DuPont CEO stresses collaboration to feed a growing population

October 19, 2011

“We have to work together through public-private collaborations and through a harmonized, science-based regulatory system to ensure farmers and consumers can benefit from new technologies,” Ellen Kullman, CEO and Chairwoman of DuPont, told an audience of 900+ attendees at the 2011 World Food Prize keynote on Oct. 13. According to Kullman, it is collaboration and innovative science that will be the foundation to addressing global food security. While Kullman said no single company has all the answers, she outlined a few key steps she believes are integral to turning the tide on low food production, lack of access to food, and hunger.

  • Solutions must be local: Kullman kicked off her presentation by stating that “world class science has to be available to the farmers.” By doing this, you leverage the science and the energy of the people. But she warned that these scientific solutions must be local. There are different cultures, climates, infrastructure, soil conditions, etc., that must be taken into account when introducing new technologies into a region. In many cases, there needs to be significant infrastructure investment and economic and agriculture development to ensure that new food science and technology are utilized to their full potential.
  • Collaboration is key: As Kullman stated, “Collaboration unlocks the answers science provides.” In addition to collaboration within the public and private sectors, Kullman stressed the need to promote science and agriculture among the youth. The Global Youth Institute, hosted by the World Food Prize Foundation, allows more than 100 global high school students to participate in the World Food Prize events and collaborate with international experts and global leaders.

    In addition, Kullman encouraged attendees to invite the entire supply chain to join this discussion because it will take innovative thinkers in areas ranging from finance and technology to regulatory, health, and development to tackle this complex issue. She also spoke about the importance of a harmonized science-based regulatory system.

At the end of her talk, Kullman described what she has termed the “global collaboratory,” which is the use of science, innovation, and collaboration to improve the lives of individual people around the world. She concluded by extending an invitation to join her and DuPont in making this global collaboratory work. “Together, we can accomplish what no one can do alone.” To find more about the Global Collaboratory visit

World Food Prize