It’s that time of year again. The South By SouthWest (SXSW) panel picker is up and running. SXSWi, the largest digital-interactive conference in the U.S., offers a unique opportunity to connect with and learn from a diverse group of people who are using digital technology to make the world a better place. Since FTC is all about showcasing innovative companies and helping people use information and technology to build a better, smarter food future, for the past few years we’ve curated a list of food, health and agriculture panel proposals. In 2013 there were about a dozen, last year there were around 25 and this year, we’re very excited to highlight 45+ proposals.

Have a gander at all the innovative proposals below and vote for your favorites by registering here and then clicking the thumbs up in the top left corner of the page. Spoiler alert, our own Danielle Gould is a speaker in Yummly’s panel proposal ‘Mega Bites: Mining Food Data For Insights‘ and our Hack//Dining facilitation partner Studio Industries has proposed ‘The Grocery Store of the Future.’ Make sure to cast your votes for your favorites by September 5, and let us know if you discover any other proposals we should highlight in the comments below.


Mega Bites: Mining Food Data For Insights -

Danielle Gould, Food+Tech Connect

Dave Feller, Yummly; Justin Massa, Food Genius

Gautam Gupta, NatureBox

A surge in innovative food technology from apps to websites to services has created mountains of food data and new methods of understanding it. This leads us to wonder how can this data be used to innovate the food ecosystem?

Join us as a panel of entrepreneurs from some of the leading companies in food data and food technology will discuss the possibilities for big food data. We are on the verge of something that can transform the entire food system, and the leaders in this movement will share their thoughts, ideas and learnings.

Our panelists will unveil innovative insights they have gleaned from their experience and share specific use cases. Learn what lies in the future of mining food data and the advantages and obstacles at the convergence of food and technology.

The Grocery Store of the Future - Mike Lee, Studio Industries; Meredith Micale, Studio Industries

We will explore what our world could look like in 50 years, and what that means for the grocery store experience and the products sold within them.

At a staggering $4.2 trillion, the food industry is one of the biggest in the world, yet hasn’t been upended nearly to the extent that tech, media, and other industries have. This is about to change. Societal needs and technologies are evolving at a breakneck pace and as a result, the industries that make and sell our food will need to keep up with the changing times.

We will talk about how technology and society will change how food is produced and distributed, the way that people seek out and buy food, and the basic food and lifestyle needs that we will all have in the future. By highlighting the startups, retailers, and producers who are driving change for the future today, to posing a vision of what’s yet to come, we’ll take you on a journey to the future and back through the lens of the grocery store aisles.

Hacking Health With Wearables & Food Data - Santiago Merea, The Orange Chef Co.

The quantified self movement is now firmly entrenched in the minds of consumers. From devices that measure our movement to apps that track our calories, technology and hardware are combining to help us have a better understanding of ourselves. With this movement comes a greater understanding of the intersection between food and health, and how this intersection can also influence other areas of our lives. Through this panel, we’ll be discussing how trackable technology is impacting our ability to attain a better understanding of health/wellness + food, and how the technology and hardware behind the health and wellness movement is beginning to drive innovation in food. We’ll also explore some of the startups that are driving that innovation in this arena of food tech.

Grocery Wars: The Future of Buying Food - Phil Lempert, Supermarket Guru; Addie Broyles, Austin American-Statesman

A decade ago, experts predicted that we’d be buying all of our food online by now, and even though there are some quickly growing players in grocery delivery (FreshDirect, AmazonFresh), grocery stores and supermarkets continue to thrive. Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert has been analyzing consumer culture and the grocery industry for more than 20 years, and he has a very clear vision for where grocery stores are headed: smaller spaces with a more curated selection and, for god’s sake, no bulky paper towels (because we’ll be ordering all the boring stuff via subscription). Increasingly interactive phones and smart carts will expand customized, in-store advertising in a way that enhances the shopping experience rather than interrupt it, and the use of e-coupons will grow, but only if grocers and manufacturers can cooperate. Improved packaging will keep food safer and consumers (and food processors) informed about what’s inside, where it came from and where it’s going.

Next up for disruption: The Grocery Industry - Aseem Ali, Burpy Inc.

Next up for disruption: The Grocery Industry session will be about how the sharing economy is aiding disruption in the grocery industry. The session will start off with a history of grocery delivery services and the reasons why early companies failed. Next the idea of a sharing economy will be introduced with reference to the grocery industry. A deeper dive of how and why a sharing economy is going to aid disruption in the grocery industry will be shared. Next a comparison of the grocery industry in US and UK will be made to show how the US is trending 5 years behind the UK. Lastly, the session will end with the future of the grocery industry. What will become of the grocery stores all around us?

