The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) has announced its keynote and featured speakers at the IFT FIRST: Annual Event and Expo, which is being held July 16–19, 2023, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

The opening keynote address, titled, “Embedding Innovation into Everyone’s DNA,” will be delivered by Duncan Wardle, former head of innovation and creativity at Disney, at 8:15–9:45 A.M. CT on Monday, July 17. The second keynote on Tuesday, July 18, will include three winners from the second annual Global Food Systems Challenge discussing “Innovation Across the Supply Chain for Healthy People and Planet.” The second keynote will take place at 8:30–9:30 A.M. CT.

The final keynote, which is being held at 10:30–11:15 a.m. CT on Wednesday, July 19, will include both small and large companies to dispel the myth that small companies have an edge over large companies when it comes to innovation in “David and Goliath: Considering How Organization Size Impacts Innovation.”

In addition to the three keynote addresses at IFT FIRST, there will also be five featured sessions, each featuring a panel of food experts from around the world.

  • On Monday, July 17 at 11:15 A.M.–12:00 P.M. CT, “Reimaging Food Waste to Put the ‘P’ in Profit and Loss” will examine the hottest product innovation ideas capitalizing on upcycled food waste or byproducts, which in turn will help attendees significantly improve the profit and loss statement at their respective organizations
  • On Monday, July 17 at 1:45–2:30 P.M. CT, “Food Tech Innovations That Are Changing How the World Eats” will feature leading food tech companies sharing the latest groundbreaking innovations that have changed food consumption forever
  • On Monday, July 17 at 4:15–5:00 P.M. CT, “Science of Food Is Critical to Finding Urgent Health and Nutrition Solutions for a Growing Global Population” will feature a collection of experts discussing the important role food science plays in addressing global crises
  • On Tuesday, July 18 at 11 A.M.–12:00 P.M. CT, “Expect the Unexpected: Failure to Anticipate Threats Is a Critical Food Safety Risk” will address the tough questions organizations must be asking themselves, including what type of investments must be made and what strategies must be implemented now, to meet today’s food safety risks
  • On Tuesday, July 18 at 1:15–2:00 P.M. CT,  “How Consumers’ Food Choices Are Impacted by Crisis” will feature a consumer panel looking at how the food community can work together to bolster trust among consumers to create a more transparent and sustainable future.

Discounted early bird registration for IFT FIRST ends on April 21, 2023.