Global food waste is a far-reaching problem. Approximately one-third of food produced globally each year, 1.3 billion tons, is lost or wasted. In the United States alone, about 40% of food goes to waste annually. We need to find solutions that will be sustainable. Food waste is caused by overproduction, packaging and product damage, inadequate storage, overbuying, spoilage and excess portions prepared. Food waste occurs throughout the entire food chain, from farmers to the food industry to retailers to end consumers. The world will need to increase food production by 70% to keep pace with population growth. With close to 900 million people starving we cannot afford to lose up to 40% of production, we need to start thinking about new and innovative approaches to address food waste going forward. 

We will also be discussing upcycling as it represents a variety of processes by which “old” products get to be modified and get a second life as they’re turned into a “new” product. In this way, thanks to the mix and aggregation of used materials, components and items, the end result is a “new product” with more value than the original value of the sum of all its components.


Sonaar Luthra

CEO, Water Canary

sonaar luthra headshot.jpg

Sonaar Luthra is a world-renowned water consultant and a 2020 Senior TED Fellow.  As the CEO/Founder of Water Canary, he forecasts water and climate risks, drawing on a deep understanding of how essential models, institutions and markets are struggling to adapt to rapid transformations in our planet’s water cycle. He has practical expertise covering every area that water intersects, from energy, agriculture, science, technology, operations, manufacturing, logistics, quality assurance, and data systems to law, policy, regulatory compliance, finance, taxation, insurance and risk management.

Sonaar studied at Bowdoin College, Oxford and NYU.  He was recognized as a speaker and specialist in water quality and climate change by the Obama State Department, he is an ambassador for the Fight Forever Chemicals campaign run by Participant Media and the film Dark Waters, and his work has been featured in TED, WIRED, the BBC, the CBC, Al-Jazeera, the Architectural Review, and the Obama White House Water Summit’s Commitments to Action on Building a Sustainable Water Future.


Sweta Chakraborty

Risk and Behavioral Scientist

Dr. Sweta Chakraborty is a risk and behavioral scientist whose work is motivated by the need for clear, credible, evidence-based communication to urgently and proactively manage the risks that threaten human security and well-being from climate change to COVID-19. She is a correspondent for multiple publications, book author, globally recognized keynote speaker, and is regularly interviewed on global media outlets such as CNN and the BBC. She is the U.S. Representative for “We Don’t Have Time,” the Sweden-based tech start-up that launched Greta Thunberg to viral global renown. She is also the founder and principle of Adapt to Thrive, a venture that seeks to better inform individuals, businesses, and government entities on the complex, interconnected challenges, such as food insecurity and civil strife, already existing and emerging from a warming planet.

Ann Veneman

Former US Secretary of Agriculture

Ann is the former executive director of UNICEF, serving from 2005 to 2010. Her appointment was announced on January 18, 2005 by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Previously, Veneman was the United States Secretary of Agriculture, the first, and to date the only, woman to hold that position. Veneman served as USDA Secretary from January 20, 2001 to January 20, 2005, leaving to become the fifth executive director of UNICEF.

Justin Kamine

Co-Founder and Partner, KDC.Earth

Justin Kamine has been spearheading KDC’s business development of large-scale infrastructure across the U.S. totaling over $3.5B of developments.  He is a Forbes 30U30 for Food, ranked one of the 50 most impactful entrepreneurs in the U.S. and is dedicated to scaling sustainable technologies to the large-scale infrastructure level; including a process that can convert 200 tons of food waste every day into animal feed.

Sam Kass

Former Executive Chef at the White House

Samuel David Kass is an American political advisor, chef, and news personality, who served as President Barack Obama’s Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy, Executive Director for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, and as an Assistant Chef in the White House.

Caue Suplicy

Founder, Barnana

Caue Suplicy is the Founder of Barnana, maker of organic, sustainable sweet and savory banana-based snacks, and an expert on upcycled foods. Since its inception, Barnana has upcycled 100+ million bananas into healthier, delicious, sweet snacks like Banana Bites and Cookie Brittle. Barnana is a founding member of the Upcycled Food Association and Caue is a member of the Board of Directors.

Barnana is a certified B-Corporation, focused on expanding its partnerships with farmers and indigenous communities in the Amazon. Upcycled bananas are just short of the ideal length for bananas, or a day shy of retail-demanded ripeness and helps the unwanted crop from becoming landfill that emits harmful greenhouse gases.

Barnana products – Banana Bites, Cookie Brittle, Plantain Chips and the new Plantain Tortilla Chips — can be found online at and Amazon, as well as Whole Foods, Costco, CVS, Kroger, Safeway and other fine grocers.

Jillian Semaan

Director of Food and Environment, EARTHDAY.ORG

Jillian Semaan is the Director of Food and Environment at EARTHDAY.ORG, where she focuses on addressing the impact animal agriculture has on the planet. She advocates for plant-based diets for the health of the environment and self. Previously as chief of staff for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Agriculture, she was able to create and implement government initiatives that focused on sustainable agriculture in food deserts and disadvantaged communities. She continues to focus on finding solutions to mitigate the climate crisis.