Social Media is the New Restaurant PR

Megan Giller Zagat Austin

Kelly Stocker Yep

Samantha Luthra Bread & Butter PR

Erin Fohn Hopdoddy Burger Bar and Guy & Larry Restaurant Group

In a world where friends make dinner plans over Snapchat, food porn is a real thing, and make dinner reservations over Facebook, how does one spread the word about a new restaurant opening, new product, or special event? This panel explores the nitty gritty of restaurant marketing in the digital landscape, and how restaurants are modeling new hybrid food service styles to match. Restaurant and publication community managers, consumer review site community managers, and digital advertising professionals will weigh in.

Organic Innovation: A Path Out of Food Deserts

Joel Salatin Polyface Farms

Garrett Johnson Lincoln Labs

A panel discussion on how we can improve the well-being of communities through the intersection of tech and agriculture innovation, policy, and social enterprise. Specifically, we’ll discuss challenges that impact a community’s ability to access healthy food, from urban food deserts to policies that discourage new start-ups and social entrepreneurs. Panelists will discuss obstacles they’ve faced in their respective spaces as well as how to best navigate them. By discussing the important relationship between policy, innovation and well-being, we hope attendees will be further motivated and educated on ways to pursue a path that leads to greater well-being for some of the most vulnerable in our society.

ixels & Plows: Designing for Food Deserts - Kel Smith, Anikto LLC

According to the USDA, a “food desert” is any part of the United States where healthy, affordable food is difficult to obtain. Inspired by technology startups in developing countries, low-income and low-access communities have succeeded in bringing innovative, cost-effective solutions to a growing social dilemma. It’s a good thing, too – government interventions and the increased “Walmartization” of consumer behavior have had little positive impact on food quality or distribution. This presentation will examine the cultural and societal impacts of technology on nutrition literacy. We’ll explore case studies around the world that demonstrate how personal empowerment results in greater food accessibility. Finally, we’ll discover surprising ways in which today’s interconnected marketplace is bridging the gap between farm and fork.

Holy Eli Whitney: The Rise of the Digital Farmer - Doug Kamp, gyro

Digging, planting, harvesting…farming has been an analog process from the early days of man and womankind. Not any longer.

The effect of digital on farming cannot be understated and it is only picking up more momentum. Let’s take two quick examples. First, there’s the nutrient ROI calculator from Potash. They took soil samples across the U.S. and via geotargeting can tell farmers what kind of nutrients they need if they are planting, say, alfalfa. It can also calculate the yield. Yeah, and they give this away for free. 100,000 farmers downloaded the soil calculator app and used it in the field in the first two months alone.

Then there’s John Deere. Deere has been masterful at soliciting advice from the foremost experts on machinery: farmers. They regularly crowdsource ideas for improvements. This allows it to improve its products as well as fully embrace the people who matter most: its customers.

This session will show how this overlooked demographic is winning using digital.

Where is Silicon Valley for Small Food Startups?

Katie Fitzgerald, CircleUp

Erin Harper, Whole Foods

Shari Wynne Ressler, Incubation Station/MWR Legal

Pat Finn, Finn Capital Partners

Tech startups are awash with capital. From Silicon Valley to Wall Street, there are hundreds of VC firms rushing to invest in tech. Raising capital as never been more efficient more tech companies. But what about non-tech companies? For the 1.4 million privately-held consumer and retail businesses there isn’t a place like Silicon Valley with a significant concentration of investors.

Non-tech entrepreneurs have to think more creatively; often relying on the old stand-by sources of early stage funding, including friends and family or credit card debt.

But times are changing, and this panel explores how.

How the process of fundraising for (and investing in) food businesses is becoming dramatically more efficient and accessible as capital markets shift from offline-to-on. Panelists will discuss the current funding landscape, including CircleUp’s value proposition, analyze what resources food entrepreneurs have, and highlight why investors should be interested in consumer/food.

The Future of Food? A Personal Growing Revolution - Emily Malkin, Grove Labs

The future of food production is getting personal as companies develop products that empower people to easily grow their own produce at home. If these products are widely adopted, people can begin to remove themselves from our industrial food system.

Industrial to personal paradigm shifts are impacting several industries. From solar companies enabling off-the-grid electricity production, to MakerBot’s vision of personal manufacturing with in-home 3D printers, technology is leading us towards distributed production. Food production is no exception.

