Why robotics, AI & philosophy will change the way we feed the world

The UK’s first high-level gathering of international food experts, government representatives, technology experts and entrepreneurs will examine how the world can sustainably feed 10 billion people by 2050.

More than 100 international speakers including broadcaster and author Dr Alice Roberts, Henry Dimbleby, restaurateur and UK National Food Strategy lead, businesswoman Heather Mills, alternative meat pioneer Dr Neta Lavon, and philosopher A.C Grayling will take to the stage at the inaugural Food Matters Summit at ExCeL London this month to debate the critical issues facing the food industry today and in the future.

The Summit aims to connect organisations across the food supply chain, bringing together innovators and established multinational companies to inspire the very best new thinking and accelerate innovation across the global food industry.

“We need to come together, through events like the Food Matters Summit,” says Henry Dimbleby, “to explore new ideas and share our understanding of what is working well, at home or abroad, that we can learn from.”

“No part of our economy matters more than food. It is vital for life, and for pleasure. It shapes our sense of family, community and nation.

“Our free market performs a million daily miracles, producing, exporting, importing, processing and serving up a dazzling variety of reasonably-priced foods in an abundance unimaginable to previous generations. But this bounty has come at a cost.

“Intensive farming practises have caused serious damage to the environment and the food related disease is costing the NHS billions and drastically harming the lives of millions. Food security, too, is a growing concern: population growth, climate change, the global increase in meat eating are intensifying resource competition between nations.”

New thinking

Over two days, the ambitious and wide-ranging Summit programme will focus on three crucial themes, which will shape the future food industry.

‘The Food Revolution’ will examine how the food industry can respond to philosophical as well as commercial needs as it strives to feed a growing global population.

‘Feeding our future’ looks at the consequences of an unprecedented level of food options, a shift in consumer demands towards healthy and sustainable foods, and a new generation of millennial buyers.

‘Tomorrow’s Innovation’ investigates how customer tastes and trends have changed the food industry. How innovations and tech can be utilised for both consumer and commercial benefit? And if robotics, A.I., nanotechnology, alternative proteins, nutraceuticals and more is the answer to a global food crisis.

Pete Pearson, Senior Director for food loss and waste for the World Wildlife Fund US, will join Ben Elliot (Food Surplus & Waste Champion, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) and Michael la Cour (head of food services, Ikea) to debate how good practice and new technology could help eliminate food waste at all stages of the food system.

Australian author and ‘Food Futurist’ Tony Hunter will be joining Professor Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy, City University, London, to look at new thinking and game-changing technology which could revolutionise the way we grow food.


Underlining the Summit’s focus on innovation, Forward Fooding have chosen to announce the world’s first FoodTech 500 List at Food Matters Summit.

The international speaker also line-up includes:

  • Dr Pasi Vainikka, CEO and Co-Founder, Solar Foods (Finland)
  • Dr Bente Mikkelsen, Director of Division of Noncommunicable Diseases, World Health Organisation (Switzerland)
  • Kate Cole, Global Head of Nutrition, Health and Wellness, Nestle (Switzerland)
  • Claire Smith, CEO and vegan investor, Beyond Impact (Switzerland)
  • Dr Neta Lavon, Vice President R&D, Aleph Farms (Israel)
  • Iggy Bassi, Founder & CEO, Cervest (UK)
  • Patrick Holden, Chief Executive, Sustainable Food Trust (UK)

The inaugural Food Matters Summit takes place on 19th and 20th November 2019 at ExCeL London.