992, he obtained a PhD in Medicine at Göteborg University, Sweden. Brummer became head of the GI-Motility Lab at the Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Maastricht and concomitantly was chief physician of the MedPsych Ward.

He became professor in “Medical Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics” at Maastricht University, The Netherlands 2002, and division director, deputy director and acting director of the Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht (NUTRIM), and in 2004 joined the PWageningen Centre for Food Sciences (public-private partnership) as Director Nutrition and Health.In 2008 he joined Örebro University and University Hospital as professor Gastroenterology and Clinical Nutrition and contributed to establish a new Medical Faculty as Dean 2010-2016. He raised and directs the Nutrition-Gut-Brain Interactions Research Centre and was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor Internationalisation, External Relations and Innovation in 2016 and represents the University in various (inter)national organisations and committees.

Johan Swahn
Ph.D. Sensory Marketing, Culinary Arts and Meal Science.
Co-Founder & Creative Director, Diaz & Swahn

Johan Swahn has, for the past ten years, specialized in integrating science and business within the grocery retail sector, while drawing on his experience as a former chef. He has several medals from the Culinary Olympics and Culinary World Cup and worked for Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck in the UK.

Today Swahn is the co-founder and creative director of the science and trend driven food consultancy, Diaz & Swahn (www.diazswahn.com), in Stockholm, where he helps companies drive innovation, brand, marketing and product development. His inspiring talks about food trends and sensory marketing are highly in-demand. He is also a researcher (Ph.D) at Sense Lab, Faculty of Culinary Arts and Meal Science, Örebro University.

Jeffrey Wojtowicz
Senior Research Engineer
The Center for Infrastructure, Transportation and the Environment (CITE) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Jeffrey Wojtowicz is also the Assistant Director of Administration at the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations Center of Excellence for Sustainable Urban Freight Systems. He received his BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering and his MS in Transportation Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). His research interests include freight systems, intelligent transportation systems, traffic modeling and emergency response from planned special events and traffic incident management. Wojtowicz also played an instrumental part in the Off-Hour Delivery Program Implementation in New York City. In addition to his work at CITE he also has an extensive working knowledge of the trucking industry; since an early age Jeff has been actively involved with a family trucking business that has been in operation for over 85 years.