Companies like AquaFarm, Niwa, and Grove Labs are harnessing technologies like ultra-efficient LEDs and web-enabled sensor systems to catalyze personal growing and start a domino effect of change in the global food system. By calling attention to our broken food system, as well as providing immediate and convenient ways to initiate change, these companies are putting the means of food production back into the hands of the people.

Eating Insects: From Hipsters to the Mainstream

Jack Ceadel Hopper Foods

Harman Johar World Entomophagy

Rose Wang Six Foods

Robert Nathan Allen Little Herds

Last year at SXSW there was a session called “Are Insects the Future of Food?”. The months since the session have seen investment in the sector, the emergence of a range of startups, growth of existing players, the first round of industry consolidation and growing consumer acceptance.

This further endorses the irrefutable environmental and health arguments to assert that yes insects ARE the future of food. The question remains how can insects be effectively sold as a appealing food source to mainstream consumers and not just hipsters and other early adopters?

The session brings together 4 ento-preneurs from different backgrounds to talk about how they are approaching this problem.
The Cafeteria Conundrum: How Healthy is Helping

Lisa Pounds Green Plate Foods

Marissa Lippert Nourish Kitchen Table

Leslie Barker Garcia The Dallas Morning News

Bettina Siegel The Lunch Tray

Incorporating healthy foods into school menus is certainly a controversial topic, as many administrators believe students do not prefer the taste, and discard the healthier, sometimes more costly, options. However, the benefits healthy lunches can have on student behavior and focus are clear. This panel of experts discusses the importance of providing healthy options to schools and educating students on healthy diets, and how eating the right foods will impact their development as students.

One-on-One with Webby Winner Mario Batali - Mario Batali, Mario Batali Foundation & David-Michel Davies, Webby Media Group

Mario Batali won the 2014 Webby Award in the Celebrity/Fan category. (If you’ve seen the masterfully designed and executed mariobatali.com, you would understand why.)

Now the world-renowned chef will sit down with Webby Executive Director David-Michel Davies to talk about his restaurants, cookbooks, philanthropic efforts, and his new Hulu show “The High Road.” He may also share a recipe or two.

Improving Health by Fixing the Food System - Megan Grocki, Mad*Pow

Do you eat food? Fabulous! That makes you a stakeholder in our food system and this session is for you. Our health is the greatest gift we have and making informed decisions about the food we eat has been proven to prevent illnesses.

Many people in the US are both overfed and undernourished resulting in myriad health issues. It has been estimated that one-third of the children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes. This is completely preventable. Scores of academic and medical studies have concluded that the single most important factor in human health is nutrition, and our food is something we can change.

This panel will explore the landscape of the US food system and connect the dots between what we eat and our collective health. This goes beyond the “you are what you eat” mantra and will inspire participants to take action in their own lives and in their work.

Lessons From Africa: Relationships Over Privacy? - Jessica Colaço, iHub

Africa is in the midst of a mobile revolution that is resulting in the unprecedented expansion of something Africans value most: relationships. This serves as a key innovation driver on a continent where mobile subscribers are predicted to hit one billion next year. The people of Africa embrace mobile technology to connect to communities, regions, countries and the world. This rapid ICT expansion has resulted in a “leapfrog” effect, resulting mobile technology innovation in critical sectors of the economy including banking, education, healthcare, agriculture, and community development. Local technology hubs spawn mobile applications and sharing of solutions as quickly as the technology allows. Join us to find out how, while the world debates technology, privacy and identity management issues, Africans are seizing opportunities to share, connect and enable communities through technology.

Today’s Techie Farmers: They Aren’t Who You Think

Zach Hunnicutt Hunnicutt Farms

Sylvester Oikeh African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF)

Ty Vaughn Monsanto Company

Rachel Bina Spencer Bina Farms

When you think of tech professionals, you probably don’t picture Old McDonald. But from Kenya to Kansas and India to Indiana, farmers are using technology in a variety of ways to produce crops and maintain their land. Meet real farmers from across the globe who are bringing tech to their farms…they aren’t the “big ag” producers you might expect. Nearly 500 million smallholder farmers are working on up to 97% of the world’s agricultural holdings, and they’re using tech to keep their farms in business.

Beecons- Applying agency innovation to beekeeping - Marc Curtis, TMW

The conversation about how important bees are to our planet has been had, and hopefully steps are now being taken to reduce the impact of modern farming and destruction of habitat on honey bees and wild bees.

