The TFF Academy is a unique educational program focused on empowering the next generation of talents in food and agriculture.

By deepening and broadening the key elements of our educational approach, we are empowering the next generation with the skill sets and mindsets to create and lead purpose-driven businesses that will help create transformational change in food and agriculture.

  • A unique food and ag focused educational program to empower the next generation and provide them with the skills, mindset, and values they need.

    Christine Gould Founder & CEO
July 23-26, 2018

TFF Academy in Rio

This July we launched the TFF Academy in the center of Rio de Janeiro with a select group of 200 of Thought For Food’s next-generation innovators and entrepreneurs.

Hosted in the innovative, bilingual school Escola Eleva, we brought together a diverse group of entrepreneurs, academics and industry leaders representing over 40 countries as well as disciplines as diverse as science, agronomy, engineering, agriculture, architecture, business, and public policy.

The intense TFF Academy curriculum focused on connecting with relevant topics and experts in the industry, building skills and capabilities in design thinking, leadership and entrepreneurship, as well as developing the personal self through emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and adaptability to change.

Over the course of the TFF Academy days, participants, industry leaders and design thinking experts helped solve real industry challenges through a process of ideation and rapid prototyping in “capstone projects”.


Invest in the future

We work with leading organizations in the food and agriculture sector to uncover hidden opportunities and commit to breakthrough innovation today.

A TFF Summit attendee testing virtual reality glasses, a boy in the back is watching him.
Meet our


  • Holley M. Murchison

    Impactful Storytelling

    Founder of Oratory Glory, author of her debut book 'Tell Me About Yourself', and Education Producer

  • David Li

    Brick by BRIC: DIY Innovation in Emerging Economies

    Co-founder of Maker Collider and Executive Director of Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab.

  • Gabriela Agustini

    Entrepreneurship the Millennial Way

    Founder and Executive Director of Olabi, a Brazilian social organization focused on encouraging the use of new (and old) technologies for social change.

  • Michael Kock

    Open IP Models for Open Innovation

    Open IP Pioneer, Strategy Consultant and renowned author and speaker on innovation enablement.

  • Alexander Lazarou

    Maximizing Engagement, Awareness & Impact

    Senior Account Supervisor, Social Purpose and Sustainability at MSL/Publicis who has worked on global campaigns for private companies and NGOs.

  • Megan Willis

    Do's and Don'ts of Fundraising

    Social impact and sustainability professional working with Indigo Ag. She spent over a decade in international development: as a US Peace Corps Volunteer, at Chemonics International and USAID.

  • Felipe Villela

    How to Restore Nature through Agroforestry

    Co-Founder of reNature and expert in agroforestry systems.

  • Marco de Boer

    How to restore nature through Agroforestry

    Expert in marketing communications / advertising and Co-Founder of reNature Foundation.

  • Caroline Steiblin

    Exploring Nutrition's Complexities & Impact Investment

    Researcher with a background in physics and economics, and a passion for helping sustainable businesses grow.

  • Brittany Dahl

    Big Data and GIS

    GIS consultant passionate in technological projects that connect communities with sustainable choices.

  • Vinicius Filier

    Big Data and GIS

    MBA and Geographer, currently working for Esri Brazil, spreading the word of how Geography and GIS can help us solve most of our biggest global challenges.

  • Lorelei Davis

    Capstone Project: IoT, AI, Robotics – Right-Sizing Tech for the Smallholder Farm

    Leading KWS SAAT SE's new Digital Innovation Accelerator, that identifies and tests novel digital technologies for their application to the agriculture industry.

  • Satish Rai

    Capstone Project: IoT, AI, Robotics – Right-Sizing Tech for the Smallholder Farm

    Senior Innovation and Licensing Manager at KWS R&D division, focused on scouting and licensing of early-stage technologies.

  • Clarissa Biolchini

    Capstone Project: IoT, AI, Robotics – Right-Sizing Tech for the Smallholder Farm

    Expert in innovation processes, based on design thinking and service design.

  • David Trayford

    Pitch Training

    Communication specialist, startup coach, mentor, trainer and global speaker on future skills and education strategy.

  • Haitao Yu

    Scaling-up Rural and Community-Driven Entrepreneurship

    Sustainability activist and world-traveler: from China, France, the US to Cambodia, Canada and more.

  • Maeva Dang

    Smart Ag for Smart Cities

    Maeva is a civil engineer and researcher at the TU Vienna and the UniRio, passionate about urban agriculture.

