Earlier this year, we teamed up with Vegan Women Summit(opens in a new tab) to launch the Women Building the Future initiative – a program designed to bring visibility to the many women leaders around the world who are spearheading innovation in sustainability and food technology.
We received over 500 applications for the program, and today we’re proud to announce our 2021 Women Building the Future honorees(opens in a new tab)! Whether it’s by creating food technology solutions, advocating for policy changes, building climate-focused nonprofits, or leading grassroots change at universities, these women are paving the way for a more resilient, equitable, and sustainable food system.
Each of our honorees reflects the core mission of our company: to make our global food system truly sustainable. We’re honored to use our platform to showcase these innovative leaders, build a cross-sector networking platform, and provide exclusive opportunities to meet and learn from industry changemakers, such as our CEO Pat Brown.
Our honorees span six different continents and areas of focus: accessibility and equity; advocacy and policy; business leadership; education and awareness; rising stars and disruptors; and science and technology. Ranging from teenage climate activists to seasoned CEOs, these women leaders are truly building the future of our planet.
Sneak Peek: Meet a few of our honorees!
Chichi Hong, Founder of Hey Maet:
A plant-based pathfinder in the Chinese market, Chichi Hong is the Founder and CEO of Hey Maet, a company focused on soy, pea, and rice protein-based analogues to pork, beef, and chicken products. Spanning investment backers across the world, Chichi is backed by China's Tiantu Capital, Silicon Valley-based UpHonest Capital, and Shenzhen-listed food company Shuang Ta. Chichi holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Simon Fraser University, was a partner of Ausvic Capital in Hong Kong, an industry fellow of UCBerkeley Innovation Center, and was featured in Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 in 2021.
Stephanie Dorsey, Founding Partner, E²JDJ:
After graduating from Harvard Law, Stephanie Dorsey built a highly successful career in finance before finding herself building a first-of-its-kind venture capital fund in the future of food space. Now, as the Founding Partner of E²JDJ, Stephanie is focused on building a revolutionary new food tech fund based in New Orleans, Louisiana to fund underrepresented food tech founders across the South and beyond. She serves as an advisory committee member of the Kroger Co. Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation and works as an advisor and mentor for multiple initiatives and nonprofits working to celebrate diversity and support social innovation.
Priyanka Srinivas, CEO of the Live Green Co:
Based in Santiago, Chile, Priyanka Srinivas is CEO and Founder of The Live Green Company, a technology based company building the future of next-generation plant-based foods. Through the use of proprietary artificial intelligence system, Priyanka blends ancestral sciences of plant nutrition with modern tech to profile animal, synthetic, and highly-processed ingredients in our daily food products and recommend 100% natural plant-based alternatives. An innovative entrepreneur, Priyanka founded her company after spending her early career working in retail management and discovering the lack of sustainable, healthy products available on the market.
Sylwia Spurek, Member of European Parliament:
With a PhD in Law from the University of Warsaw, Sylwia Spurek is a Polish Member of European Parliament, and advocates for European policy changes regarding reforming animal agriculture and the environment. A lifelong activist for equality, she has acted as Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights, Deputy Chairwoman of the FEMM Commission, Deputy Ombudsperson, and authored the first draft Act on Preventing Domestic Violence in 2003. Most recently in 2020, Sylwia made international news as a potential frontrunner for President of Poland.
Kimberly Barnes, CEO and Co-founder of Food Love
Atlanta-based entrepreneur Kimberly Barnes is the CEO and Co-Founder of Food Love, a national, direct-to-door hunger relief effort providing families in need with plant-based food at no cost to them, with a mission to improve health outcomes and greater food justice in the US. After launching Food Love in April 2020, Kimberly has focused on expanding the program to provide educational support to help families eat more plants long-term and hopes to use their existing infrastructure and new partnerships to eradicate food insecurity for families. In addition to founding Food Love, Kimberly is the Founder of ContentPark, an SEO agency for scaling tech startups.
Deeksha Mittal, Co-founder of the Chapel Hill Alt. Protein Project
A rising senior at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Deeksha Mittal is the co-founder of The Chapel Hill Alt. Protein Project, one of the world’s first university initiatives to create a vibrant and robust community for alternative protein research and innovation. Through her work, Deeksha aims to seize the opportunity to trailblaze the path for the young alternative protein industry, and hopes to be a role model for young Indian girls after struggling to find one herself.