I would like to share my experiences of being sponsored by my agency to become a beekeeper (primarily as a reaction to the highly digitalised work in which I work) and how I’ve started using technology to monitor the health of my hives.
The Soda Bubble: Fizzy Beverages at the Forefront

Caroline Mak, Brooklyn Soda Works

John Nese, Galco’s Soda Pop Stop and Old World Grocery

Bill Creelman, Spindrift

Chris Gethard, The Chris Gethard Show/ Fizz Boys podcast

Over the past decade, the concept of soda pop has gone from liquid fast food to high art form. In 2008, the New York Times published a root beer tasting by wine critic, Eric Asimov. In 2010, SodaStream emerged as a publicly traded company, ushering in an era of DIY soda making for amateurs. Enthusiasm for fizz and a burgeoning soda culture arose, as artisanal makers showed up at food fairs, lesser known sodas found their way to market shelves, and soda pop blogs and publications bubbled up. This panel will gather leading soda makers and enthusiasts to discuss the rise in popularity of specialty sodas, their place in the food and drink world, and the next frontier for our fizzy friend. Panelists from around the nation will share experiences and ideas about how the sodasphere is growing and predictions for the next soda trends.

“Smart Farms” – The Digitization of Agriculture - David Friedberg, The Climate Corporation (A division of Monsanto)

The next evolution in the digital revolution is happening in rural communities, far away from traditional technology hotbeds. Farmers are now using satellite technology and other state-of-the-art tools to increase productivity and manage their resources more efficiently. Join David Friedberg, former Google leader turned entrepreneur and founder / CEO of The Climate Corporation, as he talks about this next wave of digital innovation that can provide a whole host of insights for farmers that weren’t possible just a few years ago. Why should we care? It’s going to help farmers produce more food on less land while using resources more efficiently.

1 Billion Page Views + Chocolate: Growing the worl - Esmee Williams, Allrecipes

Allrecipes is the world’s number 1 digital food brand, it received more than a billion visits annually from home cooks around the world across PCs, smartphones and tablets. With so much information coming in, Allrecipes faced endless possibilities on how to mine this data to bring real-time food behavior insights to their internal teams, the media, technology partners and the world’s largest CPG brands in actionable, timely, and meaningful ways.

In this session, you’ll hear about how Allrecipes has used analytics to arm its internal teams, media and tech partners, and some of the world’s greatest CPG brands with actionable insights. In particular, you’ll find out how Allrecipes leveraged data to empower one of America’s favorite chocolate brands – Ghirardelli – to get mainstream consumers to trade up to premium baking chocolate.

Globalizing Local: Taking Local Food Global - George Young, Kalypso

Food is a local phenomenon. Think about it: in Hong Kong it’s the night markets; Chicago, a street hot dog; New York, a slice of pizza. Anywhere you go in the world there are regional and local tastes to experience. But, is it possible to preserve the essence of local food and make it global?The simple answer: yes.

The local food market is currently a $7 billion market that’s expected to grow at a rate of 40% over the next few years. As consumers become more specific about their dietary needs, they’re turning to local ingredients and manufacturers for fresh, locally sourced food. To capitalize on this trend, global food companies need to figure out a way to incorporate more local offerings into their menu. And, local food companies need to figure out how to scale to meet demand. This discussion will explore the future of local food and what the opportunities and risks are for all.

Closing the loop: the agroecological city – Jason Green, Edenworks & Ben Silverman, Edenworks

More than 50% of the world’s population now lives in cities and, by the end of this century, a projected 90% of Earth’s 9 billion will be urban-dwelling. With local ecosystems already in distress and the specter of global climate change, how will we provide food, water, and energy for cities as they grow larger and denser? We will propose design- and data-driven innovations that integrate seemingly disparate technologies like aquaponics and Passivhaus design to pursue biomimicry at the ecosystem level and recreate cities as closed loops. The discussion will center around produce, protein, water, energy, and waste, with time allotted for audience inquiry, commentary, and debate.

The unexpected power of shared meals - Cédric Giorgi, Cookening & Andrew Hyde, Inside.co

Discover why sharing a meal at home with strangers has the potential to change your life. And if doesn’t change your life, at least it will make you meet new people, you will open your mind to new thoughts, cultures, people, and you’ll learn from sure.

From entrepreneurs to artists, from travelers to farmers, anyone can decide to be a host or a guest for a home cooked meal, or new kind of dinner party.

This conversation cill be both practical with several how to and experience learnings as well as strategic with some thoughts and the global impact we could have by sharing more meals with strangers.

