NYC World Food Day 2019 by Thought For Food

About this event: 

This event is to honour World Food Day 2019 and celebrate the launch of TFF (Thought For Food) Digital Labs, The Online Food and Ag Accelerator of The Future, complete with a night of food, drinks, inspiring conversations and networking!  

TFF Digital Labs embodies a breakthrough approach to global learning, startup acceleration, and collaboration that improves the speed and impact of beneficial innovation across the entire food and agriculture value chain. While the official launch is happening at the FAO in Rome, there are 100 + events happening globally bringing together people passionate about sustainably feeding the world.

Our NYC event features a short presentation on the Digital Labs, a special keynote from FAO, a panel discussion on key challenegs and innovations in feeding 9 billion sustainably by 2050, followed by networking opportunities as well as some delicious food and beverages. Come join us for a great evening and leave feeling inspired with new ideas and opportunities to collaboarate on! 

Keynote on World Food Day:

Speaker: Carla Mucavi, a national of Mozambique, is Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Liaison Office to the United Nations in New York. She oversees FAO’s contribution to discussions and decisions at the United Nations related to sustainable development, resilience building and sustaining peace, and UN coordination, coherence and reform. Ms. Mucavi represents FAO on the wide range of issues relevant to the work and mandate of the organization, including, eradicating hunger and all forms of malnutrition, promoting sustainable food systems for healthy diets, and empowering family farmers and rural communities. She also represents FAO at various intergovernmental meetings, notably meetings of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), as well as related committees, functional commissions and subsidiary bodies.

TFF Digital Labs Presentation: 

Shen Ming Lee is the Digital Labs Associate at Thought For Food, where she helps to build out TFF’s partner ecosystem in the US and ASEAN regions. She is the author of the book “Hungry For Disruption: How Tech Innovations Will Nourish 10 Billion By 2050” (An Amazon #1 New Release). Through her work, Shen aims to help build and support a more sustainable, inclusive, and nutritious food system. She grew up in Malaysia and is currently a student at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (SHA).

Panel Theme: Sustainably Feeding the World – Challenges and Innovations in Food and Ag


Abby Lyall – Big Idea Ventures

Abby Lyall is the Program Director at Big Idea Ventures. She previously managed cohort operations for Quake Capital’s New York office, where she was the second employee. Abby brings her entrepreneurial spirit to the team, having founded startups in the ed-tech and media spaces. She holds a degree in Finance and Data Science from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Daniel Bernstein – We Are the New Farmers

Dan is the co-founder and COO of We Are the New Farmers, the next-gen urban farm sustainably growing one of the most nutrient-dense foods, Spirulina. Harvested locally in Brooklyn, NY, their Spirulina is always delivered fresh and is naturally packed with nutrients and anti-oxidants. Dan’s prior expereince working with some of the country’s largest food retailers and grocery chains enabled him to recognize the need to build a food business with a different model, emphasizing consumption grounded in health, sustainability and choice.

Alina Zolotareva – Aero Farms

Alina Zolotareva is the Marketing Director at AeroFarms, a leading clean-technology company that builds and operates responsible, state-of-the-art indoor vertical farms around the world, enabling local production and transforming agriculture.  A Certified B Corporation, AeroFarms has been recognized by Fast Company as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for Food two years in a row and by Inc. as one of the Top 25 Disruptive Companies.

Tessa Price – We Work food Labs

Tessa Price leads programming for WeWork Food Labs, which is both a workspace and an accelerator for early stage food entrepreneurs. Previously, she was the Director of Operations and Community for a shared kitchen startup. She has over a decade of experience in the hospitality and restaurant space, most notably leading concept development for New York standbys, Le Pain Quotidien and Taim.


Sujala Balaji – Thought For Food

Sujala is the Regional Coordinator for North America at Thought For Food. Sujala is also Founder and CEO of Kosha Foods, a company that produces plant-based gluten free products using “smart food” millets, one of the top 50 Future Food crops. With years of experience in product innovation and commercialization working for a large dairy corporation, she is currently building a new startup in the plant-based dairy space. As a Food Scientist with a degree in Engineering, she is passionate about finding solutions that are future-focused. 


6:00pm – 6:30 pm: Check-in and Registration

6:30 pm – 6:45 pm: TFF Digital Labs Launch Presentation by Shen Ming Lee

6:45 pm – 7:00 pm: Keynote by Carla Mucavi, Director of FAO Liaison Office to the UN, NY

7:00 – 8:00 pm: Panel plus Q&A

8:00 – 8:45 pm: Networking plus nibbles

(Food and drinks for the night provided by some of our sponsors plus sampling of sustainably created products from exciting food and ag startups!)

Who should attend? 

Students, startups, entrepreneurs, investors, innovators and academia from any discipline, intersted in food, agriculture and sustainability.

Event Sponsors and Partners:

Finger Foods provided by:


About Thought For Food:


We create, empower and support a new generation of leaders to solve our planet’s most pressing challenge: How to sustainably feed 10 billion people?

Our global food systems need innovation and collaboration, and the next generation possesses the creativity, passion and mindsets to create the change just in time. We are building our global footprint to equip young people everywhere at anytime with the values, approaches and connections they need to be successful changemakers and support them to navigate the critical early stages of their professional lives.

Proceeds from the event will go towards The Thought For Food™ Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit.