Register for Nov. 23 event to explore food system solutions for Northeast U.S.

Food sustains life, spreads joy, and brings us together. But if we are to feed 10 billion people within planetary boundaries, the way the world produces and consumes food needs to change.  

The Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont, in partnership with global ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s, will participate in a two-day global UN Food Summit Pre-Event, co-hosting a Nov. 23 event focused on scalable food systems solutions from the Northeast U.S. [Pre-register for the event here.] 

This 90-minute event will highlight promising partnerships among researchers, farmers, private sector decision makers, and other key stakeholders that reimagine externalities in food systems and work with agricultural innovators to produce real social, environmental, and economic benefits. 

Event: Cross-sector partnerships for developing and scaling food system solutions in the northeast U.S

Date: Nov. 23 (1:15-2:45 pm EST)


  • Moderator: Cheryl Pinto, Global Values Led Sourcing Manager, Ben & Jerry’s
  • Taylor Ricketts, Gund Professor and Director, Gund Institute for Environment, University of Vermont
  • Dave Rapaport, Global Social Mission Officer, Ben & Jerry’s
  • Marita Canedo, Migrant Justice
  • Meredith Niles, Gund Fellow and Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Vermont 
  • Alissa White, Gund Graduate Fellow, Gund Institute for Environment, University of Vermont 
  • Tom Bellavance, President, Ag Venture Financial Services, Inc.


Participants will learn about “payment for ecosystem services” programs that incentivize farmers to produce valuable ecosystem services as well as food and livelihoods from working landscapes; bold actions for equity in food systems through Milk with Dignity, the pioneering farmworker driven labor standards program in the U.S. dairy industry; and research on the social dimensions of food systems that explores how and why farmers adapt to environmental change. 

This event builds on a research partnership between the Gund Institute at UVM and Ben & Jerry’s focused on regenerative agriculture, an approach to farming that aims to produce a safe and abundant food supply, while improving soils and other natural resources, and increasing farmers’ livelihoods.

Part of a Two-Day Global Event

The Gund Institute and Ben & Jerry’s event is part of a larger UN Food Systems Summit pre-event, Bold Actions for Food as a Force for Good (Nov. 23-24), hosted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and partners. 

As the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals deadline approaches, the Covid-19 health crisis has exposed the vulnerabilities in food systems, highlighting insecure livelihoods, food waste and unequal access to healthy food. The UN Food Systems Summit in 2021 presents a unique opportunity to bring together food value chain stakeholders – from farmers, to producers, to scientists, to retailers, to investors, to consumers – to address these challenges and unlock barriers to food systems transformation.

To mobilize multi-stakeholder action in pursuit of this future, the pre-event covers over 40 sessions around the UN Food System Summit Action Tracks, and sessions organized by many partners taking different perspectives across regions, thematic areas, focal topics (e.g. finance, innovation, youth, farmers, science) and across multi-stakeholders. The sessions are open for stakeholders to participate in various virtual sessions.

Bold Actions for Food as a Force for Good combines different program elements:

  • A Vision for Food Systems of the Future: Live-streamed plenary session harnessing the views of all stakeholder groups to mobilize support for change.
  • Building Stronger Food Systems: Sessions focused on key opportunities and priorities to be addressed by each of the five UN Food Systems Summit Action Tracks as well as around the Levers of Change. These sessions will focus on existing – and potentially game-changing – initiatives and solutions.
  • Bold Actions for Change: Sessions hosted by event co-hosts or partners providing a deeper dive into existing/new solutions and issues, taking a thematic, solution-based and / or regional lens
  • Food Systems Innovation Challenges: Students and entrepreneurs sharing the results on the food systems innovation challenge around the world.
  • Executive Roundtable: Building on existing discussions and input from the above sessions, executives will move forward to identify priority actions and commitments.
  • Closing Plenary focusing on priorities and commitments from multiple stakeholders.

Learn more on the global event’s webpage:

To register for the entire event:

  • Go to the website here. Scroll down the homepage to the ‘Join the Bold Actions for Food as a Force for Good’ bar. 
  • If you are an existing WEF TopLink member, you can login to register.
  • If you are not an existing WEF TopLink member, you can use the free 30-day digital TopLink membership by clicking on the ‘Learn More and Start Free Trial button’.

If there are problems with the digital TopLink membership link, please send name, title and affiliation to and we will send a registration link.


Basil D.N. Waugh