The science of coffee - Camille Delebecque, Afineur

In this session we’ll explore the science behind coffee. From growing the best beans, to understanding the chemistry of green coffee, roasting, and brewing we’ll explore what makes the best cup.

This detailed understanding will be used as a foundation to explore recent disruptive innovations in the coffee industry.

How Tech Lit The Flame For Celebrity Chef Culture - Keela Robison Urbanspoon

Far from being relegated to weekend PBS programming like in years past, today’s TV chefs are now established members of the glitterati, posing on red carpets and attending (not catering!) the hottest parties. Culinary professionals have become big name TV personalities thanks to the popularity of shows like Top Chef, Chopped, and Iron Chef. Many of these chefs and restaurant owners, who had never touched Twitter before, have parlayed their newfound fame into successful ventures by taking advantage of active digital fan bases to cultivate their brand. In addition to freshly sharpened knives and spot-on palettes, chefs now rely on social media and other digital outlets to interact with fans, grow their customer base and, ultimately, make a living.

Keela Robison, CEO of Urbanspoon, will lead a panel discussion with celebrity chefs and culinary culture experts to discuss the role of technology in the rise of celebrity chef culture.

Next Wave Coffee: Technology and the Way We

Lawrence Marcus, Food & Wine

Erin Meister, Counter Culture Coffee

Cameron Hughes, Invergo Coffee

For centuries, coffee drinkers have been chasing a better cup using ever-more sophisticated methods. Today, principles of chemistry and physics are informing ultra-high-tech solutions to the problem of how to extract the best flavor from beans. This panel will explore the next wave of innovative coffee gear, from a hardware-software package that uses light to diagnose brewing problems to a brewer that aims to mimic how the human hand pours water over grounds. Plus, we’ll explain how people can brew coffee at home that competes with the best from any shop.

Chefs and Coders - Erik Harrelson, Tyler Florence Group & Vincent Higgins, DDB California

At first glance, product developers and people who make food for a living don’t seem to have that much in common. Dig a little deeper and you’ll see that the mind of a coder and the mind of a chef are actually quite similar. This panel explores shared mindsets that channel creativity into actionable and tangible outputs.

Make ‘em Hungry with Awesome Food Photography – Diane Cu-Porter, WhiteOnRiceCouple.com & EvoMultimedia.com &  Todd Porter, EvoMultimedia.com

We all eat and universally connect through food from blogs, social media and platforms like Instagram. Sharing awesome food images and original food stories stir up conversation and build community. The visual appeal of a great food image speaks volumes more than words ever could. Making a mouth watering image isn’t difficult and can easily be attainable with some basic concepts. Learn how to make ‘em salivate, drool and hungry for more of your images through some basic understanding of food photography through lighting, propping and camera selection.

Radical Transparency in the Food Industry - Mahni Ghorashi, GeneStamp; Charlie Piper, Yottamark

The global food industry is entering a new era.

There are a slew of disruptive technologies geared toward enabling radical transparency in food, whether that be DNA sequencing, mobile detection tools, food mapping or the like. These are all relatively new and unfamiliar, but their potential impact is colossal.

Simultaneously, the stakeholders involved — consumers, retailers, and food suppliers — are beginning to think about food in a new and critical way. They’re more curious and more motivated to buy what’s good for both their health and their bottom line. Transparency is no longer a “nice to have” — it’s a mandate.

In this session, we will pinpoint and dissect the most influential technologies affecting and enhancing food transparency as we know it. We will dive into specific use cases and illustrate ways in which both consumers and food retailers can use these innovations to their advantage, helping to create a new standard in food.

The Sad Desk Lunch: Changing How We Eat At Work

Jessica Goldman Foung, SodiumGirl.com

Marian Bull, Food52.com

Kira Fisher, Tumblr

A busy job is no excuse to eat bad food. Plastic-wrapped meals, bags of chips, overpriced takeout — you deserve better than that. Which is why it’s time to reimagine the desk lunch.

Join cookbook author, Jessica Goldman Foung, Food52 editor, Marian Bull, and SadDeskLunch.com founder, Kira Fisher, for some lunchtime real-talk. Using their personal experiences in the office and the kitchen, they’ll discuss the pros and cons of the current state of work meals; bust office food myths; and share advice on how to improve lunch habits, as well as productivity and office culture.

Topics include tips on meal-prep shortcuts; ways to maximize the kitchenette and desk drawers; how to transform eating from a solo act to a community event; and other creative means to making desk lunches less sad and more energizing.

