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Ellen Gustafson
Co-Founder of Food Tank

Ellen Gustafson is a sustainable food system activist, author, innovator and social entrepreneur

Thursday, February 5th, 16.15-17.15

Title: “Making change come true”

  • Creating a New Brand in A New Market Place
  • This is what start-ups do in a different way – what bigger companies could learn from start-ups
  • Conscious living – conscious business – influencing social behavior: „if we change the way we eat, we can change the world“
  • Building social cause brands in competitive markets
  • What I learned from creating FEED
  • How the changing food marketplace is an example of next generation thinking


She is the Co-Founder of Food Tank: the Food Think Tank, an organization that grew out of the 30 Project, which Ellen founded in 2010 and Danielle Nierenberg’s Nourishing the Planet initiative. The 30 Project has been a significant part of changing the conversation about the global food system by connecting hunger and obesity. She is also the creator of the ChangeDinner campaign and HealthClass2.0, which are helping individuals change the food system at dinner tables and in schools.

Ellen previously Co-Founded of FEED Projects, LLC, a charitable company that creates good products that help FEED the world, and is the Co-Founder and former Executive Director of FEED’s non-profit partner, the FEED Foundation. Under Ellen’s leadership FEED provided over 60 million school meals to children around the world. (See CBS Evening News piece about FEED.)

Ellen was also previously a US Spokesperson for the UN World Food Program, a terrorism research reporter in the ABC News Investigative Unit and a research associate for the Military Fellows at the Council on Foreign Relation. She has a BA in International Politics from Columbia University.

She has been featured as one of AOL and PBS’s MAKERS, trailblazing women who are “making” America, Fortune Magazine’s 2009 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs,Inc Magazine’s 2010 30 Under 30,  and Diplomatic Courier Magazine’s 2011 “Top 99 Under 33” in Foreign Policy. Ellen has spoken at the Fortune Most Powerful Women’s Conference, the World Food Prize, and is the Co-Chair of the Economist’s 2012 Feeding the World conference and has guest lectured at Harvard Business School, NYU, London School of Economics, Columbia University, Lehigh University and the US Naval Academy and given a TEDx talk.

She serves on the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Advisory Board, the Columbia University Alumni Board of Directors and the founding Board of Directors for Bronx Success Academy 1, a charter school within the Success Charter Network. She is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.