2023 Food Waste Solutions Summit
May 16-18, 2023 | St.Louis, MO
Dana Gunders serves as ReFED’s Executive Director. Dana is a national expert on food waste and one of the first to bring to light just how much food is lost throughout the food system. For almost a decade, she was a Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). She then launched Next Course, LLC to strategically advise on the topic. Some of her career highlights include authoring the landmark Wasted report and Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook, launching the Save the Food campaign with the Ad Council, testifying in Congress, consulting to Google, appearing on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and being a founding Board Member of ReFED.
Wednesday, May 17th
9:00am - 10:30am
Mainstage Session | Food Waste: The Past, Present, and Future
Bold action to tackle food waste reduction is more urgent than ever. From rising food prices and ongoing labor shortages, to supply chain disruptions and the surging carbon footprint of discarded food — there is a unique opportunity to influence behavior around proper food management and the food system is rising up to meet this moment. We have come far in just the last three years, but a 50% reduction goal is still a long way off. Featuring a 20-minute introduction from Dana Gunders, followed by a three 15min series of keynotes, this session will showcase different perspectives on food waste — where we’ve come, where we are now, and what needs to happen to get to 2030.
Wednesday, May 17th
4:00pm - 5:00pm
Mainstage Session | Cultivating an Inclusive Food System Where Everybody Eats: Exploring the Intersection of Justice and Food Waste
Our food systems were never broken and inequities within them are not natural. They are rooted in historic structures of racial, socioeconomic, and cultural discrimination. Acknowledging and addressing the systemic inequities that are deeply ingrained is the first step to creating an equitable, just, and inclusive food system for all. This session will include a share out of the insights from ReFED’s new Landscape Assessment report that examines the intersections between food waste and justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI). For instance, what food waste reduction activities have impacts that help or hinder equity movements? And opposingly, what impact does equity movements have on the amount of food going to waste? The report points out the intersections and makes some recommendations for steps to take to increase equity in food systems. The panel will reflect on these questions and panelists will share their own experiences and explore these intersections.
Thursday, May 18th
3:00pm - 4:00pm
Mainstage Session | The Future is Now: The Power of Indomitable Youth to Spark Action
Youth are the greatest agents of change in a society. When mobilized and empowered, youth are the generation of environmental stewards driving forward a nutritious, sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system. Yet too often, youth are regarded as recipients and are underrepresented or excluded from decisions that impact their future. And, are the generation most impacted by our present (in)actions. Recognizing their agency means recognizing that this younger generation are heterogeneous societal actors in their own right and with their own values that we can learn from. If they are to inherit our food system, it is essential to develop systems, policies, and enabling environments now that provide spaces and mechanisms to stimulate their participation. In this session you will hear from youth who are paddling the oars of innovation, be inspired by their triumphs, and explore how we can further unleash their potential to thrive in a livable climate.