Global Minnesota hosts World Food Day Symposium

Global Minnesota is partnering with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) to host a virtual symposium commemorating World Food Day, on October 15th. The theme: “Our Actions Are Our Future” focuses on the impact…

Global Minnesota is partnering with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) to host a virtual symposium commemorating World Food Day, on October 15th. The theme: “Our Actions Are Our Future” focuses on the impact on food security impacted by three mega-challenges – climate change, covid-19, and violent conflicts within and between nations. The symposium features leaders of public and private institutions, including FAO, WFP, and the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC), and public and private sector leaders who discuss these issues in ways that simultaneously promote food security and address underlying causes.

Global Minnesota supports programs that allow Minnesotans to connect and participate in the international sphere, and for Minnesota to extend its influence around the globe.

With a mission of advancing international understanding and engagement, Global Minnesota provides Minnesotans with opportunities to serve as citizen diplomats and gain a deeper understanding of the world.

World Food Day Virtual Symposium

Friday, October 15 – 9:00 am

Registration –

World Food Day 2021 presenters include:

Ambassador Ahmed Awad

Ambassador Ahmed Isse Awad is the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of The Federal Republic of Somalia. He had the honor to reopen the Somali Embassy in Washington, D.C. after it has been closed for 24 years. Before his post in Washington, D.C., Ambassador Awad worked in peacebuilding for UN Peacekeeping missions in Sudan, where he promoted conflict resolution, peace, reconciliation and trust building, good governance, and the role of civil society in the peace process. Ambassador Awad holds a master’s degree from the Institute of Peace and Security Studies of the Addis Ababa University and a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.

Jenna Carter

Jenna Carter is the Public Affairs and Government Relations Manager with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. She currently serves as Council Member at Large for the City of Bloomington where she has led campaigns for the city council and co-led the launch of six COVID-19 mobile vaccination buses reaching more than 7,000 residents who have barriers accessing the medicine.

Joyce Chang

Joyce Chang is Chair of Global Research for J.P. Morgan’s Corporate and Investment Bank. Chang was a Managing Director at Merrill Lynch and Salomon Brothers prior to joining J.P. Morgan Chase in 1999. She serves on the Board of Directors of the German Marshall Fund, Trickle Up and Girls Inc. and on the external advisory board for the Center of Financial Stability. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Inter-American Dialogue. She is the Senior Sponsor for J.P. Morgan’s Corporate and Investment Bank Women on the Move Network, the network for employees of Asian heritage (AsPIRE) and Nonprofit Board Service. Chang holds an M.P.A. from Princeton and serves on its External Advisory Council for the Center for Public Policy, and has a B.A. from Columbia from where she was awarded the John Jay award for professional achievement and serves on its Board of Visitors.

Dr. Qu Dongyu

Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations since 2019, has spent his life working on how to make sure the world is fed. Born in 1963 to a rice-growing family in China’s Hunan Province, Qu studied horticultural science at Hunan Agricultural University and then plant breeding and genetics at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. He later added environmental science to his knowledge portfolio while earning a PhD at Wageningen University, in the Netherlands. His vision is founded on the belief that freedom from hunger is a basic human right, and that in the 21st century we have the capability to eradicate chronic food insecurity. He says a cardinal principle is that “problems can also be the source of progress.” Before coming to FAO, Qu served as China’s Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, where one of his achievements was to promote inclusive and innovative development and make sure information and communication technologies (ICT) were available in rural areas so that more than 400 million farmers could use their smartphones as a new farming tool..

John Ellenberger

John Ellenberger leads Land O’Lakes Venture37, a 501(c)(3) global nonprofit founded in 1981 by Land O’Lakes, Inc. Before joining Land O’Lakes, John led corporate marketing at American Medical Systems and spent 15 years in various marketing leadership roles at General Mills. He serves on the boards of ServeMinnesota and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. He earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of Minnesota.

Michelle Grogg

Michelle Grogg leads Global Corporate Responsibility at Cargill and is the Executive Director of the Cargill Foundation. She joined Cargill in 1998. She leads the company’s global corporate responsibility efforts including the development and implementation of strategic partnerships with non-governmental, nonprofit and international development organizations to advance the company’s social and environmental priorities.

Nicola Gryczka

Nicola Gryczka is CEO of GASTROMOTIVA, a Brazilian social enterprise, founded by chef David Hertz, that works with food as a tool for transformation, offering gastronomy training towards employment, food entrepreneurship classes and nutrition education for underprivileged communities and food waste solutions in four countries. She is also a co-founder of the global Social Gastronomy Movement that aims at making our Food System more inclusive.

Collen Vixen Kelapile

Collen Vixen Kelapile this year was elected the 77th President of the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations. Ambassador Vixen Kelapile is currently the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Botswana to the United Nations in New York. He served as the Chief of Staff to the Executive-Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). He was elected by the UN General Assembly as a member of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), where he served for three consecutive 3-year terms including terms as Vice-Chair and Chair.

Dr. Rupa Marya

Rupa Marya is a physician, activist, artist and writer who is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and the founder and executive director of the Deep Medicine Circle, a worker-directed nonprofit committed to healing the wounds of colonialism through food, medicine, story, learning and restoration. In 2021, she published her first book with political ecologist, food system activist and policy professor Raj Patel, Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice. This book advances a new level of diagnosis that incorporates history and lines of power into our understanding of the root causes of health disparities and the rise of inflammatory disease in industrialized places, offering compelling treatment options for what is ailing people and the planet.

Maureen Muketha

Maureen Muketha is a youth nutrition advocate and member of the UN Food System Summit. She is the founder of a social enterprise called Tule Vyema, which fights hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Tule Vyema has equipped over 2,000 community members with nutrition knowledge and improved food security through training young women to cultivate indigenous vegetables on kitchen gardens in over 800 low income earning households.

Dr. James Mwangi

Dr. James Mwangi, , CBS Group Managing Director and CEO, Equity Group Holdings Plc., Executive Chairman, Equity Group Foundation, is one of Africa’s most renowned thought leaders, a disruptive entrepreneur and philanthropist. As a champion of social economic transformation, Mwangi believes that individuals and societies have the potential to solve their socioeconomic challenges if they are given the opportunity and access to resources. He is credited with democratizing financial access, by removing entry barriers in Kenya and the region.

Dr. Raj Patel

Raj Patel has degrees from the University of Oxford, the London School of Economics, and Cornell University, has worked for the World Bank and WTO, and, protested against them around the world.

He has testified about the causes of the global food crisis to the US, UK and EU governments and is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems. His first book was Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System. His second, The Value of Nothing, was a New York Times and international best-seller. He is the co-author with Jason W. Moore of A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things. His acclaimed latest book, co-authored with Rupa Marya, entitled Inflamed: Deep Medicine and The Anatomy of Injustice launched in August 2021. His first film, co-directed with Zak Piper and filmed over the course of a decade in Malawi and the United States, is the award-winning documentary “The Ants & The Grasshopper”.

Brett Ramey

Brett Ramey designs and teaches courses on food sovereignty, collaborative garden design and Indigenous science at Tribal Universities and Native youth summer programs, facilitates healing retreats for cancer survivors and elevates equity and inclusion discourse within environmental organizations. Prior to moving to Dakota homelands in Minneapolis in January 2020, he served as Director for the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Washington, a national undergraduate student program that infuses conservation practice with Indigenous knowledges and perspectives of land and environmental justice.

Tim Walz

Tim Walz is Minnesota’s 41st Governor. He won his first election to the United States House of Representatives in 2006, and was re-elected for another 5 terms serving Minnesota’s First Congressional District.


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