After months of stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and self-quarantines, there has never been a more critical need to surround ourselves with passionate people with similar interests to help us expand our thinking, challenge our perspective, and change the way we view things to help us all make better food for the future. While we can’t be together in-person, IFT has put together the next best thing—SHIFT20, IFT’s virtual event and expo.
Appropriately named, SHIFT20 is a completely reimagined annual event experience, bringing research, science, and technology to the forefront while continuing to allow attendees to explore the latest products, services, and solutions from an array of exhibitors in our virtual expo showcase. Perhaps the most exciting part of the virtual experience is the accessibility. Without leaving your home or office, you can sample or binge the information that piques your interest whenever you wish. The majority of the content will be available 24/7 throughout the event and for the next year, so no matter where in the world you reside, you can join us—no plane ticket, passport, or hotel stay required.
So many great things will be happening during SHIFT20 that you won’t want to miss. Here are a few highlights to help you begin planning your days.
Monday Keynote Address with April Rinne: A member of the World Economic Forum, speaker, writer, and authority on the new economy, future of work, and global citizenship, April Rinne will kick things off Monday morning, June 13, exploring the critical role food science, emerging technologies, and the food industry will need to play in addressing food security in the face of our current pandemic times and global climate change.
Tuesday Special Guest Frank Yiannas: U.S. Food and Drug Administration Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response Frank Yiannas will participate in a live discussion Tuesday afternoon, July 14, where he’ll speak to issues related to food safety and security now and in the future, including a live question-and-answer session with event attendees.
Wednesday Special Guest Eve Turow-Paul: Author of A Taste of Generation Yum and the go-to expert on the high-value realm of millennials and food, Eve Turow-Paul will lead a virtual product development hackathon on Wednesday, July 15.
Scientific and Applied Sessions: This year’s scientific program is designed to challenge you to think bigger and bolder to solve some of the world’s biggest food issues. Specifically, we will collectively seek to uncover answers to a significant question that has the power to shape the future of our profession — Is our food system the single biggest threat to the environment and our survival?
To answer this question, we will explore five critical topics—health and nutrition, food safety and security, sustainability, science and technology, and innovation. Each topical area will be anchored by a provocative panel discussion, setting the stage for a series of presentations, discussions, and fireside chats taking a closer look at research, science, and technology tackling these important issues.
In total, more than 100 individual scientific sessions relating to these topics will be available on-demand, and more than 750 technical research papers will also be integrated into the scientific experience. New this year is a Research Showcase in which selected researchers will share their insights in a TED Talk format.
Virtual Expo: We recognize that for many, walking the expo floor and exploring the latest innovations from exhibitors is a favorite part of the annual event. IFT’s first-ever virtual expo will allow SHIFT20 registrants to explore the latest products, services, and solutions from an array of virtual exhibitors. You will have the opportunity to experience real-time and on-demand presentations of products and solutions soon to go to market; speak with product experts; easily search and access solutions by company or product; and more. Many exhibitors are planning some fun surprises as well. It’s virtual expo you don’t want to miss! And, as an added bonus, the expo showcase will be available six months post event for you to easily search and contact key providers as you need them.
Social Events: In addition to the scientific program, keynote speakers, featured panels, and virtual expo showcase, attendees will also be able to participate in a number of virtual social and networking events. These are being scheduled throughout each day and will be a great way to meet science of food professionals from around the globe.
With its combination of live and on-demand content, networking opportunities, virtual expo, and social events throughout the three days, SHIFT20 is a must-attend event for the global science of food community. For more detailed information or to register, visit the SHIFT20 website.
IFT’s Chief Science and Technology Officer Maria Velissariou, PhD, reflects on the impact of COVID-19 on the global food supply chain, consumer behavior, and food security, and challenges science of food professionals to consider some tough questions as they redefine the path forward.
During Feeding Tomorrow’s Virtual Fun Run + Fitness event, build healthy habits that will last a lifetime while making a difference in the lives of future food scientists.
IFT member Kartheek Anekella, PhD, shares his perspectives on the meaning behind Pride Month, the importance of respect, and the supportive community he’s found within IFT.