#FoodPorn – distorting our relationship with food? - Karen Fewell, Digital Blonde Ltd

Karen, better known as the ‘Digital Blonde’ is currently writing her first book ‘#FoodPorn’. During #SXSW 2015, Karen will release new research undertaken for the book around “What social data can tell us about our emotional relationship with food?”. What started out as a fun look at the #tag ‘foodporn’ has resulted in Karen having a much deeper interest in ‘social’ and our relationship with food and the impact it is having on society. Is referring to food as ‘porn’ and glorifying what we long to eat beneficial to the long-term health of our nations? Karen is keen to explore ways of finding deeper more loving relationships with food on digital platforms, and to see a move away from the more ‘lustful one offs’ we associate with ‘porn’. Having shared insight into this area, Karen will open up the debate to the group. The idea is to get a global perspective on the challenges being faced in developing a long-term healthy love of food. And how social can help achieve this.

Are We On the Brink of a Culinary Revolution? - Rachel Laudan, University of Texas at Austin

Culinary revolutions have been few and far between in history (the change from theocratic to modern cuisine, for example). Many believe that our food system is broken and that it needs a complete overhaul. By analyzing earlier food revolutions, this session lays out five essential conditions: a change in ideas about food and nature (including our bodies); a change in ideas about food, economics, and politics; a change in ideas about virtue and morality; new ways of processing; and political backing. Right now, new technologies are affecting all these factors. The speaker will then invite the audience to use these tools to predict how new technologies will affect the future of food in the next half century.

It’s Not Where You Eat, It’s What You Eat - Rachel Elsberry, Moroch Partners

John Cisna is the high school science teacher who lost 56 pounds, lowered his cholesterol and lost 21 inches in his chest eating ONLY McDonald’s for six months. This was a science experiment with a meal plan developed by his students based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet and using daily recommended allowances for carbohydrates, sugar, protein and fat and 45 minutes of walking every day. He will talk about changing the dialogue around food and educating people to make healthy choices.

#FoodPorn-distorting our relationship with food? - Karen Fewell, Digital Blonde

Karen, better known as the ‘Digital Blonde’ is currently writing her first book ‘#FoodPorn’. During #SXSW 2015, Karen will release new research undertaken for the book around “What social data can tell us about our emotional relationship with food?”.

What started out as a fun look at the #tag ‘foodporn’ has resulted in Karen having a much deeper interest in ‘social’ and our relationship with food and the impact it is having on society. Is referring to food as ‘porn’ and glorifying what we long to eat beneficial to the long-term health of our nations? Karen is keen to explore ways of finding deeper more loving relationships with food on digital platforms, and to see a move away from the more ‘lustful one offs’ we associate with ‘porn’.

Having shared insight into this area, Karen will open up the debate to the group. The idea is to get a global perspective on the challenges being faced in developing a long-term healthy love of food. And how social can help achieve this.

Food Video-The Next Online Food Revolution - Haley Sonneland, Food52

As consumers become more and more interested in what they eat, where it’s sourced from and the finished product – our social networks have become chock full of food photos shot by diners and home cooks alike. And while anyone can find the perfect filter to highlight a chocolate cake or grilled rib-eye, it takes skill, talent and preparation to produce compelling videos. The Food Network and the Cooking Channel may be household names but there’s a new crop of companies and talent trying to solidify the relationship between food TV and the Internet. During this panel, we’ll bring together leaders in the food video space to discuss the techniques and equipment needed for great food video production, the qualities of great food video and why the pendulum is swinging away from antiquated food networks and toward a new production model.

Culinary Crossroads: Technique vs. Technology - Kelly Senyei, Just a Taste

For centuries before the dawn of modern technology, our ability as culinarians was largely determined by the techniques we could master as individuals. Whether honing our knife skills, exploring new cooking methods, learning new recipes or developing our understanding about ingredient interactions, much of this work involved many hours of research, exploration and learning. Over the past few years, the dramatic expansion at the intersection of food and tech has allowed technology to supplement, and in some ways supplant our need to build a foundational knowledge of cooking techniques. Access to digital content, millions of cooking videos, community message boards and a myriad of social media platforms means that technology has made it easier than ever to grow beyond beginner cooking techniques. Through this panel, we’ll take a broad look at the ways in which technology has influenced and enhanced our culinary lives, augmenting our ability to be food experts in a new digital age.

How to create a multi-sensorial food experience? - Bernard Lahousse, Foodpairing nv

The way we experience food is much more complex than taste only. Food is influenced through the interaction with and between our senses.

