3 interns
3 interns


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Fri, Mar 23

The Future of Food: Views from Conservation and the Private Sector

Gross Hall 103     12:00 PM

How do one of the world’s largest food companies and one of the world’s largest conservation organizations think about the future of food? How does 9.6 billion people on the planet by 2050, and the impending penumbra of climate change, affect strategic planning and thinking within the private sector? What are the ways that conservation organizations and the private sector are working together? What does a company like MARS see as the biggest threats to its long-term security and the biggest opportunities? How is the nature of food security changing?

This will be a wide-ranging discussion, open to questions from the audience, ranging from the impacts of climate change on food to the current revolution in cellular agriculture and plant-based foods, to how did Mars deal with the Ebola crisis, given its impact on cacao. WWF has long been the leader in thinking around food in the conservation organizations and has built strategic corporate partnerships to replace products that are driving species extinct. Jason Clay refers to himself as an extrapreneur in this role and will talk about WWF’s current and future strategy in this area.

Speaker Bios

Jason Clay
Jason Clay is senior vice president for markets and food. He is also executive director of the Markets Institute, which was created to identify and address global issues and trends in more timely, cost-effective ways. Over the course of his career, he has worked on a family farm and in the US Department of Agriculture. He has taught at Harvard and Yale and spent 15 years with human rights NGOs working with indigenous people, refugees, and famine victims. In 1988, he invented Rainforest Marketing, created one of the first US fair-trade ecolabels, and set up a trading company within an NGO. He was responsible for co-creating Rainforest Crunch and more than 200 other products with sales of $100 million. He is the author of 20 books and is National Geographic’s first-ever Food and Sustainability Fellow. He was awarded the 2012 James Beard Award for his work on global food sustainability. Clay studied at Harvard University and the London School of Economics before receiving a PhD in anthropology and international agriculture from Cornell University.

Dr. Howard Shapiro has been involved with sustainable agricultural and agroforestry systems, plant breeding, molecular biology and genetics for over 40 years.

Howard led the global effort sequencing, assembling and annotating the Theobroma cacao genome, and initiated the Arachis genome.

Shapiro also founded the African Orphan Crops Consortium (AOCC) and the African Plant Breeding Academy (AfPBA) in 2011. The effort will sequence, assemble and annotate 101 key food cultivars, which are the backbone of African nutrition. Additionally, the AfPBA will train 150 African scientists in modern breeding technology for discovery and translation of new nutritionally improved varieties. Currently, there are 80 crop breeding programs in process with 47 genomes complete. Howard’s academic career spanned 15 years, Shapiro is a Senior Fellow at UC Davis, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, involving graduate student and post-doctoral students exclusively.

Howard collects and restores classic American, modern Japanese, and Italian motorcycles, recently becoming a member of the 200 Mile Per Hour Club on an unrestricted 1999 Suzuki Hayabusa. averaging 201.386 MPH at the Bonneville Salt Flats.



Dr. Alex Dehgan
Chanler Innovator, Duke University & Former Chief Scientist at USAID


Sponsored By

  • Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative
  • Duke Initiative for Science & Society
  • The Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment, Fuqua School of Business
  • World Food Policy Center, Sanford School of Public Policy
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