IFTNEXT Think Tank

The IFTNEXT Think Tank is comprised of thought leaders from multiple disciplines charged with providing strategic guidance to help identify future-forward topics and food related challenges to inform provocative IFT programming and critical conversations. Programming will focus on engaging passionate, creative, forward thinking individuals in conversations and activities to foster a better understanding of how global, trans-disciplinary collaboration can advance and instill innovation in the science of the food to advance real-world global challenges today and into the future.

Jagruti Bhikha

Jagruti Bhikha

Jagruti is an accomplished leader in building communities and developing entrepreneurs, particularly women and people in developing nations. She co-authored a book on How and Why women should consider angel investment as part of their wealth portfolio and is a founder of Wingpact, a platform of mainly women entrepreneurs and angel investors. In one project she helped women farmers growing Moringa in Haiti (2015), Ghana (2013) and Sri Lanka (2016) and facilitated their connection to a startup called Kuli Kuli Foods. She also facilitated and lead a 2014 train entrepreneur journey across 8,000 KM in India focusing on understanding opportunities in the 7 sectors which affect the most number of people (education, water, sanitation, health, energy, technology, agriculture).  “It was an awesome experience to prepare young entrepreneurs to work with their ideas and help them put a plan together to compete in a pitch competition.”

Colin Dennis

Colin Dennis, CBE, PhD, CFS, CSci

Immediate Past President, Institute of Food Technologists; Chair, IFIS; Past Warden, The Honorable Company of Gloucestershire. Throughout his career Dennis has been committed to collaboration: establishing, developing and maintaining collaborations between industry, government and academia and was a recipient of the IFT’s Myron Solberg Award in recognition. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2009 in recognition of his services to the agri-food industry. Dennis’s leadership qualities and knowledge of food science have led to his appointment on government and industry advisory committees in the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, Belgium, India, Abu Dhabi and more.

Garry Golden

Garry Golden

Garry Golden is the principal at Forward Elements, Inc. and Lead Futurist at futurethink. Founding editor of The Energy Roadmap.

Garry is an academically trained Futurist (MS Futures Studies) who speaks and consults on issues shaping business and society in the 21st century. Clients include: Accenture Operations, AMEX, Alliant Energy, Direct Energy, Disney, Fidelity, Goodyear Tire, Hartford Insurance Group, Microsoft (Bing/Cortana), S&P Capital IQ, Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Reliant Energy, US Patent + Trademark Office, Verizon Wireless and Xcel Energy.

Joe Light

Joe Light

Joe Light is Vice President of Global Development and Ingredient Technology at Ingredion (our IFTNEXT Platinum Innovation Sponsor). Light is responsible for the Applications Development, Sensory, Systems Design & Measurement, and Sweetener R&D groups for Ingredion, all of which have a global remit. He also has functional oversight for the regional technical teams based in Europe, Asia, North and South America. Key areas of Innovation focus for Ingredion’s food business include Texture, Sweetness, Nutrition, Wholesome/Clean Label, & Delivery Systems.

Bruce Mau

Bruce Mau

World-leading visionary, innovator, designer and author, Bruce Mau is the co-founder and Chief Design Officer of Massive Change Network, LLC. In 2015 he was appointed Chief Design Officer at Freeman, the leading global provider of brand experiences, in a move to drive innovation in the events industry.

Mau's 30 years of experience in design innovation has included collaborations with many of the world’s leading institutions, corporations, heads of state, entrepreneurs and artists. For Bruce Mau, design is leadership that provides the power to imagine the vision of a future and the method to systematically achieve that vision. While most designers use design to produce things, Mau uses design as a method to produce the future and develop purposeful projects to create positive change in business, education, health, leadership and security.

Tawfik Sharkasi

Tawfik Sharkasi, PhD

Experienced Chief Technology Officer with a demonstrated history of strong innovation and entrepreneurship in the food and consumer electronics industry. Skilled in Talent Management and cross functional team leadership, Product Design, Organizational Design, Graphic Design, and Microsoft PowerPoint artwork.

Former VP of Innovation, Chief Science Officer and Technology – William Wrigley & Co. Tawfik Sharkasi recently retired from working for multinational corporations. He is currently serving on the advisory board of the Pennsylvania State University Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program. From 2014 to 2016 he joined the University of Illinois as the EIR “Executive in Residence” and advisor to the chancellor linking colleges, students, faculty, and deans to industrial partners and identifying new entrepreneurial opportunities. He is an Investor/entrepreneur and strategic business advisor to start up operations in the USA and the UK.

Peggy Smedley

Peggy Smedley

Editorial Director of Connected World magazine, host, The Peggy Smedley Show, and founder the Peggy Smedley Institute. In an ever-changing medium of communication, Peggy has spent her career helping companies understand how innovative technology will help them navigate the flood of change so they can remain viable and competitive. She take great pride in having launched one of the most formative media companies more than 20 years ago.

As a speaker, strategist, journalist and author of Mending Manufacturing: How America Can Manufacture Its Survival, Peggy has been very fortunate to be part of ushering in the M2M/IoT (Internet of Things) and security era and taking a leading role in helping companies grasp how technology will alter their direction.

Ana Maria Quiros Blanco

Ana Maria Quiros Blanco

Ana Maria is a young and enthusiastic food scientist committed on working in the development of food science and helping others through the profession. A recently graduated Food Engineer from University of Costa Rica, Ana has proven to be a capable leader, coming from leading her team on the Developing Solutions for Developing Countries of IFTSA to lead the Association of Food Technology in Costa Rica as current chair. She has worked in the development of small food processors in rural regions of Costa Rica, working on product development and food safety. As the chair of the Costa Rican association, she has been very interested in the communication of food science to the general public. As a researcher of the National Center of Food Science and Technology of Costa Rica from University of Costa Rica, she is working with food nutraceuticals and in extension programs.

Bernhard Van Lengerich

Bernhard Van Lengerich, PhD

Bernhard started his career with apprenticeships as a Baker and Pastry Chef in Germany and completed his PhD in Food/Biotechnology at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany with summa cum laude. His work experience includes Unilever Germany, RJR Nabisco, New Jersey and the Buehler Group in Switzerland. In 1994 Bernhard joined General Mills, Inc. in Minneapolis and was Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President for Technology Strategy. He led developments of key enabling ingredient and process technologies resulting in major product innovations. Bernhard authored/co-author over 150 patents, established and led a Game Changer program and created a ‘Technology Venturing’ initiative, enabling faster and high impact innovations. Bernhard is Honorarium Professor at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany, Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota and an IFT Fellow. Bernhard has been an invited participant in round table discussions at the White House Office for Science and Technology Policy on global protein security.

Bernhard retired from General Mills in 2015 and subsequently founded ‘Seeding the Future Foundation’, a 501(c)(3) organization focusing on food/protein security. He also founded ‘Food System Strategies LLC’, a strategic advisory firm. Bernhard’s focus remains on serving to support innovative approaches targeted towards a sustainable food and protein supply.

Christian Crews

Christian Crews: Think Tank Facilitator

A 20-year veteran of applying foresight to innovation and strategy for corporations and nonprofits. I design strategy engagements, lead research, and socialize insights to drive decision making and consensus in highly complex and uncertain conditions. Prior to joining Kalypso, Christian was the founder and principal of AndSpace Consulting, a boutique foresight, innovation, strategy and design consultancy serving Fortune 500 clients and large non-profit agencies.

Specialties: scenario planning, corporate innovation, long-term forecasts, quantitative and qualitative trend analysis, strategy design and facilitation, strategy development.