Over the last 10 years the researchers of foodpairing.com have cooperated with chefs and bartenders worldwide. During SXSW Bernard Lahousse, the founder of foodpairing.com, will offer his scientific expertise on the topic of experimental eating, how he designs with tastes, how the foodpairing API can be used by developers to create new recipes and the ways in which the intersection of food and chemistry can lead to both palpable and visual excellence.

The way our palates experience flavor is much more complex than taste alone. It is influenced primarily through the interaction between the senses.

This presentation will be an interaction session where we will explore modes where one will taste, smell, touch, hear food in ways never experienced before.

Six Degrees of Bacon: Farm to Fork Innovations - Erin Husband, FleishmanHillard

Bacon – it’s delicious, and it can really go on or in anything. If you love bacon, or any food, you may be fascinated to learn about the innovative technology used throughout the entire process from getting your food from the farm to your dinner plate. Join a farmer, professor and chef to talk about the surprising technology that brings our most delicious indulgences to table.

Storytelling Through Food - Babette Pepaj, BakeSpace.com

Some call it food porn, other’s call it lunch. Last Thanksgiving, more than 10 million food-related photos were uploaded to Instagram. Food is inherently social, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most popular subjects for photos shared via social media.

This session will examine how to leverage food photography to connect with consumers starving for delicious content? It will feature renowned food writers, photographers and brand marketers who will explain how you can share your story through food.

Made in Brookyln: A Craft Foods Revolution

Nicki Briggs, ARTISAN+MAIN

Shamus Jones, Brooklyn Brine


Forbes Fisher, Steve’s Ice Cream

Commonly clichéd as hipster-made jams and kombucha—the Brooklyn Makers Movement has ignited a global appetite for artisanal products, forcing long-standing CPG manufacturers to rethink their production and innovation practices. Rooted in authenticity, community, seasonality, and sustainability — it begs the question: what does the future hold for this phenomenon and how will it affect our larger food ecosystem?

Join key leaders of the Brooklyn Makers Movement as they discuss their learnings, setbacks, and future aspirations. Panelists will include pioneers of the DIY food scene who are case studies of how to successfully scale an artisanal passion into a viable business that betters the world around it as well as a strategist to speak to the cultural contexts behind the Movement and its future implications. This session will both inspire both aspiring food makers and passionate food lovers, and prove that the Makers Movement isn’t a fleeting trend, but a lasting paradigm shift.

You Can’t Sit with Us: Craft Beer Subculture

Christopher Sheppard Craft Taste

Caroline Wallace Bitch Beer

Josh Hare Hops and Grain Brewing

Matt McGinnis What Are You Drinking?

The spirit of craft beer was founded with the ideals of fraternity, community, and inclusion. The small craft beer movement has flourished into an industry that has infiltrated America, state by state, with a rising subculture brought together by online communities. Like many subcultures, it has developed elitist factions, and condescension and snobbery have pervaded web forums, social media, and the craft community at large. Through the veil of internet anonymity, an uprising of negativity has overtaken the culture, causing a shift in the attitudes and perception of craft beer. What was once a welcoming community is now often perceived as snobbish and closed to newcomers. A panel of experts in the craft beer industry from writers to brewers discuss the evolving attitudes and the effects of elitism amongst craft beer lovers. Are the very people who enjoy craft beer the most destroying the culture?

Reinventing the Cooking Show To a Digital Audience

Matt Schoch, Public Broadcasting Service

Aube Giroux, Kitchen Vignettes

Kelly Cox, Original Fare

Grant Crilly, ChefSteps

America has become food obsessed. While food is everywhere on TV and the internet, the traditional cooking show is basically dead. But in a sea of chef competitions, food truck races and over-produced schtick, there are an increasing number of filmmakers who are reinventing the cooking show to appeal to a digital audience. These modern day Julia Childs are discovering a platform to tell important stories about where our food comes from and inspire a new generation to get in the kitchen and cook. The panel will talk about their experiences creating digital video series, the challenge of creating high quality video on a budget, how to get creative for funding and sponsorship and where they see the genre moving in the future.

