Our 2016/2017 Year in Review

Christine Gould
Sep 11, 2017 · 3 min read

Wowza. What a year!

Around this time in September 2016, we launched the our TFF Challenge to the world. We never expected to see that 3000 students from more than 1000 universities in 130 countries would step up to answer our call to action!

Over the course of 4 months, these young innovators formed interdisciplinary teams, dove into our Design Thinking Lab, collaborated and shared ideas and insights with each other, and submitted their bold, breakthrough solutions for food and nutrition security. Then in January 2017, 10 Finalist teams were selected to move on to Round 2 of our TFF Challenge, where they took part in our 12 week Startup Accelerator and Pitch Training.

But, while all of this amazing TFF collaboration and solution development was happening, the rest of the world seemed like it was going utterly crazy. It felt like we were caught in a tornado of change. Everything we were thinking was turned upside down; everything we were feeling was turned inside out.

At TFF HQ, we realized that in these uncertain times, it was more important than ever for us to reflect and act on on all that is actually possible. With all of the tremendous set of disruptive changes that continue to come our way, we were galvanized to do more!

In May 2017, we organized the 5th Edition our TFF Summit in Amsterdam, bringing together 450 of the world’s most visionary innovators from a variety of sectors to explore and create #whatsnext.

We designed an ambitious program that went far beyond the topics you see at other food and agriculture conferences, and dove into some of the important themes related to our world in transition. We got real with each other in Honesty Circles, tinkered with new ideas in Challenge Clinics and Maker Labs, and debated new paradigms for business, governance, creativity, technology and more in What’s Nexxxt Talks and Live Podcasts — with our trademark “larger-than-life” energy reverberating throughout.

Virtual and Augmented Reality — #WhatsNexxxt in food and ag

Our thought-provoking event included inspiring keynotes from Space10, Next Nature Network, O’Reilly Media, and PepsiCo — as well as 43 Next-Gen Assemblies, 10 Skillbuilding Masterclasses, a suspended cardboard tornado, a merry-go-round, an astronaut, 2 slam poems, an agricultural superhero, swings, undulating microbes and of course — the highlight of it all — the 10 pitches from the TFF Challenge Finalist Teams!

Most importantly, the Summit was that incredible moment in time where our TFF Community was reunited, where we worked together to make a dent in the universe using our unique approach, which I like to call “next generation innovation.”

Next generation innovation has nothing to do with age! It means taking action to solve the world’s biggest problems by adopting a collaborative attitude, embracing a curious, “beginner’s” mindset, combining unexpected ideas and influences, and creating space for experimentation. It also means living true to values like openness, authenticity and inclusivity throughout life and business.

Next generation innovation happens naturally in every single part of the TFF Challenge and Summit experience — that’s because it is hardwired into how we, the leaders of the next generation, operate.

At TFF, we are on a mission to make next generation innovation the norm. We believe that together, we can help our world benefit from a level of creativity and progress that staggers the imagination!

Now, we’d now like to send a shout out to all of our Friends and Supporters around the world! You guys are the best!

Need proof?

Check out all that we have done together this year in our 2016–17 Year in Review!


If you read the news, it seems like every day the world throws another big, problem our way. It can feel overwhelming at times. But, when I start to get down thinking about it all, I just remember our TFF Community’s guiding ethos: problems are opportunities!

And with brilliant, open-minded, collaborative, empathetic, visionary, authentic innovators like you in the lead, our future is certainly in good hands!

Here’s to an even better year ahead!! :)

Thought For Food Foundation

Thought For Food community stories, blog posts, and highlights of how the next generation is feeding 9+ billion people.

Christine Gould

Written by

Founder & CEO of Thought For Food — www.thoughtforfood.org

Thought For Food Foundation

Thought For Food community stories, blog posts, and highlights of how the next generation is feeding 9+ billion people.

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