Confirmed Keynote Speakers

James Allen Dator

Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, Department of Political Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Professor, Director

Jim Dator is Professor and Director of the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, Department of Political Science, and Adjunct Professor in the Program in Public Administration, the College of Architecture, and the Center for Japanese Studies, of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

His talk, titled, “By 2060, it will be illegal to use the ground to grow food”…and other futures, derives from more than forty years of futures work, of which the futures of food, energy, and water have as always been an important part. Most recently he has consulted on the development of “Foodpolis”, a proposed food cluster in South Korea, and on food sustainability in Hawaii.


Sirpa Sirpa Kurppa, MTTKurppa

MTT Agrifood Research Finland
Professor, PhD (Agr. & For.), Adjunct Professor

Professor Sirpa Kurppa is a specialist in agroecology and environmental sustainability of food production systems. She is working for ecodesign of food products and environmental awareness of food chain stakeholders and consumers. She works for food education with special focus on importance of self-efficacy in choices all through a food system. Practical tools for sustainable food choice are been developed in her projects. With wide institutional collaboration, she is surveying societal structures of food consumption for finding out proper steering mechanisms for sustainability and designing food services in an equity aspect. The recent challenge is to build up a common and comprehensive understanding of integrated issues of nutrition and environmental responsibility in food consumption.

Professor Kurppa has a wide-ranging research experience over more than 25 years, and she has provided expert input into several national and EU expert groups concerning Programme for Sustainable Consumption and Production – at present for updating the national programme, which has a vision to 2030. She has spent some time as a guest researcher in Scotland, in USA California, in British Columbia Canada and in New Zealand. Sirpa Kurppa is at present guiding five doctoral students and one post doc.


nonhebelSanderine Nonhebel

Center for Energy and Environmental Sciences, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
Associate Professor, PhD

Sanderine Nonhebel has a background in agricultural sciences. She is studying the relations between food supply and the environment from a natural science perspective for over 15 years (with the help of many PhD- and master students). Her main interest is how to supply the growing global population with good food while limiting the impacts of its production for the planet. The research line involves quantification environmental impacts (land, water and energy use) of different food patterns, studying changes in food patterns on a global scale and designing sustainable food consumption and supply systems. The interrelation/competition between food and biofuels also has her interest.

The presentation on the conference involves the state of art of the research line and includes: an historical overview of (changes in) food consumption patterns in different parts of the globe and how these changes have affected the land in use for agriculture production. The trends observed are used to discuss how much food we will need in future on a global scale and how much land we have to make productive to produce it.


Lance-OBrien-edsLance O’Brien

Foresight Unit at Teagasc – the Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Ireland
Manager, BA, MA, PhD, MBA

Lance O’Brien joined Teagasc (The Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority) from the Irish Ministry of Finance in 1980, having previously worked as a researcher in the Irish Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

Since joining Teagasc, he has worked in the areas of corporate and strategic planning, programme and project planning, foresight development and research management. He is a member of the Teagasc Senior Management Team with specific responsibility for strategy development and working with the management team to drive innovation in Teagasc and to support Teagasc’s mission of driving innovation in the agri-food sector and wider bioeconomy. He was Project Manager for the major Teagasc Foresight exercise – Teagasc 2030- Teagasc’s Role in Transforming Ireland’s Agri-Food Sector and the Wider Bioeconomy – published in 2008. This was the first major Irish publication to advocate the development of an Irish Bioeconomy, and has had considerable influence on subsequent thinking in Ireland.

Lance O’Brien has cross-sectoral expertise and a broad vision for the bioeconomy embracing agriculture, food, forestry and bio-energy sectors, and good understanding of the role of policy, research, education and extension services. He has contributed to national research policy initiatives in Ireland and to the development of a number of Irish agricultural and food policy developments, including the current major strategy – Food Harvest 2020 (2010). He is currently a member of the national organising committee for the Dublin 2013 EU conference on ‘Bioeconomy in the EU: achievements and directions for the future.’ He was a member of the Third EU SCAR Foresight Expert Group and also attended many SCAR Plenary meetings as a replacement over the years, as well as contributing to the work of various SCAR working groups.

O’Brien also has a particular interest in and commitment to agricultural research for development. In this regard, he is an active participant in the Global Foresight Hub, a global collective of foresight practitioners and has worked for the establishment of a Foresight Academy in Africa. He is currently a member of an Expert Group on developing an Agricultural Science Agenda for Africa. m


Mark J. Post

Maastricht University, The Netherlands
Professor and Chair of Physiology, MD, PhD

Professor Mark Post is a medical doctor who has had several appointments as professor at Utrecht University, Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Eindhoven University of Technology and Maastricht University. His main research interest is the engineering of tissues for medical applications and for food. The medical applications focus on the construction of blood vessels that can be used as grafts for coronary artery bypass grafting. Tissue engineering for Food has lead to the development of cultured beef from bovine skeletal muscle stem cells in an effort to supplement and perhaps transform the traditional meat production through livestock.

Dr Post co-authored 150 papers in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals and received during his career close to 30 million dollars in funding and awards from different sources including government, charity and industry. He plans to present the world’s first hamburger from cultured beef in the beginning of 2013.


Hanni RutzlerHanni Rützler

Future Food Studio, Austria

Hanni Rützler is a future expert for food trends, food quality, health nutrition and dining culture. She studied nutrition science in Vienna, Austria and ecology at Michigan Technology University, USA. She is founding and board member of Austrian Society of Nutrition Scientists and a member of the board of Austrian Society for Nutrition. She has published several studies and books on food quality, healthy nutrition, dining cultures and consumer safety. She is author of “Food Trends” published by German Zukunftsinstitut.

Hanni Rützler defines her role as a translator between nutrition scientists, responsible political and economic authorities and public organizations. Her aim is to work on new strategies for a healthier and more enjoyable future of nutrition.




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