  • Henry Gordon-Smith

    Smart Ag for Smart Cities

    Founder and Managing Director of Agritecture Consulting and global thought leader in vertical farming.

  • John Cumbers

    Frontiers of Synthetic Biology

    Founder and CEO of SynBioBeta and senior consultant to leading companies and investors for over a decade.

  • Richard Hylerstedt

    Design Thinking

    Interdisciplinary designer and facilitator. He is on a mission to change the public sector, currently as Lead Service Design Coach for the City of Helsingborg.

  • Matt Foley

    Boots on the Ground

    Investment Analyst, Invest Nebraska Corporation and Co-Founder of FarmAfield.

  • Dr. Jenette Ashtekar

    Unlocking new perspectives on agriculture by combining science and data

    Soil Scientist and Engagement Manager at CiBO Technologies, leading customer facing projects.

  • Brennan Costello

    Boots on the Ground

    Startup Coach and Business Relation Officer at the University of Nebraska. Co-Founder of FarmAfield.

  • Gemma Milne

    Starting a Science Startup

    Freelance journalist, deep science consultant and co-host of Science:Disrupt – a podcast covering science, tech, culture and politics.

  • Peter Bickerton

    Slam Poetry

    Peter is a science communicator, poet, and writer. In his day job, he writes about science for the Earlham Institute as Science Communications Manager.

  • Pedro L. Rodriguez

    Social Media

    VP, Business Growth, Digital Marketing & Transformation at Horizon Media Inc. and rewarded blogger for the HuffingtonPost with focus on emerging social and digital trends.

  • Peleg Chevion​

    Moving to Food Industry 4.0 / Panel of Judges

    Chief Commercial Officer of Blendhub, leading the global deployment of the world’s first distributed production platform for powder based food.

  • Mush’ab Nursantio

    New Foods

    Award-winning entrepreneur, Co-Founder and CEO of Biteback.

  • Mashita Fajri

    New Foods

    Founder of EconoodlE. Expert in Food Security and Environmental Health.

  • Kesso Gabrielle van Zutphen

    Exploring Nutrition's Complexities

    Public health nutritionist with a background in public health and public policy.

  • Srujith Lingala

    Exploring Nutrition's Complexities

    Manager Technology and Entrepreneurship at Sight and Life. His projects span Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, India and Indonesia.

  • Dr. Mike Gould

    Create, Innovate, Invent

    An inspiring leader, scientist, change-agent and disruptor. He developed and led innovative R&D programs in fields ranging from biotech to complexity science to vertical farming.

  • Taísa Cecília de Lima Caires

    BASF Game: The Road to Sustainability

    Management Consultant for the Sustainability of the Espaço ECO® Foundation, founded by BASF.

  • Tiago Egydio Barreto

    BASF Game: The Road to Sustainability

    Management Consultant for Sustainability at the Espaço ECO® Foundation by BASF.

  • Steven Wall

    Capstone Project: New Solutions for Smallholder Farmers

    Steven is a senior leader at Syngenta where he is developing and implementing strategies for new technologies that incorporate evolving regulatory, safety, political and societal perspectives.

  • Joe Fletcher

    Capstone Project: New Solutions for Smallholder Farmers

    Joe Fletcher is a co-founder and Executive Creative Director at Raft. He has 15+ years experience in corporate design management and consulting.

  • Karla Rascon-Garcia

    Impact Investing

    Kirchner Food Fellow and Ph.D. candidate in Epidemiology at the University of California, Davis.

  • Adrian Garcia-Casarrubias

    Impact Investing

    Kirchner Food Fellow and Plant Biotechnology Ph.D. candidate at CINVESTAV-IPN in San Pedro Zacatenco, Mexico.

  • Alfredo Costilla-Reyes

    Impact Investing

    Kirchner Food Fellow, Mexico National Youth Award and Ph.D. candidate in Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University.

  • Julia Giannella

    Data Selfie: a personalized graphic expression

    Designer and a researcher assistant at the Vision and Computer Graphics Laboratory (Visgraf) based at IMPA.

  • Leandro Amorim

    Data Selfie: a personalized graphic expression

    Head of Café, an information design studio that transforms data into stories.

  • Dr. Leah McCann

    Unlocking new perspectives on agriculture by combining science and data

    Senior Crop Scientist at CiBO Technologies, that thrives at the intersection of R&D and commercial application.

More ways to get involved

Let's explore