Music + Food. A dissection of live experiences - Adam Kinnane, Artisan Council

When an artist walks on to a stage and is received by a room or a stadium full of people they have a sense of duty to perform their best to entertain the crowd of fans who have dedicated their time and energy to participate in an experience that revolves around them. With the rise of “foodie” culture and the influx of food as content across social media and review platforms, we are seeing more similarities between live music and artists and the dinning experience and chefs and restaurateurs. After sitting down with hundreds of restaurant owners and chefs behind some of the most cutting-edge places in the world we have learnt that music is a key ingredient in the kitchen and for the overall dining experience of guests. This panel will explore the juxtaposition of music and food, and artist and chef, identifying how music affects mood and vibe for fans and guests, and also influences the creative processes of creating music, or starting a new venture.

Are you Epicurious? – The Best Apps for Foodies - Chris Katon, BFG Communications

We’ll meet up and talk about the latest and the greatest Mobile Apps for Foodies. Discussion about Instagram, Foodspotting, Trip Advisor, Yelp, Urban Spoon, and more. After our meeting we’ll issue a challenge to engage our participants by providing them a special hashtag to share their experience. Ie, “Austin is the perfect city for culinary adventure travel and SXSW is the perfect event to bring the foodie lifestyle to a new level. Whether you’re tasting our world famous Texas Barbecue or enjoying Jambalaya on a Stick. Remember to tag your Instagram, Foodspotting, Twitter or Facebook food photos with the hashtag #SXSWFoodPorn and share your SXSW culinary adventure with the world.”


Mitchell Davis, Friends of the USA Pavilion

Jeffrey Dunn, Bolthouse Farms

Kaitlin Yarnall, National Geographic Society

Linda Boff, General Electric

For the first time in the 160-year history of world’s fairs, the theme of Expo Milano will be food: “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.” From May 1 to October 31, 2015, welcoming 20 million visitors, this theme will unite 140-plus countries into action around the challenges and opportunities facing our global food system and the sustainable development of our planet. As we address the global challenge of feeding more than 9 billion people by 2050, what is the role of technology and innovation? From robotics to big data to GPS to the quantified self, food is the next technological frontier. But there’s a difference between lifestyle toys for the connected and food security for the marginalized communities. Or is there?

Avocadorotica: How Food Turns on the Internet

Alex Vallis, Food & Wine and FWx

Daniel Krieger, Daniel Krieger Photography

Rae Cohen Bernamoff, Sub Rosa

How does one Kickstarter raise $50,000 to make potato salad? Why do food photos perform better than everything else in your Instagram feed? What foods go viral and when did Americans start waiting in lines for hours to try them, preferably surrounded by cats? This panel will explore the many ways that food porn captivates us as much as the real thing, with tips on eating and drinking your way to more engaged audiences and greater reach.

Caring About Health: Big Data & Well-being

Dean Ornish, MD Healthways

Ben Leedle Healthways

Tom Rath Gallup

Jennifer Pfahler Edelman

A data-driven evolution in healthcare philosophy & practice has made “well-being” a tangible and attainable metric of health for the everyday person.

In this session, a panel of experts will present & discuss this confluence of big data and healthcare highlighting the “quantified self” & the Well-Being Index – a scientifically proven method of defining & measuring health through traditional physical components (e.g., diet & exercise) while incorporating additional, advanced metrics such as emotional security & financial health. By quantifying previously overlooked factors, the Well-Being Index is driving a new paradigm of personal health at a time when the healthcare landscape is evolving from a “sick care” model to a more integrated “health care” model.

The panel includes Edelman’s Wellness 360 director, Jennifer Pfahler, moderating a pioneer of integrated medicine, Dr. Dean Ornish, Healthways CEO Ben Leedle, & Gallup Senior Scientist, Tom Rath.

Your health startup is cute: gotta play at scale

Andrew Rosenthal jawbone

Ryan Panchadsaram The White House

Elliot Cohen Pillpack

Mina Hsiang Optum Labs — United Health Group

They’re doing it wrong! Health care is broken! Disrupt all the things! It’s fun to pontificate, but at a certain point, you’ve got to play at scale.

Some of the best innovation happens outside the traditional health care system. But many investors and advisers argue that to get paid, reach scale, or show efficacy, you need to learn to work within the system. If health care in becoming consumerized, does this still hold true? How do you innovate on the edges & then still find ways to claim value from the traditional system? What are the ways to work with the existing system without getting caught up in an outdated approach?

This panel is best for entrepreneurs & behavior change designers.

Hear about successful tactics and frank discussions of expensive failures. Learn from a diverse set of panelists with experience in early-stage startups, the White House, healthcare.gov, a major insurance company, health tech investing and a company with a behavior change solution at scale.

The post 2015 SXSWi Food+Health+Ag Panel Proposal Roundup appeared first on Food+Tech Connect.

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