Vail Symposium presents part two of Future of Food: Will feeding people kill the planet? |

Vail Symposium presents part two of Future of Food: Will feeding people kill the planet?

The panel presentation on Thursday will address the challenge of feeding 10 billion people by 2050 without destorying the planet in the process. Vail Symposium and Walking Mountains Science Center are partnering to present this program.
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What: “Future of Food: Will Feeding People kill the Planet?”

When: doors open at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, program from 6-7:30 p.m.

Where: Vail Interfaith Chapel

Cost: $25 in advance, $35 day-of and at the door.

More information: Visit

Following up on the Vail Symposium’s March program examining the nexus of food production and waste in climate change, the Vail Symposium is again partnering with Walking Mountains Science Center to present Part 2 of “Future of Food: Will feeding People Kill the Planet?”

The panel presentation draws attention to the daunting challenge of feeding 10 billion people by 2050 without destroying the planet in the process and takes place Thursday at Vail Interfaith Chapel. Tickets cost $25 in advance, and the program goes from 6 to 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 5:30.

Speakers include Rohini Banskota, director of strategy at Finless Foods; Brian Spears, co-founder and CEO of New Age Meats; David Welch,director of science and technology at the Good Food Institute; and moderator Nicole Civita, an instructor on sustainable food at University of Colorado.

“We saw such a positive response to our spring program on how food production impacts climate change that we felt that a follow-up program was warranted,” said Kris Sabel, executive director of the Vail Symposium. “This panel of experts will focus on food production and explore innovative ways that we can feed the planet without killing it.”

The panel of researchers and pioneer entrepreneurs will look to address common questions, such as: How can food producers meet that demand for protein in a way that is sustainable? What is the science behind laboratory-produced meat and is it economically viable? Will consumers taste the difference?

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About the speakers

Banskota is the director of strategy at Finless Foods, where she leads efforts on policy, communications and helps shape the goals and vision of the company. Rohini attended the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, where she focused her research and work on how to get alternative proteins to scale, as well as policy research regarding challenges that alternative proteins will face. Specifically, she studied how the state of California can be a leader to help alternative proteins scale and compete on a level playing field, similar to how the state became a policy leader for alternative energy.

Spears is the co-founder and CEO of New Age Meats — making meat from animal cells instead of animal slaughter. Previously, he spent eight years as co-founder of Sixclear, creating software and products to automate the research labs and production environments of customers such as NASA, Cisco Systems, Sandia National Labs and GE Healthcare. He is a chemical engineer with 12 years of industry experience in laboratory and industrial automation.

Welch is the director of science and technology at the Good Food Institute. David oversees GFI’s team of scientists, combining his background in plant biology and regenerative medicine to help companies and academic research institutions accelerate the development of plant-based and clean meat alternatives to animal products. David holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in plant developmental cell biology from Utrecht University. He has more than 15 years’ experience in the life science industry, including the product development, market development and commercialization of cells, scaffolds, cell reprogramming tools and cell culture media for regenerative medicine and bioprocessing applications.

Civita is an instructor and the sustainable food systems specialization lead in a masters-degree program at the University of Colorado at Boulder and holds graduate degrees from the University of Arkansas, Georgetown University and Columbia University.

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