Best Moments of 2018: Young Talents Academy experience at FIGM18 San Francisco stage

During Food Innovation Global Mission, the formation tour of our master that took place from May 12th to July 12th 2018, our special researchers have collected wonderful inspirations all over the world, having the time to talk to incredible food heroes and food shapers and to link to the entire network of food innovation.

Besides them, there is also another group that took part to this experience and wanted to share with us how the FIGM18 improved their knowledge and awareness about the future of food, about how it has to change and to develop to have more sustainable and accessible resources and nutrition. We’re talking about Young Talent Academy, the group of secondary school and university students that works along with Food Innovation Program to find new contamination and networking opportunities through innovation-based team working moments. Some of them were with us during the San Francisco stage! Let’s read together their words about the best moments they lived there!

“We, of the Young Talents Academy, joined the students of the Food Innovation Program during their Global Mission in San Francisco. We followed them in most of the activities, visits and lectures. We made a lot of experiences and learned so much.

Among the many things, if I had to choose which one I enjoyed the most I’d pick the visit at the AirBnb offices. What really surprised me was the way they treat their employees. You can feel that there is a comfortable and relaxed environment, a cozy place where you are positively motivate to do your job. I like how work is not seen as something negative, boring, heavy and stressful. I think that a lot of companies will have to reconsider their officies and buildings because the work environment is changing.
Another beautiful experience has been the day spent at U. C. Davis. I enjoyed every moment from the visit at the campus and the laboratories to the conversation with Andy Hargadon, a professor of technology management who explained us that we need to be ready for when the right moment for what we are doing and what we are aiming to arrives and that if we can take advantage of this time window we’ll have more results and gratification. Also he told us about his work as a teacher of cross-disciplinary entrepreneurship which helps students of both science and engineer to move their ideas out of the laboratories and into the world. Last but not least, we had the opportunity to join the blind olive oil tasting with Hoby, an incredible guy who let us experience things in a different way.

Food is a part of our everyday life and it’s not just something we do to survive: we go out for dinner with friends, when we travel we want to taste the traditional meals, when we want to please someone we cook them something, when we are happy or sad we usually eat. It is the perfect bridge to connect and learn new cultures. I believe that this is a good way to end fear, discrimination and hate against people who are different from us. Food cannot exist without altruism; and so does innovation. If we want to change and improve our world we need to work together as a team.

I’m really glad I had the opportunity of being part of this experience and to finally know the incredible students of the FIP. I’d like to thank Sara and the FFI for taking us on this journey, it’s been amazing for me”.

Anna Frignani

“With the Future Food Institute, I had the opportunity to experience a ‘’Young Talent little version” of the FIP Global Mission, it may not have lasted three months but it was not less full of inspiring moments and opportunity to expand my knowledge.
Of all the experiences we had, one that really inspired me was visiting Miyoko’s Vegan Cheese Factory. I’m really interested in sustainable alternatives to meat, and by seeing Miyoko’s reality and by listening to their explanations about the way they work and their beliefs I found them all very passionate people who are trying their best to improve their impact on the world and environment.

The experience which I preferred the most was visiting U.C. Davis, I appreciated every moment spent there, from the visit with our guide-student that gave us the opportunity to see the campus and learn more about this university, to the lectures we attended, to the blind olive oil tasting experience with Hoby Wedler, a very brilliant person that I’m glad I’ve had the chance to meet and that inspired all of us with his words. My favorite part of the day at U.C. Davis was the visit to their laboratories, where researchers explained us their current studies around the relationship between food and health, focusing on more anatomic aspects, which I found very interesting being that my field of study and what I’d like one day to work on, and who knows, maybe one day I’ll come back there in other vest than those of a visitor.
To conclude I’ll share my three take-aways from this SFO experience: innovation isn’t something you do by yourself but with other people sharing thoughts and knowledge to arrive together to a great idea; there are a lot of bright people who work with strong passion to put their -even little – contribute out in the world even if we don’t notice it in our every day’s life; food is like a bridge that bonds people, cultures and different fields of knowledge. Being a student and having to build the future in front of me was a really great opportunity that I’ll take with me through my path, taking what could guide and inspire me out of it. A big thank you to Sara and the FFI for having me involved in this and all of the other activities in which I’ve participated so far, can’t wait to see what’s next”.

Cecilia Perrucci