Future of Food

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Agriculture-Food sector innovation and application are proceeding at a breath-taking pace. New advances in production technology and systems, such as precision agriculture, controlled environment agriculture, hydroponics and aquaponics improve the timing, quality and quantity of food production, while also impacting food packaging, delivery and consumption. Moreover, non-profits and entrepreneurs deploy some of these same advances to ensure food availability / security in urban areas – and simultaneously provide training and employment. Come to hear more about the force-multiplier effects that result from this combination of people, technology and design thinking in the expansive global Agri-Food sector – plus the opportunities arising for innovators and entrepreneurs.


Sabine O’Hara, PhD
Dean & Director, Landgrant Programs, College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES)
Dr. Sabine O’Hara is the founding Dean of the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) and Land-grant Programs, at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). UDC is the only public university in Washington DC, and the only exclusively urban land-grant university in the United States. Read full profile…


William Hare
Associate Dean for Land-grant Programs, UDC CAUSES
Associate Dean William Hare oversees the land-grant programs of the University of the District of Columbia and is responsible for coordinating the applied research and community outreach programs of CAUSES to ensure their dedicated focus on building capacity in the food desert neighborhoods of Washington DC. Read full profile…

Thomas Kakovitch
Chairman and CEO, Kakovitch Global Businesses
Thomas Kakovitch is the CEO of several Global Businesses dedicated to innovation in food production and environmental health. He is Emeritus Professor of Environmental Science at the University of the District of Columbia and holds 26 patents ranging from water sanitation to surface water aeration and energy efficiency of power plants. Read full profile…

Chef Shawn Lightfoot
Co-founder Art-drenaline Cafe and The Fresh Food Factory LLC
Chef Shawn Lightfoot entered the culinary industry in 1982 under the tutelage of Chef Gary Black, then at Washington, DC’s famed Hogates Seafood Restaurant. Chef Lightfoot brings over thirty years of culinary experience to the kitchen and hospitality world. He began as a prep cook at the Rib-It Restaurant in Cherry Hill NJ. Only after a year he was named Asst. Banquet Chef at Hogates Seafood Restaurant. Shortly thereafter, he was offered a job as Sous Chef for the Savoy Suites Hotel in Washington, DC. Read full profile…

Marianne Vaes, PhD
Agricultural Counselor, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
The Netherlands have arguably been on the forefront of precision agriculture and controlled agriculture systems for many years. Agricultural Counsellor of the Netherlands, Dr. Marianne Vaes, will speak about the newest innovations in precision agriculture in the Netherlands. Read full profile…